48x48 Golden heavy body acrylic/ hi flo. Glitter/ Art Resin. Ready to hang.
The more sad and contemplative I am the bigger and brighter I make my art. As if a large block of swirling color will make sense of my thinking and lessen my anxiety. It felt powerful and satisfying, throwing all of this paint down. Because when I’m throwing paint down the only thought in my head is where it is landing. It’s the only drug I have left.
Nobody talks about how crazy they feel. Not enough. We have been exposed to so many millions of advertisements and brands throughout our lives that we have simply become it in many ways. Living an Earth life like it’s a magazine page.
I’m writing a book. And I am not a martyr for my creative work but I spend a great deal of time thinking about how the older I get, the younger I was - that I am somebody's daughter. It really trips me up. I am dead clear that my reason for survival and growing into the talent to express my story at a large scale is the only reason I am still here. It is my debt. The courage to share my story and message that there is another side no matter how deep you go into the dark is the cost of the beautiful life I get to live today. The fear - of rejection - of being called names - of hurting people - forms like a mushroom cloud in my mind often. I want to give up and stay silent. I want to hide from my own words and pretend it isn’t important. I want to just let it all go and move on. A few times a day I make this decision. Then I continue writing. Something far beyond me pushes me to just begin again.
Drugs were really fun but my life being a nightmare that I barely existed in was not and after so many years the latter definitely outweighed the fun or perception of a special identity. The only reason I got clean in the first place was so that I could have a voice. Every single other thing and person, place, and freedom is a bonus. I can stand up for myself. I respect myself. I make things. I care about people and they care about me. I have love, and I give love - and I’m not so wrapped up in consuming what I think might make me look cool that I can be vulnerable with that expression.
Lately, during these gloomy California early summer days, my thoughts are like a bomb - that in this work I have chosen a rainbow palette. Because my job - in whatever form I choose - is to bring light to this place. Through the medium of art and storytelling. Through empathy and discipline, humor and connection. For me the bigger the light, the bigger the shadow, but the bigger the magic too. It is still a daily practice of balancing out those three frequencies and not getting stuck in just the illusion of one. I have to take obnoxiously good care of myself to have the stamina to sometimes hit a balance where I can create what I feel and say what I mean.
It’s fine to not be ok and it’s even better to put language and art to it. Because who the fuck is ok these days?
Last week I bought the most beautiful blue Mustang. Her name is Mariposa after the Morpheus butterfly because they are both blue and black. I call her Mazzy for short because I had an all-out bawling session driving out of Phoenix listening to Mazzy Star - desert highways just do that to me. After I got out of the desert I took the 78 south through dozens of farms. I was listening to the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The most astounding line of that entire book, though there are many - one of the best and most important I have ever read - is - “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
I ask myself that about ten times a day. Usually, I don’t want to have courage I want to have a $7 iced coffee and no obligations for 29 uninterrupted days. The only things I pray for are willingness and alignment, and on some days, despite myself, those two things come within a close enough scope of each other for me to catch it - paint it, write it, and put it out into the world.
That is big magic. So just as there are moments where I am afraid and stuck and fearful I will never live up to my greatest potential - there are also moments of coasting with the top down and remembering that even if I feel like hell - I’m still free, and that isn’t where I am. I will always be free, and the only one that puts me in hell these days is me.
This painting is a celebration of getting past the difficult parts of the anxieties of current life in this place and time. A visual of the alchemy that is bending pain and fear into light and hope once more.