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 family.....so 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:
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."