Story Bones

Story Bones
Acrylic on canvas
24″ x 20″

Taoists view the universe as the same as, or inseparable from, themselves…. what is important is to understand the winds, the tides, the currents, the seasons, and the principles of growth and decay, so that one’s actions may use them and not fight them.” — Alan Watts

There is a kind of envisioning developing in my work to see into nature and beyond the visible. My paintings now feel like stories to me to assist transformation. Influenced by my practice of yoga and meditation, I am opening even more towards eastern spiritual teachings. I begin this painting by laying down four colors. Each color represents a different chakra (Sanskrit for wheel, used to describe the main energy centers of the body). They move upwards from the heart to the crown, the space just above the head. It is the crown chakra that represents an oceanic feeling of oneness with the universe.

Once menopause hits there’s no way to deny your mortality. Your body is signaling you, calling you and telling you all kinds of things that you really can’t put aside. My artistic guides on this journey are Frida Kahlo, Posada and the Mexican skeletons from The Day of the Dead. In Story Bones my skeletons leap towards the moon, dance, create, and do yoga. Our own culture is phobic about death, but in the Mexican tradition you make fun of death, play with death, and accept it as a part of life.

The narratives developing in my paintings share perspectives from many sources. My art is often a precursor to understanding something that will later on appear more consciously–be it a myth or image from what Jung call’s the “collective unconscious.” Even words seem to grab me as “Story Bones” did for the title of this painting (coined by Clarissa Pinkola Estes). I’m amazed when I read something that resonates with what I have already created, and in several cases use words from other writers as titles for my art. My paintings feel like stories that come to assist me through the menopause passage.