Thank you to all who visited and read my blog last week. It is amazing to get such support when you are launching yourself into unknown territory. My goal is to share the stories behind some of my paintings and talk about my creative process, which is anything but linear!
The first painting I want to talk about it is entitled The Flight or L’envolée in French. It is a beautiful painting that speaks about becoming an empty-nester as a parent, a reality that materialised this week for me (if I don’t count my dogs!).
I have three adult boys who are each writing an exciting chapter of their lives. Loïc is smart, funny, witty and one of the most positive people I have ever met in my life. He entered our lives over five years ago and they have been so unbelievably enriched ever since. For the past 2+ years, he has been studying engineering in one of the top European schools in Switzerland. Unfortunately, with COVID, we haven’t been able to see each other and I do hope that the vaccination efforts will allow us to change this sooner rather than later.
My youngest son, Mathias, is currently living in Victoria, escaping the hard Ottawa winter (although Victoria did get snow recently, a first in three years!) and paving his own way. He is an incredibly smart, compassionate and funny human being who is exploring and discovering his full potential. He left for a warmer climate in January and I do hope to be able to see him this spring.
Alex is the other artist of the family… and he is so talented, as well as being smart, curious and authentic. You will see in my stories and my posts references to “Dadsports”, an Ottawa-based indie band that has a bright future. So much so, that they were signed by a label and now Alex, Miguel and Keith are living together, working on new music and having some sense of normalcy as young adults in these non-social times. In the meantime, you can watch their latest video at the following link… :).
So now, it is just me and my furry boys. Being a single parent, my boys were for the longest time one of my main focuses; in fact the most important focus. I really felt sad and yes sorry for myself around Christmas time. Spending New Year’s Eve alone, not by choice but by COVID circumstances culminated in a floodgate of tears that night. What a way to start the year! Sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. Great.
Thankfully, that didn’t last long. Seeing Mathias being so excited by his new adventure and the progress of his own journey was inspiring, this brought gratitude slowly but surely back to the fore. As I grabbed my paints and brushes a few days after his departure to complete a painting that I had begun a few days prior, my overall sense was of pride and gratitude.
My best paintings are painted with my gut and emotions, as opposed to my brain. In fact, when I try to paint with my intellectual side, it is usually horrid. My day job is all about planning, strategizing, analyzing, and executing. All the time. But, when I paint, it is all about letting go, taking down these conventions, and letting the creativity juices dictate colours and strokes. I honestly think this is one of the reasons why I love painting so much, it forces me to connect with my emotions and get out of my head. Lord knows, I spend way too much time in there!
As I was letting go and thinking about my boys, magic just happened, magnificent red birds - or representations of them - emerged, flying away from the nest in a setting of hope and adventure. A peaceful setting where a new chapter is emerging with hope and excitement. And so, when I do feel sad about my empty house, I call my dogs over for some furry love and go back to that feeling of gratitude that all of them are living wonderful adventures, and so am I!