I am my art

It is mid-July, all the stores, hair salons, restaurants, and most everything else shut their doors in Los Angeles due to the pandemic in mid-March. That was 4 months ago. I was scheduled to do my art show, ‘Begin Again’ on March 18th which got cancelled due to Covid-19. I have an inventory of tank tops, metallic prints and original paintings that are stored at my house waiting for that show to be rescheduled. But when the show does get rescheduled, I know my show will be renamed, ‘Begin Again, and Again and Again!’ Because I feel like I have changed so much during these last 4 months.

I feel like I was so naive when all of this started. I focussed on working out, deep conditioning my hair and skin, and learning how to do my own nails. As the months went on my enthusiasm for these things faded. I became melancholy and lonely. I stopped creating for a few weeks, which scared me at first because I really had no desire to paint anything. I would try and create one of my long legged power girls with her platform shoes and I would feel like I was going through the motions.

I took a break from creating and instead I spent my time taking long walks and staring out into the ocean. When the beaches reopened from being closed during the beginning of Covid-19 I would go lay in the sand in the afternoon. I would put on my Bose noise cancelling headphones and listen to music and fall asleep. The soft sand beneath my body, and the warm sun would lull me into a deep sleep, and I would wake up and not know where I was.

The days all ran together of working from home, working out, laying on the beach and taking long walks. I wrote in my journal every morning as I watched the sun rise above the palm trees, and listened to the sound of the ocean. What direction was I going? I had no great desire to do anything but listen to music and sleep. I tried not to force myself to create though, I let myself just be in a state of limbo, which is a really hard place for me to be. I felt my life transforming around me and inside of me.

As June rolled around and Los Angeles started opening up I thought maybe human connection would give me the energy I needed to move me out of my life of music and napping. So, I accepted an invitation to watch the sunset with an online acquaintance which turned into a brief romance.

It was the first romance since my divorce. It was exciting but also confusing for me as I wasn’t sure what I wanted from it. I liked his companionship but I also felt like whatever he did it wasn’t enough to fill the void in me. I contacted him frequently and was overly enthusiastic and I knew that my actions were not that attractive. But I did it anyway, almost knowing I would drive him away. And I did.

I felt a small contentment inside of me to be alone and adrift again. It was the state I was used to being in, so I knew how to navigate it. Of course I was hurt from the ending of my brief romance, but I also felt relief that I didn’t have to put myself out there anymore. I didn’t fight to keep it going, I let him go and thanked him for giving me the push I needed to move in a different direction.

I started taking long walks again and staring at the ocean but the difference is I had companionship. I got a puppy! And I took him in a backpack on my walks. He was happy and loving, and he made me smile. I enjoyed taking care of him, and even cleaning up after him. I wondered if he would disrupt my life, but he actually added to it, and made it better.

When the puppy would take his naps I had the urge to create again. And I started creating women’s faces that had their mouths slightly opened as if about to say something. I turned on soft music and painted for hours. I fell in love with my new art style and the void I felt slowly started to go away. I felt love, I felt desire, I felt connected to the world again.

My desire to create was back in full force, and as always I like to share my art. So, I posted my new women to Instagram. I created 5 new paintings, and all 5 of them were purchased, which wasn’t my intent in creating them. Actually it was hard for me to part with them, but I knew that my art really doesn’t come to life until it connects with other people. And the ultimate connection is someone wanting to have my painting in their home. But not only in their home, in their own creative space to inspire them. That is everything to me. My heart and tears went into those paintings, and now they are being healed with love.

I found my way again. I feel a flow in my life again. My art and my life are connected again, and I can’t wait to sit down and create more beautiful women’s faces. I am in love again, but not with a man, with my art. That is why when I post my paintings on Instagram, I wear minimal clothing because there is an intimacy in creation. I am my art, and me showing myself as vulnerable while holding my paintings, is the message I hope to convey.

These last 4 months have not been a straight line of discovery, but a messy curvy line that I have let myself follow and have faith that I will come out the other end. I feel stronger for it. As the cases of Covid-19 increase in Los Angeles, and everything shuts down again I know that I have many more changes inside me to come. I feel fortunate that I have my art to express myself, and that I can connect with others through this medium.

I wonder who I will be by the end of the summer. I wonder what inspiration or doubts await me. I feel it all in front of me like I am walking into a mist, but I am not afraid. Whatever changes await I will translate into art and put out into the world and share. My art is my way to say ‘I feel you, we are all in this together, and it will all be ok.’

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