|Road Map 20×30 watercolor|
When I was first married I got a temp job working random shifts filling in at no set time with no set days off. My sleep pattern was completely random and I was detached from the world as I simply slept whenever I could unwind from a shift. I had a new life as a wife in a new town and a new place. I hadn’t painted in months, there was nothing familiar in my life. After a long period of this I finally got a break to visit my old stomping grounds and to break out my paints.
I was SO excited to be free that I poured out the colors straight onto a full sheet of watercolor one afternoon. It was a serene day, I wasn’t using a paint palette. I painted out on the deck and just moved colors around as I reflected on my week. “I hate my job, I hate my job, I hate my job” was my mantra while I painted. I didn’t even give myself the pressure of composing a picture. I didn’t care what the result was, I just wanted to feel like I was creating again. My head chatter about my job became more of a sing-song lilting tune. While I hummed to myself and mixed colors I thought of the bright future, of figuring out what I wanted and how to get there. I began to see it appear on paper. The darkest areas of the painting is where I started. I mixed colors to mud but edges began to take shape, colors pooled and water effects emerged. I began to see a plan for my painting as a plan for my life began to form in my head.
This painting became a street map for my life. All those little stagnant boxes and boundaries trying to crowd me in, I just had to keep navigating around them and stay out of the social boxes of expectation. I just need to find my way to that one bright red path, the up and up. That is my way, my future, and where I need to focus, the high road, the big plan. I just need to follow that to opportunity, happiness, the straight and narrow. Even if you can’t always see that path directly, even if you have gone down some lonely side road, it illuminates the crud around and shows where you don’t need to be. Even if I’m not on my path it’s brightness illuminates the way and is a guiding light back on track. This original painting hangs above my couch in the living room. I have often caught site of my map when I am faced with a decision and it’s a comfort to see that whatever dreams and goals I have are within reach, I just have to navigate.
Someone that follows the meanings of colors explained to me the representation of colors. She says green represents healing “Green is the color of balance, healing and hope. It brings peace and harmony into our lives and rejuvenates the soul.” according to beading-design-jewelry.com. I like that. According to the same website red symbolizes action, confidence and courage, determination to go after your dreams and the power to achieve goals. It’s verb is “I have” while purple’s verb is “I know”. Finally, purple, as in the glow around the red path:
“Purple is a favorite of creative people. Whether wearing it, living in it, or creating with it, purple is a color for the adventurous heart with spiritual leanings and a flair for drama. This is the heart that knows the magic of purple.
Purple is a combination of blue and red. Red is a focusing, dynamic and active energy while blue is cooling, calming and passive. The coalescence of liveliness and tranquility allows more creative energy to emerge. For this reason, purple is associated with imagination and inspiration.”
I think back to when I was little. Purple was MY color. No other color . There wasn’t even a question. Now I’m too indecisive to pick a favorite color. Partly because I feel all this symbolism skews my opinion but I also love combinations. Like I love red and blue together. One day scarlet and ultra marine will be everywhere in my house. I guess everything is connected. Have fun in finding the things in your life that bring meaning and a deeper understanding of yourself. Maybe this painting can have a similar message for you. Enjoy.
If you need your own map, a print of this painting is for sale at my Etsy store, SparrowsHand at etsy.com. Thanks for stopping by.