Why I Paint

Ready to Grow; 2014; 11" x 15"; mixed media: watercolor, pastel, charcoal.

Ready to Grow; 2014; 11″ x 15″; mixed media: watercolor, pastel, charcoal.

I could feel the withering of a parched spirit. Aching to reach into the abstract, into the transcendent. To stretch with all my might and drink of the invisible.

As of Sunday afternoon, it was my longest break from painting in more than a year. During the previous few weeks, the tactile world around me overflowed with color and texture, splashing both horror and wonder over my senses. The squalor of too many people confined in the crumbling by-ways of Cite Soleil; brilliant colors of buckets, art, and fabrics in the streets of Port au Prince; barren mountains giving way to dusty green of Haiti’s central plateau.

As well as what I could see, hear, taste, and smell, ethereal qualities of courage and joy also played my heart like harp strings.

I struggled to welcome these many seeds asking to take root in nutrient-dense but compacted soil.

It was time to hold that brush again. To watch the colors flow, blend, rise and fall like the memories and emotions of my heart.

The soil of my soul is damp and fertile again today. I am ready to grow.

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