I recently found the first painting I ever worked on. It's a purple flower on a huge piece of scrap wood. I remember the day I painted it in my parent's basement, I was
12 or 13 years old. I scratched into the wood with a screw driver and painted over the scratches with my Mom's craft paint. I formed a flower and made marks. I loved every minute of doing it. I remember feeling like I never wanted to stop. Painting very naturally became my reprieve from the noise of the world. That's still true today. Maybe even more so.
I was surprised to find this painting in my Dad's basement a few months ago. My brother's and I were cleaning out his house because my Dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly. Over the holidays of 2019 we had to bury my father, clean out his house and wrap up his affairs. His death conjured many memories of my mother's passing 20 years prior.
One of the last conversations I had with my Dad was about how he didn't know how to do anything other than work. He didn't know what he "liked" to do. When he was had open spaces of time he felt overwhelmed, and I understand that feeling. The only difference for me is that I fill that space with painting.
I use painting to process my emotions. To grieve, to rage, to recoil...to begin anew.