behind the painting
A large tree can only grow when there is water. Drought forces the tree to search for deeper water. Even when the tree gets cut down, and only a dead stump is visible, new shoots will sprout at the merest sniff of water.
My dark night of the soul was a stage in my personal life when I went through a difficult and significant transition. All my life I felt as if I lived in a dark hole, with only the merest speck of light (hope) to keep me going.
But it became darker. The light became smaller. Eventually, the light was totally gone. My hope in hope had proved itself fallible. For two years I functioned like a robot, teaching class, painting and then crashing back into bed. I just lied there, staring at the ceiling.
I could not read, I could not pray, I could not believe. I wanted to die. I prayed that I would die.
the message of this painting
For two years all I read was; ‘And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.’ Ezekiel 36:26.
My heart was stone and stone does not allow light through. It had been shaped and built into an impenetrable fortress. Nothing and no one was allowed inside.
I found the Light outside of me, not in me.
This was a new dawn and a new day. The beginning of a new, a true, hope.
Art is not about what you see, but about what you make others see.
I was born an orphan in a house full of orphans.
According to Wikipedia, an orphan is; someone whose parents have died, are unknown, or have permanently or emotionally (sometimes unintentionally) abandoned them.
They call it ACA...Children of Alcoholics.
If you grew up in an alcoholic home, you never know what to expect from one day to the next. When one or both parents struggle with addiction, the home environment is predictably unpredictable.
All my physical needs were met, but no spiritual or emotional needs. I grew up in a lake of bitterness and despair, with waves of resentment and storms of anger. Learned early on that I had to be strong and courageous as no one else was going to protect me. No one would stand up and ransom me. I had to be brave… Much later in life, I learned that each person’s name has a meaning. We are not named randomly. Every person’s name describes their calling. For example, Robert means, Bright Fame. Gary means Bold Spear. Niel means, Champion or cloud, and my name meant…