This painting was created because of an emotional healing process that I wanted to describe using imagery. Even as I was getting ready to paint it, I had further transformation. I was sitting with my easel and canvas in the corner of the room. I just sat there, afraid I wasn’t good enough. After about a half an hour, I remembered an incident from when I was in day care, around age 5.
I had been drawing a scene and the adult in charge came over and yelled at me for scribbling. I tried to explain that grass goes up and down, so does tree trunks, water and sky go side to side. She grabbed my arm, yanked me to my feet and sat me back down facing the corner, all the while yelling at me for talking back.
Sitting facing my blank canvas as an adult, I started laughing at myself. I realized it was being in the corner again that had me stuck. I also realized that incident had been the beginning of me not speaking up for myself. And, thus, more healing transpired after the initial event that inspired the painting.
Transform and Be Free is a butterfly painting that I created to symbolize transformation of the self from someone who lives in darkness to someone who lives confidently in the light of the world. Like the caterpillar, encased in its dark cocoon, the person transforms into the beautiful butterfly.
This yellow, blue, red, black, and brown species of butterfly is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. It is found in the Eastern United States, as far north as southern Vermont, and as far West as extreme Eastern Colorado. I have it flying over a green field with Black Eyed Susan flowers because one thing they symbolize is joy.
The 16″ x 20″ original Liquitex acrylic painting on 3/4″ wrapped canvas took me approximately 16 hours to complete. I finished it in 2003, under my birth name. It sold in 2005.