Since sharing the start of my Art Through Fertility project last week, I’ve been amazed at the support and responses that have come out of it. If you read that post, commented on it, signed up to learn more about it, or offered your support — thank you. I am so excited to move forward with it and can’t wait to continue sharing it with you.
Art has, since I can remember, been very important to me. I loved painting and drawing as a kid and knew it would always be a part of my world. It wasn’t until on a study abroad in Italy when I was 20 years old that I figured out what type of art I wanted to pursue.
I had an incredible painting teacher in Italy who expected nothing but professionalism out of us and our work. It was my favorite class, and I’m pretty sure every student in it had the same feeling. She took us seriously as artists (not just as students) and that was an important expectation that motivated us all to push our work forward and find our voice in it.
One afternoon she took us to her painting studio to talk about her process and work. As she started to talk about her abstract paintings and the inspiration behind them, I had what felt like a bolt of lightning hit me. I knew in that moment that abstract art was where I belonged and that I wanted to focus on it from that point forward.
It made so much sense to me that color and texture and abstract forms could be their own language. They didn’t need to represent anything, or even be explained, in order to convey deep emotion and beauty. Before that point, I had more of a practical idea of what art should be. I thought it needed to be representational to be beautiful. When I started painting abstract pieces, I realized how freeing it was and how much more authentic it felt to intuitively respond to a painting, adding color and painting over it as I went without any specific destination in mind.
This spark led me to move to New York when I graduated college to further explore abstract work, and to learn and grow as a painter. During this time, I met more amazing teachers and artists, participated in shows and started selling my work. I also started to realize what an important part of my life this type of expression could be.
Abstract painting was not only a major passion but it grounded me through some of life's ups and downs, and even became a sort of record of them. When I moved to Colorado 5 years ago, I didn’t realize how important that idea would be for this next chapter in my life.
Expressing myself creatively through my experience of infertility and miscarriages has helped me gain strength and release pain in powerful ways. Never did I imagine myself in this place. I’m realizing that sharing it here and through my work is not only a way to move through my own experiences, it’s also a way to potentially help other people dealing with the same issues by capturing their experiences.
I’m not yet sure what this project will look like but I know that (just like any other creative project) it will take on a life of its own. I will be writing soon about the process as it’s unfolding and how I intend to reflect other people’s experiences with loss or infertility with my work.
In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences if this resonates with you in the comments below, or via email. If you have a friend, family member or coworker who's dealing with loss or infertility and could use some understanding and support — please share this post. I would love to hear from them too.
With all my love and appreciation,