I’ve always had a strange affinity for natural sunshine. Like, I REALLY dislike lamps. I’m forever going around the house shutting off “yellow” lights, or trying to mimic the balance that sunlight gives with a variety of lighting systems. I’ve been like this for at least 20 years... it makes living with me so much fun . But in 2016, while I was working on phase two of this painting and going through some thaaaangs, I found myself desiring darkness more than I ever have. I turned on the lights mostly just to paint, and even then it was just one, shined directly on this canvas. One day, out of what I thought was frustration with the fact that my brushes just wouldn’t “behave”, I covered most of my then purple background with thick layers of solid black. Afterward, in disgust, I abandoned this piece completely.
Back then the image was just this figure, all alone in this dark forest, and the symbolism of the work in progress couldn’t have been more accurate to what was happening in my life. My head was dark, and life felt lonely. I didn’t like the people who were close to me, and I was allowing their opinions of me reflect who I decided I was. Without realizing it, I was waiting for them to give me the confidence to pull me out of the darkness... by fighting to live up to what they wanted me to be. A lot happened in between sessions two and three with this piece, and I’ll just say that I found my backbone, set boundaries, and learned to love me. But it was during my journey into the light that I found myself randomly, constantly, lighting candles.
I’ve always been a bit candle obsessed, but this was different. All of a sudden, I needed to light candles. Everyday. They burned from morning to night, and I genuinely believe that I was using them as a stepping-stone into a brighter frame of mind. A guide out of the dark...much like the bird I ended up adding alongside this woman, helping her make her way out of this “Enchanted Forest”. Where am I going with this? Well ♀️ it’s super cool that she found her way into a retail space above a candle display, without my input or suggestion. Life... just works out sometimes