This painting says ‘Aanvaarding’. This is Dutch for ‘Acceptance’ and I actually had a really hard time deciding whether I should write in Dutch or English on this painting. But the fact that I have chosen Dutch kind of says it all.
Twelve weeks ago I have moved to The Netherlands, my home country and even though I was really looking forward to this change and I knew that it would be hard work I lost myself in the process.
I felt like I had to invent myself again; who am I in this country? In this new situation? With my mother tongue back? I had never realized in those nine years abroad that language is such a strong part of your identity, I always felt something was off, I have been homesick from time to time, but until we moved back I had underestimated the impact of your language on your identity.
So this writing in Dutch, on my first really intuitive painting felt really good!
(Maybe you are wondering by now why I am not writing this story in Dutch, but besides being able to speak my mother tongue on a daily basis and with my training (to become an artistic dynamic coach) it is also important to me that I maintain in contact with my friends and support group in our common language: English.)
This choosing Dutch for my painting helped me to connect to myself again, start working on my identity again; feeling who I am.
Everything in my life has changed, my home, my kid’s school, my surroundings, my daily language, my food, my habits, everything! And I felt lost for a while, unable to feel grounded and unable to paint. I had too much errands to run and I had to keep everything (and everyone..) under control. I was exhausted…
And then one day, after things had calmed down a bit and with help from my creative training and my husband who said that I should start painting again, I found my way to myself again. And I realized that I HAVE TO PAINT. Through painting I can work through my challenges; I can express my challenges and I can open my eyes to myself and my needs, I can heal myself through painting and it simply makes me very happy!
Through painting I can process the changes and accept my new life, the new situation I am in and work with what I have and what I can do in this very moment. Certain things are what they are. People are who they are. I need to accept that and let go of my need-to-control-everything-habit.
And with my new life a new project popped up; a new journey to take.
I have decided to do some more exploring in the world of painting. I want to play with intuitive painting; let go of any ‘perfect image’ I want to create and play with textures, styles, colors, shapes etc. I want to loosen up, just feel and paint, paint to music, no thinking(!), but still having a theme in mind.
And I will only use materials I already have. So no running to the store for ‘that perfect thing that I have to have’, no I will dive into my drawers and cupboards and work with what I have: Acceptance of what is.
This painting is the first in the series, I am curious what the next one will bring!