As artists we paint ourselves into our paintings and in this painting I'm the woman on the surfboard in the sand. There's a lot going on in this work. Once again I'm addressing depression, fear, hopes and dreams, and also how we see ourselves when we look into the mirror.
I'll begin with depression, which I tend not to talk about all that much due to the stigma that comes with it. However, for me it's a fact of life that I'm constantly learning to deal with. In this painting the woman on the surfboard is at the beach to enjoy the sunny day. She has her beach ball, her dog, a basket with enough lunch to share, and she even brought her pet fish to also enjoy a day at the beach (no, I don't really have a pet fish).
She is aware of everyone around her having fun in the water and enjoying the company of their friends. She watches, wanting to join in and interact with the others, but that damn depression holds her back and her fear of the water (and not being able to swim). I read somewhere that depression is like looking through a thick sheet of plexiglass - you can see everything going on around you, but you're unable to participate due to the plexiglass holding you back.
I'm always dreaming, plotting and planning. Sometimes I'm fearful of not having any new artistic ideas and then being all washed up as an artist (again, not the surfboard stuck in the sand). The ideas always come, though, despite the fear. Overhead are birds that represent freedom and how happy I am to be free to pursue my career as an artist, doing what I love. The birds turned into storks as the story of the painting began to unfold in the beginning, and the storks are delivering brand new ideas for me to paint and share with the world - - my treasured 'babies.'
I have also tuned into my self-talk when I look into the mirror. I never thought I had body issues, but apparently I do. That's why I painted the robust ladies in the background and the woman on the surfboard, refusing to wear a swimming suit on the beach due to her issues with her body. The woman on the surfboard is wishing she could be as comfortable in her own skin as the ladies having fun in the water behind her.