Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ready for Rebirth

24x18 oil on canvas
I was hesitant to post this because it is a very raw, very exposed view of myself for a show titled, The Tao of Duality : An Exploration of Self Portraits. This show runs till mid February but the curator told me the Brava theater might want to extent the time for this show for a couple of months.

Some of you recall I was pretty scarce on the blogosphere near the end of last year. This was painted during that time and when you read the following statement of the work which is posted next to the painting, you'll understand why. The ex during that time was especially challenging.

Ready for Rebirth Statement

This image is me without my body armor and uniform of my previous life. I am a middle aged woman who has found new life and new meaning in her art. I show you at my most vulnerable and raw state. The purple and yellow colors were an intuitive addition. As I studied it later, I think I unconsciously used those colors because of some basic police academy training. When someone is struck and injured, the area will swell with blood and discolor first with red. The next colors that appear during the healing stage are purple, blue, green and then finally yellow. So symbolically, though I have fairly new wounds from the daily dealings with my ex-husband and this new life of mine, I have many that are almost totally healed and thus I am ready for my rebirth as a new person.

I am still discovering this reborn woman and emerging artist. I am proud because so far she is turning out to be stronger than I ever imagined and has a lot of creative energy to let loose. I can hardly wait to see what the second half of my life brings.


I did attend the Artists Reception(my first) last Wednesday and really felt like a fish out of water. However, I was encouraged by several things. The painting and the accompanying pieces were on the opposite wall to the entrance. Of the three floors dedicated for this show, I was told that this is a prime location to have your work displayed. The curator told me there was a lot of conversation about my piece because of the statement and she encouraged me to continue to submit work for future shows. A person I love and trust encouraged me to share this with you and so here you go...




39 comments:

-Don said...

Sheila,
I see a woman embracing who she is, afraid of what could be, but bravely facing those fears in her desire to realize her dreams and ambitions.
Thank you for this self-portrait.
It's so raw.
It's so real.
And, it's so inspiring.
Soldier on, sister!
-Don

Cathyann said...

Welcome to your new life Sheila. This piece is your turning point. A giant step forward taken in revelation. Brave woman, strong, and generous, you are on the road to good things through your art.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Bravo Sheila! When you expose yourself, you gain strength. I believe a few more of your bruises have healed.

Kathy said...

Sheila, your painting is authentic and truly wonderful. I am deeply moved by your story. The trauma you have experienced is unspeakable, and your strength and determination to overcome it is inspiring. Keep going and keep painting your life. Big hug.

AutumnLeaves said...

Sheila, sometimes people forget that cops...and ex-cops...are human too and do indeed bleed when pricked. Even when a marriage is bad, once it ends there is much healing to be done. I am so glad to know that by your words you are looking forward to seeing what the next chapters bring. It is exciting, isn't it? I'm so proud of you for having your work shown in a gallery!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Thanks for sharing such an intimate side of your life. I like that you know where you are now, and your self portrait portrays that really well. When I look at it, I see a sense of "closed in", but the lines suggest a moving out. I think many of us would have a difficult time describing ourselves in our art. Its great that you have found yourself in your creativity and find yourself to be stronger. I know about ex's and how they can "suck the life blood out of you".
Aren't art shows great! Scary and fun all at the same time. Congratulations on the show.

Kaylyn said...

This is very powerful. Believe the curator when she tells you to do more! While its important to move away from the past, the knowledge, emotions, and images you hold from your experience add such richness and interest to your new path.

Go!

Dean Grey said...

(((HUGS))) Sheila!

I LOVE these!

The self-portraits are raw, primitive, and powerful!

I'd love to see these in person!

-Dean

Art with Liz said...

Thank you dear Sheila for the honour of sharing this with your blogging friends. To put yourself out in cyberspace like this was truly brave. And these paintings speak so much about you and your feelings - they are truly remarkable. A big hug from me. xx

Eva said...

I applaud your bravery for submitting this personal piece of art. It certainly expresses the feeling I had when I was in you place years ago. The good news there is more to life than the one you left behind.
Hugs

Dean H. said...

Hold on to your hat for the next 50! They promise to be extraordinary!!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Sheila, This is certainly a power self-portrait! Thank you for exposing and sharing your inner self! I agree, most inspiring!

Manon Doyle said...

Sheila...... these pieces are absolutely terrific! They are so powerful. I'm really taken by them.
You are a woman of strength, hope and belief. Remember that as you move forward!
This is a very inspiring post.

manon xo

Lokelani Forrest said...

