I found an old canvas board in a box recently – a painting I had done over a decade ago – back when I wasn’t “a painter.” I remember it was both an escape and a compromise at the time. I no longer had access to a ceramic studio or dark room (what I studied in college), so paints were an accessible way of creating something… a way that was liberating for exploration and which I had no attachment to… because… I wasn’t a painter and had no intention of being one. So it didn’t matter what it looked like. It wasn’t meant to be seen – just to be painted.
Despite that, I vaguely remember feeling so judgmental and dissatisfied – sort of defeated – when I looked at it.
I’m not sure why I hung on to this board, but when I found it recently, I instantly felt the urge to engage with it again – from a pure place. To collage and finish the strange bird form, to give her fresh life.
Instead of putting that playful feeling aside, I stopped what I was doing and did just that. It went fast – I used papers in my scrap box from our wedding, and from intuitive paintings I’ve done since then in my own soulwork. It felt easy and right. Like this bird spirit had been sitting in the box all along, waiting years for me to find her, to see her again – as neither escape nor compromise. But as practice and evidence to the power of our perspective to influence transformation.
It sort of felt like a spontaneous ritual of closure, in right timing. It also felt a bit like a celebration of becoming and beginning. Like so many moments in life, they really are one and the same, aren’t they?
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