Willow in the Storm

I am so full of this BIG Fearless  painting process. ( I can’t seem to make the link key work today so here’s the link: http://www.dirtyfootprints-studio.com.)

Moving my painting into manifestation thrills me. What I mean by that is  ” I love working BIG! ” And what I mean by that is I’m thrilled with large paper, poster paint, clunky brushes and the absolute freedom to “move” my painting into being. Not fine motor skills but the grosser ones. My whole arm slashing across the page to re-experience my memory of climbing a willow tree as a summer thunderstorm came on.

Yesterday, I began this painting to portray my memory as a ten year old of climbing the willow in my back yard to escape from my parents’ arguing. Thunder rumbled but I didn’t care. I had to get high into the arms of my beloved tree. I knew it was dangerous to be IN a tree, let alone near a tree, when it was lightning. But I didn’t care. I also felt safer there than in the house.

I remember the feeling of dashing out of the house and scrambling up the trunk, I don’t know how. I slash in the ground of the painting. The back door takes a moment to slam shut and that’s why there is a slash of yellow reaching toward the tree. The actual act of painting is ferocious because that’s how I remember feeling…a huge desire to protect myself and get away from the chaos inside. I paint the trunk and some branches for where my feet would go to climb up. I know there should be a fence beyond the tree with bushes against it and a house behind it, but I focus simply on scrumbling in the angry sky and ground. I don’t care that a lot of the preliminary branches are obscured by the sky.

I quickly paint me clinging to the trunk, then begin the process of the willow branches. I love love love all the stroking, arcing and slashing and feeling those limber branches coming alive through my hand and brush. I feel cocooned again by that tree 60 years later!

I want the tree to glow because she’s magic in my memory. So I think the painting is done as you see it here:

But wait, I return to study it several times before I go out for the evening and realize it’s not finished. I want to darken the tree and bring on more of the storm. So this first painting becomes a two step process. Today I begin my waking hours by returning to it and I’m thrilled with the darkening, the intensifying of the storm:

Stay tuned for the next installment in a day or two. I still need to paint the “magic” of climbing the willow in a storm.

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About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
This entry was posted in mystery, truth, wonder and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Willow in the Storm

  1. thanks for sharing this Deborah, your story was so well written I felt I was you. And the painting is fabulous….as usual.

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    • Deborah says:

      Oh golly, Linda. Thank you. Headed off to the painting board shortly to zoom in closer to my subject and see what I can learn NOW all these years later. Hey, I shared your mandala book in a mandala class on Thursday!!!

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    • Deborah says:

      Thank you thank you Linda. I had the opportunity to share your book in a mandala class yesterday! I think more mandala work – both painting and teaching – is in my future. I love it so and thank you for inspiring me.

      Like

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