Monday, March 7, 2011

stand alone beneath the stars

This painting was born of my acceptance of being the "odd man out." This is difficult to explain well without going into a thousand stories, so I will keep it vague. I've spent the vast majority of my life feeling alone, whether it was voluntary or involuntary. I have always been introverted and independent, which translates into a lot of (voluntary) time spent alone, but I have been known to sink far past that natural state of solitude into the murky depths of isolation (in the past). I lived for so long not knowing how to invite healthy people and healthy relationships into my life, before going into recovery, which translated into a feeling of emotional loneliness even when I was in a room full of people or sleeping next to a significant other. At an even more basic level, I am the black sheep of my I really know what it feels like to stand alone.

To circle back to the painting, the painting is a symbol of a significant change in self-perception. The figure is still alone, but she is strong and confident.....there is a peaceful mood to the scene, and not a hint of loneliness. When I first started painting this piece, the girl was much smaller (in size) and rather dainty looking with a long, flowing dress, standing in the wind. But, she didn't look right to me. Internally, I have erased that deep feeling of eternal loneliness now that I am surrounded by healthy love. I feel full and content, even when I "stand alone" (the title of the painting). I chose to paint the girl standing in Tree Pose to symbolize her rootedness and stability.

Now that I've declared the painting done, I'm realizing that it isn't. Ahh! I chose to set the scene at night mostly out of emotion. When I picked up my brush and envisioned the final product in my head, I saw a girl standing beneath the stars (there is even a real constellation painted in the scene, can you find the big dipper?). I am a Cancer, so it makes sense to be standing in the night since I am a moon child. However, because of that moon child-ness, I now feel like my original decision to leave the actual moon out of the painting was wrong. And I think I'd like to see the moon shining beams of light directly onto the girl, as if blessing her. Back to the canvas.....

I looked through Etsy for some inspiring night sky images to help me decide whether or not to include a moon in my painting. Here are a few:

Starry Tree by Allie Art 4 Children

Cradled Moon by Olivia Ruth Photography

Solace by Shayla Maddox

Moonlight by The Little Prints

"I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the North Star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house."


  1. A very moving post and painting and I see much strength here but also joy. I love that night sky.

  2. so strong and peaceful- I love it!

  3. I truly feel honored to have been included here. I can relate to quite a bit of what you wrote. Very moving. You are an extremely talented writer and painter. Looking forward to seeing your painting with the moon added to it. Take care and thank you again, allie


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