This a series of paintings I made representing my past, my present & my future. These paintings were made as a challenge my art therapist made for me. I had been talking to her about my feelings and what I have had to go through in life. She had this set of Soul Cards. Each card had unique art on it made by an artist named Deborah Koff-Chapin. You can see pictures of various Soul Card and the work Deborah does on her website, http://touchdrawing.com/ So anyhow, back to my process. My art therapist asked me to pick out 3 cards that represented my past, present & future. I picked out 3 cards based on the art and how I related to it. Then she said my challenge was going to be to make my own series of paintings using the cards as inspiration.
So these are pictures of the 3 Soul Cards I chose:
What spoke to me most about this card was the position the person is sitting in. It looks like they are trying to hide or shield their body from being hurt.
In this card, I saw a person confronting themselves. Looking in a mirror, taking a personal inventory and coming to terms with where they are at in life.
In this card, I saw freedom. I saw freedom entering the person’s life through their mouth, through speaking their truth, through honesty.
Here’s my Past painting, titled, “Be a Good Girl”
It says “Be a Good Girl” which is something I heard a lot when I was little. I heard it from my abuser mostly, but also from my parents, teachers and church. I used the same basic position that the person in the Soul Card was in, but rather than just painting the person, I filled in the body space with word describing my past. It might be hard to see in this photo, but in the center of the body, there is a fire burning with barbed wire running through it. That represents the physical pain I felt during the sexual abuse, as well as the physical pain I still deal with.
Here’s my Present painting, titled, “Facing Myself”
I don’t really like this painting turned out, but I like what it represents to me. In this painting, I’m looking at myself and the silver hand prints represent how I feel stuck behind a mirror, just watching the outside world go by. But basically this symbolizes the self reflection process that I’ve been going through in therapy, especially during this past year.
And now for the Future painting, this is titled “My Freedom”
I really like this painting, both in the way it was done artistically and in what it means to me. The girl represents me, and the bird flying out of her mouth represents me speaking my truth, being honest, real and peaceful. The bird also represents freedom.
The freedom is within me and I’m finally able to access it, live it and breathe it.