This painting was an emotional self portrait at the time of its creation. In a suffocating sense of drowning, it is that moment of awareness when looking up to the surface, you realize you are too far down to reach the top before running out of breath. The panic, the struggle to move, the desperate surge of adrenaline to propel yourself upward. And then there is the breakthrough, and the relieving gasp of air, the rush of gratitude for breathing and successful survival.

Since that time, I have been caught by the undertoe and pulled back down, bobbed back up, and been thrown about by waves endless times, but never felt the sense of reaching the shore. Is it the calm of the shore that is so appealing, or the certainty of the stable ground that is the goal? Even there, the sand is subject to changing tides, and the surprise overtaking of the surf.

I am learning that mastery of the emotional waters is in the ability to float. To lie back and surrender the fervent motion of paddling, peddling, kicking, and spinning, and rest in the roll of the waves. Stay buoyant and allow the steadfast current direct the course~ it always reaches the land.


Head Above Water
30x 24
Acrylic on Canvas
Original – $3700
Giclee – 30×24 = $250