Behind the Veil
These paintings are part of a series called Behind the Veil, where I love to explore all the facets and beauty of women. There is so much about women that is compelling and interesting, from a baby girl to the elderly, you can find softness and hardness, the faces will be smooth and young, or wrinkled and aged, with a story to tell all their own. I find great pleasure in trying to tell our stories through my art.
The Shiver... is my story of days in every life of girl or women when life just seems cold, and unwelcoming shivers of cold run down the spine. Some days the reason for the cold mist is clear and recognizable, but other days it just claims us whether wanted or not.
This painting is close to my heart. It speaks of the bondage women endure under domestic violence and abuse. It is about the turmoil, fear, and indecisiveness of the mind. I paint of courage to stand up, to resist, and most of all to escape with a fearlessness that will see them safely through to a new beginning.
There will always be poverty, abuse, and ugliness in our world. I don't hold out hope that there is a remedy for it completely, but a cure for many is possible. I do believe the hope comes from the good people that care. The individuals that love and wish for a better world for the abused. The hope comes from a community or the individuals that come to the aid of women facing terror and pain each day of their lives.
I have heard people remark, why do they stay, or why will they not just leave. Sadly, I have thought the same thing at times. I know from experience there can be a multitude of reasons one cannot or will not walk away. The solutions are as individual to the circumstance as the person, and each has its own set of bars that confine them to their prison of pain. We should never feel superior or condescending in our thoughts, but instead, we must help with respect and solid sources of strength. But how? That uncertainty I struggle against seems to spew forth in my painting. My thoughts and heart are in a turmoil over the magnitude of the problem. I ache from the grief of knowing words of encouragement didn't help. The heart cries out in pain, for the loss of another mother, another sister or daughter. The pain of that uncertainty throws a shadow on my soul!
I have had an ongoing dialogue with the women in this painting. I meant to paint her with anxiety and fear. But she has thoughts of her own that she tries to convey to me. One moment I see a flicker of anxiety. The next a steely determination, and then an uncontrollable hate. Her emotions spin in my mind's eye, one moment she is the abused and the next she becomes the abuser.
In this painting, my heart longs for a solution. I desire a sunrise and a sunset with days of happiness and escape from the prison of pain for these women. I long to see a smile of contentment on their face, instead of fear and anxiety. I have no answers! I just long for a better and brighter existence. Most of all, I wish I could wipe away that veil they hide behind that keeps the pain hidden. That veil of privacy that keeps them in bondage!
A woman has many days where they doubt themselves and all that they are and do! Society makes us feel that we have to be strong and perfect all the time, which leaves us with a head full of anxiety and worry. I say be the best you can be and no more and let those flutterings of doubt fly away and leave us with acceptance and peace in who we are each day.