Lately, I've gone through some choppy emotional waters with various life circumstances. Babies have been born, people have passed away, and the regular grind of life has been, well, grinding.
I certainly can't speak for every artist out there, but I know that for me, art -more specifically, painting- is extremely cathartic. It takes all of the emotional pressures and stress that build up over a period of time and just lifts the weight off my shoulders. It gives me an expressive outlet that doesn't require me to find the right words or the right person to talk to ('groans that words can't express'?). It just allows me to turn my emotional energy into physical expression. It's an emotional release, as it were. In a way, painting is my own private therapy session. But the even better thing about painting as therapy is that I can share my struggles and emotions with others in a unique and visual way.
With those thoughts, I wanted to share "Atlas" with you. It's been several months since I painted it (it's currently up at Local Coffee - go see!), but I was feeling some very similar emotions and have very similar thoughts to those I have been lately. As you probably know, Atlas was the primordial Titan who in Greek mythology who was sentenced to hold up the celestial spheres. When I painted it, I was feeling extremely weighed down, thinking about life and the weight I bore. Even more so, I was thinking about others (and the real Atlas) who in the past, present, and future, have borne and will bear my struggles and problems. It made me extremely thankful, because it reminded me that no matter how heavy life gets, that I have someone to turn to, someone who understands what I've gone through, holding up the weight for and with me. I can move forward through the pain and fear. I can have hope in spite of everything bearing down on me, with the knowledge that I'm cared for. I am utterly known. I am understood.