Perhaps not all artists, but many of us are telling stories. I have been working on telling parts of the
story of my younger daughter's last year getting a stem cell transplant to cure her multiple sclerosis. It is my story also, as I cared for her in the hospital, throughout the treatment, and as she recovered.
The painting I'm featuring today is a departure from most of my work because it is acrylic, because it is totally from my imagination, and because the colors are quite neutral. The theme is hair loss, something all people going though chemotherapy experience, but it is more traumatic for young women, I think.
I asked my daughter to come up with some words for me to incorporate into the painting.
30x22, Acyllic on paper
The symbolism in this piece came throughout the process, and some things I discovered after it was finished.
- The central figure stands alone without color, except for the flower, petals and shoes (Rach loves shoes.)
- The small figures are colorful with plenty of hair, a symbol of what was and hope of what will be again.
- The scissors imply that the loss of hair was by her choice. (She chose this radical treatment.)
- The hair at the feet surprised me--they also could be sunflower petals--an unintended piece of symbolism.
- The words (Rachel's words) frame this situation, closing it into an isolated time of her life.
I would love to get some feedback from you, the viewer. Does the painting speak to you?