It takes a brave person to dig down deep and look at oneself and you've taken that huge step. I applaud your bravery.

Sheila E. said...

A very powerful painting and a intimate glimpse of the beautiful soul you are! I love it and Thank You for sharing.

PAMO said...

Sheila- thank you so much for sharing this! I can see how personal it is for you- it has such power. I hear the strength in your voice and the healing in your art.

Mark Sheeky said...

Wonderful painting Sheila. I painted a lot of rebirth pictures last year after a some rather tumultuous months. Do try more! I'm now starting to explore paintings of control and mastery of my life. Oh, but you might be on those already... :)

billspaintingmn said...

Sheila, It takes courage to post this.
Please let me join in this group of people, to support you in your freedom from these injuries.
Your recovery is already evident.
I for one love you. I love your grasp for life and the promise you
give yourself to see a new day.
There is much care and support in these comments from your friends.
I hope to soon see you play ball
in your field on dreams :)

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I love how you're embracing your fears and just letting it happen on the canvas. This is moving, emotional piece and you should be proud of it! As for feeling like a fish out of water at the Opening - join the club. I always do, too! Keep on....

Jackie said...

First Congrats on winning at manon's blog. I found you through her and I find you transition from forensic artist to fine art so intriguing. Look forward to getting to know you :)

Hellenne said...

Bravo! I'm so proud of you!

Mary said...

Wow, even being in this exhibit is a real accomplishment, Sheila--then to get a prime location and such a good response--well, you are hot!

I deeply appreciate your sharing your vulnerability with us--you are strong, courageous, and inspiring. This is the work of a true artist--using your own life and emotions and yet emerging with a serious work that has universal appeal. Well done, indeed!

L.Holm said...

Powerful work, dear Sheila. Thanks for sharing your new life with us. xoxoLiz

Gary Keimig said...

I agree this is a powerful piece and the way you describe it makes it ever more so.
The rest of your life begins every day and I know from your site that you are strong of spirit and will persevere. I know that is what the show folks see in you too. No wonder they want your work to hang so conspiculously.

Celeste Bergin said...

Well, Sheila, I am very glad that you took your friend's advice. It is true that art-making can be so personal that we feel like we are flaying ourselves open for "observation"...but you (rightly) feel you are being healed by the undertaking of art --& it is much to your credit that you choose to share this in the exhibit as well as here--You don't know who you might reach with your words and painting. Someone may feel uplifted by your efforts...and just think of the positive contribution you are making to someone who will find courage in your words and painting to help them along with THEIR decision making. It's really a great thing to be an artist.

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Sheila, your ability to share so freely is one of the things that makes your blog and you so interesting! The artist receptions will get easier!

Nina E Jørgensen said...

I love this series. This is a very intimate story, its amazing how much of yourself you put in your art.

tsp said...

Sheila,

What strength and courage you possess. I am honored to be your friend and you inspire me to look deep into my own soul and face my own inner weakness and insecurity.
Thank you for sharing your life with me.
terry

JM said...

Hi, Sheila! Glad to know my photos can eventually inspire you on your paintings! :-) Feel free to use them and let me know. Cheers

Ann Gorbett said...

Beautiful and meaningful piece, Sheila. Wish I lived closer to see the show in person.

travelingsuep said...

Congratulations. It is an amazing self-portrait & it deserves to be hung.

r garriott said...

You are so brave!
And the best is yet to come for you.

Gwen Bell said...

Shelia...thank you so much for sharing this powerful post! It takes a lot of fearless self examination and growth to emerge even stronger than before and able to produce art this personal and strong. Congratulations on exhibiting it and sharing your inner beauty and struggle. You are a constant source of inspiration!

Edward Burton said...

Such a powerful piece, Sheila. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul.

sam said...

Great that you are painting in this way Sheila. Art can be very powerful and its great you are using it to express yourself.

Nicki said...

Hi Sheila,

Wow. This is powerful and I want you to know how courageous you are to share this intimate portrait and accompanying statement with us. I'm sorry things have been hard, but I am so happy for you that out of the darkness there is a light beginning to glow and you are healing.

Congratulations on touching so many people with this painting.

Nicki

maria kovalenko leysens said...

A powerful and strong piece...

Lindsay said...

What a meaningful post! You are very brave for sharing this and sharing the dark parts is what making are is about too! It's really nice to see all these great comments. You have touched so many!

Pat Burns said...

Sheila- I'm just now catching up and am so moved by your courage to expose your deepest feelings this way... it obviously has touched many people, myself included. Congrats on this art show and your new 'becoming'.