In 1987, my husband and I divorced. It was as amicable as is possible. He has been happily remarried for the past 27 years and I am on friendly terms with he and his wife.
At that time I made a very important decision. I chose to live and work in my 150 year old carriage house studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania – which at the time had electricity but no heat and running water.
I painted this large oil on canvas during this period, which symbolises for me the ending of one part of my life and beginning of another. I was forty-three years old. For the first forty years of my life, I was walking two paths….the first as a creative, and the second, trying to fit into a society which made very little sense to me.
In short, I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
Walking two paths caused me to suffer from acute anxiety, which I now understand will inevitably occur when we try to be something we are not.
I have always known that once I make a decision, I can get on with things. As the famous quote misattributed to Goethe says:-
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
Once I made the decision to be true to myself as a creative and let go of all the trappings (such a good word) – that’s exactly what happened – all sorts of events occurred that I could never have predicted, events filled with power and magic.
Large oil on canvas – symbolic self portrait – painted during this period.
It took one year to get heat and water into the studio…..it was the year I grew up and although most people thought I had gone mad – in fact I had gone sane….
So many stories to write about that year….it warrants a book, but let it suffice to say that it was the beginning of a new way of life and being and as soon as I made the choice/decision – all anxiety was removed.
Part of the studio after heat and water had been installed. (circa 1990)….this half was used for working and the other for living. The space allowed me to work on several large canvases at one time. …which in an ideal world is how I like to work.
I have had many studios over the years, however this one holds the most significance.