"Breathe Out" is the companion piece to another painting I called "Breathe In."
They are both visually inspired by photos I took several summers ago while visiting Pawleys Island, South Carolina.
This pair of paintings are emotionally inspired by a rough patch in my life this past fall. "Breathe Out" represents my feelings once I finally realized I needed to take a figurative "deep breath" with my life. Once I eventually stopped freaking out, it was time to move forward and start taking some action — be it ever so small.
In "Breathe Out," I really tried to emphasize the movement in the water. The waves appear to be gentle ripples, but the water is definitely going somewhere. It might not be dramatic, but every day it flows in and out of the ocean, in sync with the tides.
I don't think the water questions where it is going. It just goes with the flow and does what it can to move forward. It doesn't worry that it isn't going fast enough or strong enough. Or perfect enough. It just moves along, following the pull of the moon.
"Breathe Out" is my own personal reminder that I can only do what I can do. And on most days that still does not feel like enough. But doing something, is better than nothing. Doing what I feel called to do, is my job for now. Even though that means constantly operating in state of feeling out-of-control.
Giving up control of the outcome, is actually seeming to help me find a way to continue to move forward each day.
Ironically, I was at the dentist this week — physically freaking out (thanks to a little too much anesthesia near a nerve, but even more, a little too much fixating about being trapped in a chair with a hand in my mouth.)
The exact words my kind dentist used to try calm me and my shaking body were "Breathe in... and breathe out. Just breathe in... and breathe out. Breath in. Breathe out." I listened to his advice, and it actually seemed to help.
Oh, if only he knew the deeper meaning of those words to me... "Stop freaking out. And then move forward... Stop freaking out, and then move forward... Keep moving forward... Keep moving. Move forward... Stop freaking out... "