Friday, January 30, 2009

Flying Girl Writes Her Fire in the Sky, or Keep the Flame Burning

Flying Girl Writes Her Fire in the Sky, or Keep the Flame Burning
1/30/09
Golden Fluid Acrylics, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils, White Gel Pen, Graphite on Paper 5x8"

Here Flying Girl is, made of flame. I wonder... does she recognize that she is made of the same stuff as the sun?

Why do we not acknowledge what is wonderful about ourselves? Why do we devalue our talents, think they aren't worthy of attention, love or pay? Why do we look at our stories and only see what is lacking, what is imperfect?

Today at naptime, I sat down in front of the computer, and felt guilt. I was going to be wasting my time, I thought, I was going to be doing nothing... when the truth is I am building something, I am saying something, I am making something. I find I do the same thing when I am parenting, wondering what's wrong with me when I am tired, when I've really done "nothing" all day. I don't recognize what I am giving, just what isn't done. Even if I'm writing a novel and painting everyday and raising kids and trying to build a business and just going about my regular business of living.

I see this too when I think about my friends' insecurities or in some of the projects going on around blogland, like in the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book club.

It's funny also that the Illustration Friday Prompt for this week is "Flawed," because it so fits into the meaning of this painting. Yet, I don't want to submit this for that theme because I feel like it doesn't fit quite right, because it's forcing the theme, but the truth is, this is the issue. Our feelings of being "flawed" of not being good enough, or not being real artists or worth being paid, they are false. We are perfect just the way we are.

Here Flying Girl is, as perfect as the sun, and I don't know if she recognizes it.

When I was painting it, I kept singing that Bonnie Raitt song, Luck of the Draw, with the lyrics that go
These things we do to keep the flame burning
and write our fires in the sky.


I used to sing that song as I bartended, thinking only about how far I had to go and how much I was sacrificing. I never thought that I was perfect just the way I was. I never thought that I was already there.

(If anyone is wondering about my first representation of a black FG and how I overcame my struggles with making one... I just thought about one of my dear friends and made this FG represent her. She's a thousand miles away from me right now, but still one of those people who act as a touchstone for me.)

11 comments:

Juliet Colors said...

That is a gorgeous piece of art. I love it. Your words are wise too. I have been thinking along the same theme lately. This difficulty in seeing what I do right instead of what I do wrong is so very hard to resolve.

Genie Sea said...

I love the intricate design of the landscape reflected in the sun, and the sun rays reflected in her hair.

I think we are taught at a very young age not to toot our own horns and to be "modest". There is a happy medium between arrogance and self-effacing humility.

jumbleberryjam said...

This is truly beautiful (as your words and works always are). Would you mind if I featured this image on my blog in the near future? It really touches me as a Brigit image for me this Imbolc (2 Feb).

cliodhna said...

beautiful painting! and I like your thoughts about the guilt... it gnaws away at the inside of us to keep us small!

lingtze aka tamaow said...

love ur painting! meoww~~

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

What a wonderful painting and accompanying words. I was mulling over this exact problem in my morning pages. I was wondering how to stop devaluing myself so i don't pass this madness on to my children. I know where I am and where I want to be, just not how to get from here to there. Any suggestions?
And I love Bonnie Raitt and all of her songs. I just might have to listen to her tonight.

D'Arcy said...

the sun is quite a fearless being. engulfed by flames and heat and passion. can't look at it without some side effects. and yet. i admire it so much.

Querulous Squirrel said...

Stunning. The flames look like watercolors. You are so excellent using mixed media. I'm dabbling in art again, and former oil painter, and wouldn't know where to start.

Son of Incogneato said...

Wow, great stuff! Aboriginal, dreamtime. Fantastic colors.
- Son

mapelba said...

Perfect the way we are--why is it so hard?

That picture burns right off my screen by the way. Beautiful job.

differenceayearmakes said...

Beautiful. I love seeing flying girl evolve. And you're so right about how we too often think about what isn't right instead of what is. It is a constant struggle.

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