About two years ago I found myself searching for a new way to approach my art. I knew a change was necessary but I just didn't know how to initiate it. Simultaneously, I was also searching for a doctor who could help my youngest daughter. She was born with a rare genetic condition that affects the formation of her joints and she needed a specialized surgeon who could stabilize her knees and feet and, most importantly, one who was familiar with her condition. After 10 years of searching, I eventually found him, but he was clear across the country in Florida. As we made the necessary preparations to visit this doctor, I stumbled upon an online artist's community (Art2Life) that offered up all sorts of new ideas and approaches to making art. I was excited at the prospect of finding what I'd been searching for on multiple fronts.
Our meeting with the surgeon was promising, as he had successfully operated on many patients like my daughter and was confident he could correct her issues. However, the road would be long, requiring multiple surgeries with months and months of healing. As I sat on the homeward bound flight next to my sleeping daughter, I was filled with fear. A fear that, despite all my research, forced me to question if this was the right path for her? Was this the right doctor? Was there some stone out there I'd left unturned? I looked around the plane at all the passengers and thought, "Look at all of us way up here in the sky. What a leap of faith it is that we step onto this airplane, feeling confident that it will safely take us where we hope to go." That's when I realized that the last piece of the equation I was trying to solve was faith. There's a point when all the preparation, practice, and training can only take you so far, and the rest is left to faith. Faith was where I was going to need to reside if I was going to take this journey with my daughter.
It was on this journey home that I imagined my next painting. I wanted a way of expressing this leap of faith that we all take at various points in our lives. I'd been saving vintage photos of female Olympian divers from the 1930s and realized a series inspired by these divers would be the perfect way to express all that I was feeling. I painted these women in various states of suspension in the air; women who had let go of the safety of the edge. I was able to explore this theme with my new art group who helped me push myself to use new mediums and attempt different approaches. It has been an exciting free fall.
I'm pleased to write that my daughter has since had three successful surgeries with her surgeon in Florida. It hasn't been easy, and she's had to be incredibly brave. She too has had to put immense amounts of faith in me and her medical team, that we have made the right choices for her. And as for those diver paintings, I just sold one out of the series. She was shipped, on a plane, a few days ago, to Florida, to a mother who found herself taking a leap of faith of her own.