It was Wednesday, January 6th of this year and the U.S. Capitol was under siege. Thousands of right wing protesters were bashing their way into the Senate Office Building, leaving a wave of death and destruction in their wake. Terrified legislators went into hiding. The nation watched in horror while the pro-Trump hooligans had their way with the precious historic building that is our Capitol.
The next morning I got up with a mission. I headed to my studio determined to soothe my eyes and my soul. I would paint, and that hopefully would ease my angst over the disgraceful - and deadly-- behavior of the rioters the day before.
I opened the cabinet in my studio and reached out for paints without even looking at what colors I was choosing. It turned out to be yellows and white. I smiled. Eggs. That felt soft and reassuring. Using my old credit cards (instead of a pallet knife), I started layering the paint on the canvas. I told someone later that it felt like I was layering thick frosting on the canvas. The paint had a buttery feel and it eased my soul to slide it around, making waves and lines and peaks and curlicues. Soon I was done. It had been fun, but I had no sense of whether it was a strong painting.
I got reactions soon enough. My dear poet friend Nancy Dunlop wrote to tell me how much she loved it; she saw galloping horses and other images in it. So inspired was she that she composed a mythic tale about the painting. Another friend, Renee Pettit, composed a clever journal entry.
Once again, art came to the rescue, comforting us as we struggled to make sense of the vicious mobs and their rampage through the Capitol. I called the painting "STUDY IN EGG YELLOW I."
So now, I find myself in need of comfort once again. Recently I have been struggling with persistent anxiety. No matter that I do deep breathing, yoga, tapping, chanting and yoga nidra, I am often walking around with a nervous stomach.
The good news is that I have a new doctor and she is taking a fresh approach to the situation, revising my medication and encouraging me to start doing the things I love. Like paint.
So yesterday, I painted "STUDY IN EGG YELLOW II." I chose to do another painting in egg hues because I find the colors so soothing. So sunny and life-affirming. I also found out a couple of weeks ago that my earlier egg painting is one of my son Noah's very favorites. He just bought a house in Denver and while visiting here, he wanted to take it home with him.
I hesitated. No, I told him, you can't have it yet, I'm not ready to let go of that painting.
So now here is number II.
When I go to Denver for a visit next week, I will bring Noah one of the egg paintings. I am so grateful for the comfort and inspiration that painting offer. And I'm grateful to my doctor for nudging me back into the studio!