Wet Paint: Dimitte

I’m easing back into painting after I burned out finishing the deck of the mudra cards, with this little votive I started about 6 months ago. It’s about letting go of old relationships that are toxic; having compassion for yourself as well as others who have hurt you by forgiving and letting go peacefully. The Latin word “dimitte” means forgive and also release, so I thought it was the perfect title. Easier said than done some days, but always a good reminder to keep working on it. Happy Sunday!

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For Scott

For Scott

There is just no easy way to deal with death, whether it be after a prolonged illness or a sudden accident or suicide. The longer we live, the more of these incidents we experience and there is just no getting away from the pain. A month ago today, I lost a friend. He was a sweet, kind person who I shared a lot of laughs with and who was a good-hearted, hard-working man and a proud, loving father and partner.

I was not able to attend his services in another state and his presence has been heavy on my heart and mind the past few weeks. I wanted to pay tribute to his time here on earth, but it just didn’t feel right to do one of my day of the dead portraits. Maybe it’s because he was so young, or because he was gone so suddenly that it still does not feel real. Either way, I decided to paint this milagro to honor him instead, as my own way of coping and getting some closure. He was raised Catholic and I think that symbolism always stays with us, whether we practice the faith or not. The ascending dove is traditionally a symbol of the holy spirit and entering heaven and the olive branch a symbol of eternal peace. This is my wish for him. His good spirit and warm smile will be missed by many.

 

Sol Milagro

I just finished this small piece today as part of my Milagro series. “Milagros” (miracle in Spanish) are small charms that are used mostly in Mexican (but also in other Latin cultures) culture as prayer amulets. Each one represents an aspect that you want God to look after in your life; so a heart would be your love life or spouse, a car would be travel, a home would be your literal home or family life. It is a way of protecting yourself or the ones you love and they can often be seen nailed to wooden crosses combining all of the things you are praying for.

I really enjoy working on folk art inspired pieces because they make me break out of my Type A mold for a short time. Artisans are trained for generations to do these simple designs, and as basic as they look, they are really difficult for me to replicate because they are not uniform or symmetrical. I like painting in this way to remind me that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be meaningful to someone. I still remember visiting a Talavera shop with my sister in a tiny town in mexico and being moved by a simple design of a fish on some pottery. I have often tried to draw those fish and they never quite have the same feel as the ones in the store.

UPDATE: 2/11 This painting was sold at the ECHO charity auction. Hope it went to a good home- it’s always hard to part with a painting.