Art has always been a central building block of my identity; one of the few constants in a ragged and sometimes cruel existence. It’s the thread of gold that weaves through the tapestry of my life as far back as I can remember. When everything is too heavy, I go to beauty as a resting place to find solace for my soul.
For most of my early life, people close to me tried to stifle and suppress the exuberance and vivacious nature of my spirit. I experienced disdain, annoyance, and contempt from people I trusted and loved deeply. And of course religion, patriarchy, and respectability culture reward meek, mild submission over wild, bold power. I learned over time to hush myself. From a passionate force of nature to a non-threatening smiley sweetheart. I pruned myself back & clipped my own wings. Sometimes it was a matter of being included and accepted; other times it was for survival.
The part of me that creates beauty is also that scary, powerful part of me that “needed to chill out”, so long stretches have time have gone by without painting. I tried at various points over the years to begin a habit of creativity, but the chains of shame and unworthiness were too heavy. This has led to many frustrating starts and stops. I’ve made many paintings that didn’t represent my creative heart. Beauty and joy were longing to breathe free, but felt trapped inside my fear and anxiety.
Creating anything is an act of courage. As I’ve slowly healed from the wounds of the past and shifted to a new narrative in my life–a narrative of freedom, power, and playfulness without shame–I’ve found my creativity beginning to blossom. I’m painting, and now I see myself in the beauty on the canvas. I still feel nervous every single time I approach the easel or sit down on the floor to play with colors and lines. It feels like a victory when I see a piece starting to come together.
I believe that my paintings will be an infusion of courage and liberation to those who need it. I hope that when you look at my art, you feel hope, peace, and exuberance. Know that you, too, are free to be at peace, to play, and to feel joy.
You can follow my creative journey on Instagram: @rosegwynnart