Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Hare: fear, creativity and rebirth

Photography Prints
This painting is titled “The Hare: Fear, Creativity and Rebirth” I have been thinking about the role of fear in life. What does fear teach us? When I approach a new painting, I often struggle with fear. Sometimes it can be a silly fear, like what if I use the wrong color and ruin the whole painting. But, often the fear is much deeper and more personal.
Sometimes making art is very hard, because in order to do it, you have to spend a lot of time with yourself, alone, with only your thoughts and emotions. Many times startling thoughts and feelings can rise to the surface and really shake me up. I have to overcome the fear that each time I sit down to work on a painting those dark thoughts can come and stir things up, whether I like it or not. Some paintings really force me to explore the darker aspects of myself and the world I live in. There are times when I have to put limits on the amount of time I can work on a particular painting, as the thoughts and feelings that come up can really drain me.
But, despite this challenge, I feel triumphant each time I leave a painting and come back to it again. Fear is only as bad as we allow it to be. The Hare has many enemies. Every day it must leave the safety of its home and forage for food, knowing that danger lurks from every direction. Yet, it must leave despite this fear, or it would starve or be unable to find a mate. I believe that the Hare teaches that we each have the ability to overcome fear, even if we are faced with it every day, whether it is from outside or inside.
Additionally, it takes creativity to outwit our enemies or to find ways to over come the fear that stifles us. The Snowshoe Hare changes its coat from brown to white during the seasons, an example of nature’s creativity at work. We are gifted with many tools available to us to outwit fear, it is often our own creativity that helps us use those tools effectively.

And, always, whether we succumb to fear or find ways to transcend it, we experience a rebirth. It can be small or completely transformative. The barberry bush behind the Hare bears little red fruit, each fruit contains two tiny seeds. Each seed is the potential and rebirth we all have within ourselves and is present in any given situation. Each time we transcend our fears we emerge stronger and more empowered, we are reborn as new beings, like the Hare, wearing a new coat ready to face the next fear that waits to challenge us.

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