The Queens saved me

What if you couldn’t ask questions if you were confused? What if you couldn’t defend yourself if someone was treating you unfairly? What if you couldn’t cry when you were sad, or laugh when something struck you as funny?

Growing up the youngest girl in a family that I never understood and who never understood me, I created my own world.  I did this by drawing women that were sympathetic to my feelings.  When I was crying, they would understand. When I was weak, they would give me strength.  When I was angry, they would seek justice.

I relied on them to get through my childhood, but I abandoned them as I grew into adulthood. I replaced art with alcohol, and I started drinking to mask my feelings of confusion and isolation.

About a year ago after being sober for 2 years, I drew a woman for the first time in 30 years.  I drew a simple pen drawing of a lady wearing a wide brimmed hat in a summer dress. She looked me right in the eyes from the paper and asked, ‘Where have you been?’ And I was hooked again.

I started to spend entire weekends at my kitchen table with my pencil, paper and pens drawing woman after woman in different sizes, colors, outfits and with different expressions.  It was as if all the emotions of the last 30 years were being translated to paper in the form of women, and I was just taking notes.  

I posted my drawings on Instagram, and people liked them.  I started drawing illustrations for women that were in their likeness, which made them feel special and happy.  And it made me feel good that other people got as much happiness and joy from my drawings as I did.

I decided to open a store.  Within 3 days of opening the store, people started purchasing my illustrations. 

I loved creating these illustrations, but I felt like there was something else calling me.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was though, so I decided to experiment with painting.  I started creating acrylic on canvas paintings of women rather than drawing them. The painting felt right, but I needed a focus to propel me forward.

As I contemplated what I wanted to focus on, my women slowly started turning into Queens. As a child I instinctually drew women to fill a void in me of not understanding my mother, and not understanding myself. I created what I thought a woman should be, could be, or maybe what I wanted them to be.

The Queen represents the feminine energy inside of every woman. I wasn’t allowed to access that energy as a child.  And I watched as my mother disregarded her own feminine energy in favor of becoming subservient to my father’s masculine energy. 

But our feminine energy never goes away, it just lies dormant inside of each woman until she nurtures and protects herself enough to access it.   

This concept is so important to me, that I decided to create a series of Queens and create an art show. The Queens represent my imaginary world of feminine beauty where I found peace and safety as a child. With each Queen I created for this show, I turned my imaginary world that I used to keep to myself into a reality to share with the world.

I hope that my journey inspires others to reconnect with their lost feminine energy and harness it’s power.

If you are in the Portland Oregon area on July 25th, come see ‘The Queens’ at Nucleus Gallery 1445 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland OR 97214 from 6-9.

There will be print and T Shirt giveaways, a Queen Photo Booth (complete with a crown and fur), and a no host bar with beer, wine and cider. Please Join Me!

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    1. Thanks Heike! I am glad you liked this, and yes my art saved me. I created a whole other world with my women to escape to, and be powerful and also be understood. Love, Peta

    1. Thanks so much Jess. The Queens are a representation of feminine power. When we as women take care of ourselves and harness and use our energy and power we can do great things! Love, Peta

    1. Thanks Christina! Art is my outlet. It is my self expression, and the place I go to relax my mind. I am just so grateful that others like my art as much as I do!! Love, Peta

  1. I love what your art has given to you, Peta! So inspirational to me as I pursue my own art and writing. Bravo to you for being brave and putting your work out into the world … hope your art show is great fun and a great success! 😊

    1. Thanks Lauren! It is scary to put my writing and art out in the world, but so worth it! It has given me confidence not only in my creative abilities but in other areas of my life too! I feel so much more at ease in social settings, and talking to people because I am just being me, and not trying to hide behind anything anymore. It is an amazing feeling!

  2. Loved your post, love your story of your women and finding your good A again after giving up the bad A. Wish I could see your show in real life, so exciting xo

    1. Hi Rachael, I wish you could see my show too! I like how you used the good A and the bad A. You are so right!! For me, giving up alcohol was the only way I could access my artistic side. I know writers are notorious for being heavy drinkers, but I don’t know how they do it! I couldn’t write a thing when I was hungover!

  3. Oh wow! Your painting and words and story are drenched in heartfelt authenticity, longing, pain, acceptance, battles, triumph, discovery – a story so many people share but with circumstances as personal as their own fingerprint. I am so glad you shared this, and as I look into the eyes of your paintings it’s like looking into a whole different world. You are so talented! What a gift you have shared with us!

    1. Wow, thank you Amy. I love that you see a different world in my art because I also see a different world. That is why I began creating in the first place, to escape to that special world. It feels so amazing to share it with people that understand!

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