Energy Within (2008-2009)
In the energy paintings the red symbolizes a number of things; it represents an internal strength that we must have to survive this life; our internal source of strength, fire, and passion. Moreover, the red is an atmosphere. It is an internal space, vast, bloodlike. Conversely, it is also a hurt that the woman/female carries with her. The white areas, thin veiling layers of paint, represent our skin. They work to contain the red. We all have a common internal well of emotion that we keep hidden. These feelings germinate and churn over and over upon themselves. We keep it in. It swirls around and stays hidden. Until one day it starts to overflow, seeping from the edges. The edges try as they may to contain the seepage. The cover grows thin and tares creating holes and openings in the surface and emotion is revealed and takes life.
In these pieces, the women represented overcame great obstacles. They are Artemisia Gentileschi – a painter; the first woman to be accepted into the Academy in Florence. Persistence must have been her strong suit as it pulled her through a trial that ruined her honor in which she was the victim of a rape but was deemed the guilty one who caused it. Josephine Bonaparte – she survived the Bastille; it is said that it impacted her ability to produce children. It tore her heart apart she knew she had to honor Napoleon’s wish to divorce so he could produce an heir. Camille Claude – sculptor in her own right, she became a student and lover of Rodin. At a time in France when being a woman was not easy, being a female sculptor even harder, her life turned tragic, others, her own family, literally caged her in. Pocahontas– caught between two worlds, the white man’s and her native people’s, love versus spirit and home. Joan of Arc – she was an amazing brave force against the British for her people. She led in battle empowering the people of France. She was captured, tried as a heretic, and was killed in the market in Rouen.