Monday, March 26, 2012

Bearing Witness: Painting in Progress

© 2012, R.L. Delight, Painting in progress.

Here is the painting I mentioned I have been working on, still in progress. It has taken me a while as I had to work up the composition from the sketch I had in my sketchbook and then I had to figure out how to do it. This is up to the point of the color block in but I realized the values of the beach and some areas on the figure are not even close. I need to work on those next. This is the first time I have worked completely from an idea I had in my head. It has been an interesting challenge.
This particular painting is very personal. I have had the sketch for it in my notebook even before I went to art school. I know the title but I am going to hold off on that until it is finished. I was browsing through a list of "local" calls for entries when I came across one that I knew I wanted to enter.
The name of the exhibit is: Bearing Witness: Healing Pregnancy Loss and Infertility Through the Arts.
The issue of pregnancy loss and infertility have long been a thread throughout my adult life. My husband and I started on this journey about 28 years ago. I am not going to go into details here but I will say it hasn't been an easy journey even though our life has gone on and has been quite good.
This is a subject not talked about. I have had some pretty stupid things said to me, the worst being by an incredibly insensitive female OB/GYN who quite frankly did not know what the heck she was talking about. I have many stories about the journey and I know others who have had the same experience probably do too.
I may not have living children but I have lost children and I am a mother. The painting is missing a crucial piece at this point, the image of the children. They will be going in. They might be on the other side but they are there.
I am aware that it is always hard to know what to say to women who have experienced miscarriage or infertility, or in my case, both. I have learned through experience that comforting words are hard to come by and the only thing a person can really say is "I am sorry for your loss." Just that, nothing else. It means a great deal.
There are so many rites of passage around motherhood as it is a fundamental part of being a female human. When you do not have children, you are more or less locked out of those rites. I have not had many women friends my age. I didn't avoid them but I just never had much in common with them as most of them have children and that is their focus is until the kids leave home, and rightly so. This issue goes far beyond the physical loss, it affects a woman for the duration of her life in so many ways. I am interested to see how the other artists interpret this journey. I have been on it a long time.
I will be working hard to get the painting finished this week. It has a ways to go but I will be focusing on it exclusively.
On a bit of a lighter note, I had a fantastic weekend. My husband and I joined with Sedona Fire, talented musical friends who write and perform beautiful music and we had our first performance with them this weekend. My husband plays trumpet/coronet, and I play the cello. I started playing the cello as an adult so this was my first public performance. It was a blast and the audience was warm and welcoming. If you click on the name above the link will take you to their website. If you click on the music tab you can hear samples of their music and buy their first CD too. We are working hard on the music and hope to join them on the next CD.
Life is good. I hope it is for you all too no matter what path your journey takes.


Dana said...

I can see where the vulnerability is coming in. Go Renee!

Theresa said...

Oh Renee, I AM so sorry. I can only imagine how special this painting will be when done. It already is. Beautiful soothing palette so far. It may change nothing about the way you feel and it may change everything. I hope in some way this beautiful creation will lighten the load
with the sharing of it. Thank you for this glimpse.

R. Delight said...

Thanks Dana and Theresa! I really do appreciate the warm support. This is harder to share than I thought it would be but I do believe it is important and, if it eases the journey for others as well as myself, then it will definitely be worth it.

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