Out of the Indigo: Healing through Art
The theme of my artwork is transformation – the transformation of something painful into something beautiful. I have struggled with chronic tendonitis and nerve pain in my arms from a sports injury for many years. As an artist this challenged my ability to create, but I discovered that I could paint with less pain by using watercolors on Yupo.
Through art I began to acknowledge the pain, and the abstract paintings convey my process of emotional healing over the past year. For the first time, I confronted my frustration and sense of loss – my struggle with pain, my dislike of my arm braces, my longing to play the cello again, and my resentment of tennis, the sport that triggered my tendonitis. Yet upon completing these works, I was surprised to find beauty in each one of them. In the two smaller works, I explore the painful areas in my hands, recognizing their intricate design. In As They Are, I appreciate the beauty in my hands despite my injury. In Jars of Clay and Life Within, I acknowledge the fragility of human life. Psalm 46:10 states “Be still, and know that I am God.” In the painting Be Still, I ultimately find comfort in the fact that God is in control.
The dominant colors in my work are indigo and Payne’s grey. I was inspired to paint with the color indigo after viewing the work of Karen Shea, a Charlottesville artist, whose stunning watercolors feature only two colors: cobalt blue and indigo. In her art she responded to her friend’s cancer and her own struggle with the disease, which took her life four years ago. The deep blues in her paintings intrigued me and I began to use indigo with Payne’s grey to convey sadness and pain in my own work. By painting with these colors, I discovered that they possess an intense beauty that I cannot move away from.
Through my art I have discovered a beauty that comes out of the indigo, and have come to realize that my life rests in hands greater than my own.
Mixed Media on Yupo, 9 x 11"