I could talk about it, or I could paint about it. So paint I did…
Indeed, this was a stretching exercise for me. I’ve drawn using various mediums since I was a kid, but painting has been a virtually untouched medium for me. I was discovering the seemingly limitless world of Acrylics mostly as I went. Thankfully I was blessed to have the support and supplies of loved ones.
The Catholic Foundation has done a competition for Artists for the past 6 years. This time I actually found out that I hadn’t missed the deadline about a week or two out. So I started to toss around ideas of subject matter. Should I go edgy – do an urban jungle? What is appealing to those who will be judging? Then it came to me…for centuries Artists have been expressing their emotions in their work. This could be used not only as an opportunity to express some of my grief, but also to pay tribute to my beautiful Mom.
The painting is entitled “Cloud Dancers.” It was inspired by my Mom’s love for Angels (she has left us a huge collection of them) as well as her love of dancing. I always loved watching her and my Dad dance- to think of it still makes me smile – how they glided almost over the top of the floor, embracing each other, in the rhythm of the song, smiling…
To finalize my composition, I took my sketch book to St. Catherine’s adoration chapel 5 days before the deadline, and I asked Mom and the Holy Spirit to guide me. How do you look now? How do you want to be represented? I kept coming back to Degas’ dancers, and various pictures of angels and dancers.
I picture her now running across the clouds, using her legs like they had never not worked. She is in her prime, experiencing more joy then my heart could know this side of heaven.
Here are a few notes from moi, the Artist:
My Mom is the yellow figure in the middle – such a bright and joy-filled Spirit.
Mike’s brother, Tony, who passed away in his early 20’s is on the left. His pointed finger leads us upwards to the Father.
And on the right, is my beautiful Grandma, Luisa Sanchez. She was such an example to me, and many, of unfaltering love.
It’s amazing how a piece of art can not only reveal what is in our hearts, but can also help us to also get in touch with what it is feeling. So even if my painting is not selected and my Mom doesn’t dance on a mural in the Dallas Art’s District, nothing is lost. I have pushed past where I was: In my art, in my expression of self, as well as where I was in my emotional life.
This painting gives a message to her too. “I love you Mom. Keep dancing on the clouds for me until we meet and dance together again…”