As a general rule I try to keep things pretty light around here. I want this to be a pleasant experience for you and I realize that most people who find their way to my blog are here to know a little more about my work and the happenings in the studio. I think my work should speak for itself, and I tend to be a private person sharing the parts of my life I think are relevant to my work, but keeping the details of my personal life in the background so as not to distract or influence how people judge and view my work.
Today I will make an exception.
Today I will pull back a corner of the curtain to reveal a fraction of my soul. I have decided to do this because this is the same soul that produces the work you have come to know and also in part because I feel that I owe you some kind of explanation for the months of near silence…a silence accompanied by a vacuum so cold and empty that tears begin to fall if I dwell upon it for too long.
Wintertime here in Chicago is always a difficult stretch for me. The sun takes its leave and on the rare days we do see sun we are so bundled against the cold that our bodies don’t even know the rays have blessed us with their fleeting presence. This sunless period is not the cause of the darkness in my soul, but when life’s sky begins to cloud and difficulties rain down it certainly makes it seem near impossible for my feathers to shed those drops. My feathers are heavy and wet, and I’m tired.
This morning for the first time in months I cleared a space on my ever-cluttered desk so I could write…and weep, because that is what I need to do. I’m all over the place in this post, so please forgive me…I am just writing as I think.
For months I have been going through the motions in life, doing what had to be done to keep our home intact and functioning, but anything nonessential has been left to wait. Unfortunately this includes my studio time, and I hate that. I have filled my time with distractions of every shape and description and somehow have been able to justify this to myself.
The truth is I am lost and I am having difficulty finding my way back to my life and my self. I look like me, and sound like me, and have even painted on a smile because that is who I am to most people who know me and I don’t want to appear different, but in reality there is nothing underneath…I’ve checked out. This is a time that I need my artwork more than ever, but I have allowed my studio to sit forgotten and my soul is feeling the effects of that.
The “pink” in Pink Crow Studio is a direct and intentional reference to my mother. Being one of six girls I was somewhat of a tomboy growing up and for years distanced myself from those things that I considered too feminine, one being the color pink. As I grew into adulthood my thinking about "all things feminine" changed and I realized that some of the strongest, most courageous and most resilient people I knew were women. Slowly I began to allow the color pink back into my life. Around the time that I was trying to think of a name for the studio my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I watched the beginnings of her struggle I decided to fully embrace the color pink to remind myself of her courage and also to indicate my support for her in her fight. Many would see her today and argue that she had survived cancer, but those of us who know her see that it has beaten her, for the cancer brought with it a very stealthy and vile accomplice: depression.
When I was a small child my mom always told me that if we ever got separated and I couldn’t see her to stay right where I was and she would find me…and I knew without question that she would. Recently I have discovered that despite feeling a little lost myself, it has become my job to find my mom because right now she’s the one who cannot find her way. The dark clouds of her life have rained down so heavily that she is no longer on solid ground and the waters are rising rapidly. I know this perpetually fearless and joyful woman is scared and sad and she can’t find her way back to herself, but until now I didn’t notice her missing and so much time has gone by. I didn’t begin to look soon enough and she has started to wildly and desperately search; I am seeing her but she can’t see me. It pains my heart and soul so deeply to see the look of fear on her face, and to see her searching but not finding anything familiar to grab onto. I see her beginning to give up and I have to find her hand soon before the waters are too deep and she no longer has the strength to fight.
= I am coming Mom; I’ll be there tomorrow. =
If you have made it this far thank you for sticking with me…it really means so much to me. We will get through this but I know that in order to help my mom I have a difficult road ahead, so the studio may be quiet for just a bit longer. I think of the studio daily, and I think of my supportive friends and fans just as often with a heart overflowing with gratitude. The studio lights will be lit again soon, and these challenging times will make for some inspired work. Thank you for your unyielding support, and know that I’m sensing you out there and can not even put into words what that means to me…what YOU mean to me.
With endless love and appreciation-