These poems and artwork are a part of a very personal series. As a child I was in foster care, and as an adult, I have used art and poetry to heal from personal trauma and the effects of my experiences. I have created beautiful colors and stories in times of anxiety, grief and sadness. These paintings represent my own story, which has been hidden for so long, and represents my precious sense of self as I grow and change.
Nature is at the root of my artwork. There is a life, vitality and spirit that I want to bring out with color, lines and patterns. Flowers have many layers, and their soft, crisp petals represent what is hidden and sacred. Yet flowers bear fruit and connect the world around them. For a long time, I have been painting red flowers from my imagination. They are precious flowers and represent a hidden beauty behind the survivors of trauma. The red anemones represent the precious things and memories I have lost as a young person who had to process too much, too soon. I have used the tears of heartache to water and nourish myself. I take comfort in nature and natural elements. With each layer and detail that I create, I hope to spark and inspire, beauty, wonder, hope and creativity. There is a balance of darkness and light. An expression of spirit and emotion.
Trees have always fascinated me. Their roots run wild under and above ground. There is a life and strength budding from inside of the bark. The warrior spirit of a tree is inspiring to me. We think of trees as brown bark, but if you look closely, you will see moss and life sprouting everywhere. Other life is intermingled with shades of green, blue and red. Spanish moss hangs down. Palm leaves surround. Squirrels jump branch to branch. There is beauty in all the shades of browns and greens. Trees experience life and death and are renewed again with leaves and fruit. The rings inside of their spirit tell their age, but also their story. The way that light reflects off their leaves brings in new hope, not hope for something new, but hope that something that already exists can continue to be.
Personally, fall has been marked as a season of shedding dead leaves. I have had to reexamine my own life to deal with anxiety and trauma that I never had the opportunity to admit I experience. I have been through a lot of experiences that have affected my motivation and self-esteem. Still, there are secrets that have been kept from me, and many unknowns still exist. But with therapy, and support from my husband, I feel like I can share parts of my story. There are sad parts, painful, dark parts. But my hope is that my story and my art can provide hope and light and understanding to people who need understanding and encouragement.
Nature has a cycle of hibernation, death and rebirth. I use the warmth of the sun to heal and spring forward.
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