The past few weeks have been go-go-go, but I’m not hating it! I spent the last two weeks of May travelling with the family, visiting home in Connecticut, making a road trip to D.C. with my boyfriend, and working with my painting mentor in the studio…now, I’m jetting off to Seattle to visit college and study abroad friends (Firenze forever!). All amazing things, and I’m so grateful for each and every one.
Even though I literally live an hour away from where I grew up (Brooklyn may seem like an alternate universe at times, but I promise you, it is still in New York), going back always brings out the nostalgic side of me.
Hey, remember that time M+D left us with the babysitter and we had a macaroni and cheese food fight?
Oh look! That’s where we used to take Boo and Moose to the dog park!
And there’s David’s Tea, where I had my first job!
But for some reason, I was feeling extra sentimental the other day (I seriously never get like this, ask Jared), so I decided to go snooping in the basement storage for my old artwork from high school.
And boom! It was like I was back in Ms. Eskell’s Drawing I class (oh, the days of high school). When you see my current style, you’d probably be surprised by where I came from: rigid, precise, cautious, and diligent. In fact, most of the work I found was created when I was in the pits of anorexia. But looking back, I didn’t feel triggered or sad. I actually felt joy because when I make art, I always feel whole, even through a period of struggle.
Though I still like to air more on the side of representational art rather than abstract, I used to thrive with classical art instruction. I absolutely loved color theory, as it shattered my perception of how I previously saw the world. An apple was not red, but maybe a mixture of oranges, purples, and even blues, if the light reflected it.
When I was taught human anatomy in my first figure drawing was when things really shifted for me. I was starting to find my voice as an artist and as a person. When you’re in the throws of an eating disorder, one of the only voices you hear in your head is the comparison one; it judges your body, her body, his body, and everyone’s body. But when I started to draw the figure, my perception changed yet again.
Someone was brave enough to stand up in front of a crowd of strangers, buck-naked. No loincloth, no bra, all skin. And they did that because they knew that the human body is beautiful, incredible, and perfect in all forms. Those dimples on your butt highlight beautiful shadows. The droop of a breast accented a delicate curve. Suddenly, I realized just how amazing the human body was, and all judgment and comparison of my body to theirs dissipated and has yet to resurface.
Finding my old work was a gentle reminder as to why I even create art. I spent a good few hours just studying my old strokes and bringing myself back to those moments when everything just clicked. I think it was Picasso who said that you could start out with a room full of people- your family, your friends, your significant other, the dog, etc. – but as he painted, each and every being disappeared until it was just his canvas, his subject, and himself. That’s when art is created, and that’s the moment I always aim to find time and again when I pick up my brush.
I guess it really is a form of meditation after all. And here I spent years thinking I couldn’t meditate! I think that state is also why I’m so obsessed with running. You just hit a point during your run when everything feels light and obsolete and like you could just keep running. Art, meditating, yoga, running, whatever it is that lights your soul on fire, it’s all a means to transcend the physical state of being. But then again, what do I know? I’m just some chick with a serious addiction to sweet potato waffles and coconut butter 😉
I wasn’t sure what to call this post at first, but I think this pretty much sums to up. A few thoughts straight from the heart. Enjoy your Friday and happy weekend!
*If you would like to inquire more about my work and any available pieces, please feel free to contact me directly by email: thebananadiaries5 (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you!