In January 2017 a few things happen, on the same day, that wake me up to the fact that if I don’t continue expressing myself in paint, the Soul force of the human being that I am will start to fade. I will be living on the Earth, but I will feel less alive. I could castigate myself and ‘analyse for England’ about why I haven’t been doing it lately, blah blah… but I’m not going to. The past is past. What matters is now.
Later the same day that I get the wake up call, and decide to answer it, the Universe synchronously decides to give me a push in the right direction.
I take a walk to the pharmacy around midnight for Strepsils and on the pavement I see a huge sheet of foam board; Green Eat has thrown away one of their advertisements, it measures 1m by 1.20m, it’s white on the back-side, and although it’s almost bigger than me, I feel compelled to carry it home and make a painting on it.
It’s a strange surface to work on because it’s shiny and the acrylic paint wants to slide off, but it’s liberating to know that I’m using something found and giving it new life. And, the big size of the board gives me the courage to create from that exact moment alone… like I’ve got nothing to lose. My emotions. My dreams. The found object. The scary (to me at least) state of the world right now. My recent travels to high, windy deserts. The fact I’ll be turning 54 at midnight tonight, time is racing faster than I’d like it to, and I must keep trying to do what makes me feel most alive, no matter what.
So you can see the size, I joined the watchers for a moment.
There’s nothing wrong with being quiet, or even hiding, if we feel it necessary; David Whyte has written the most comforting and insightful piece on the subject of Hiding. He begins with the words, ‘HIDING is a way of staying alive.’ I know what he means. But, when the moment eventually arrives, and I feel the rush of energy required to open my mouth again, I think I have to speak up my way, without fear. I like to think that all the paintings I’ve made so far since 2010 and all the spaces of life journeying in between are somehow in this new work.
Well, so it is then. I have come out of silence for a moment at least. With the only voice I have, in the way that has meaning for me.
Wake up call (Acrylic on found foam board 100cmx120cm)
I would like to dedicate this painting to my dear friend Francesca Humphreys. When someone we love leaves the Earth, I like to think that their energy can combine with ours to make us more than we were before. Fran, because I knew you, I am more.
I’ll be super-happy if you share my work. Please use short quotes from the piece if you like and do share the images, but always always link back here:
For any other use, please ask me first.
See the progression of my paintings and drawings over the past 6 years here:
Photographed with an iPhone the colours can be compromised and small amounts of cropping can occur. The real paintings speak more clearly.
Share art, share <3.
© Sally Townsend Blake 2017