One of the most exciting days of my life was the day I found my creative voice. This day ranks as high as my wedding day and the birth of my son. Like those days, on this day I was transformed.
Though my husband and I were childhood sweethearts, our early marriage was a challenge. We argued all the time. And we both were strong willed and childish. I was sad because though we loved each other our marriage was full of conflict.
One night after a bath, I stood looking at myself in the mirror. I wanted to cry for my troubled marriage but I was all cried out. The tears would not come. I wondered how to get the pain out of me. Then, my inner voice said, “Paint it.” So, I took out the watercolor set my husband gave me years before and I started to paint.
As I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw a little girl in pain. A sad little girl who wanted genuine affection. For the first time, I painted with my heart and not my eyes. As I poured my emotions onto the canvas, I found my creative voice. It was dark, concentrated, abstract and sensual. But most of all, it was honest.
This painting liberated me. I still paint with the same honest emotion I found within myself 20 years ago. Although I have painted many paintings since this self portrait, “My Pain” will always be my personal favorite.