When I am working, I always ask myself "What is the purpose of making this painting? What message and energy will it carry? Does it have a reason for being?"
A reason for being is very important to me. There is always a connecting story in the series that I make. That is probably why there are sometimes months in between series. I have to be excited about the linking essence of each painting in the series.
The first 2 images below are from the series, "The Time of Witness" It took me deep into the lives of many of the strong Mexican women who live in my town. At the time I had a good Mexican friend , Maria Teresa, who had spent 25 years in the States, had been a navy nurse and had returned to Mexico to become more Indigenous every day. She was a practicing shaman and was the first person to tell me that what I thought I saw in the Mexicans' friendly faces was not the truth; they all wear an invisible mask. And they were not "monkeys in zoo" to be photographed, painted and their images made into postcards. Because she knew me and my intentions to portray the strength and wisdom of these incredibly strong women, Maria Teresa personally took me into the homes of several woman that she knew would be of interest to me, introduced me as an artist who was going to make paintings honoring them .
I saw situations I would never have seen without Maria Teresa. Some very poor homes, with dirt floors, no electricity or running water. What I did see was the pride and strength, particularly of the woman in the painting below and she became the star of my solo gallery show. This was the last painting I did of her that sold yesterday.
My soul is nurtured when a viewer reacts to my work with the same connection I felt while painting it and when they want to make that painting a part of their lives, it reassures me that I have spent my life doing the right thing working through the struggle to make my work have a reason for being.
The story of the butterfly painting was posted on this blog in 2012 http://eschwanwinding.blogspot.mx/2012/02/monarch-butterfly-sanctuary.html
|Strength of the Years, encaustic on board, 24" x 24"|
|El Mercado, encaustic on board, 24" x 24"|
|Monarchs in Mexico, carved encaustic on board. I had just returned from the Monarch sanctuary|