Mariposa means butterfly in spanish. I'm not Spanish but I happen to love butterflies. From thier beautiful wings to the naturally inspiring life cycle they share so publically, I am obsessed! The obsession began in December of 1997 when my daughter was born and Mariah Carey's song "Butterfly" was released. The song was about a tranformational love that forever changed the life of the singer which was exactly how I felt about the love I felt for my child.During my pregnancy I realized that I was part of a miracle. The gift of carrying life is not something that everyone gets to experience. Even as a young mom to be I knew that I was officially responsible for the growth of another human being. It was scary and exciting all at once. I was her cocoon and she was literally transforming inside of me. When she was born I cried because I knew that someday she would grow wings and fly away.
Artists are constantly seeking inspiration in the world, nature happens to be one of my biggest inspirations. No one can paint and blend colors the way that nature does. A butterfly's wings are meticulous by design. Wings that are strong enough to carry them wherever they need to go but fragile enough to be broken at any given moment; as is life.
A few months ago a good friend shared a Vlog by Taren Guy who explains the life cycle in comparison to the butterfly. I was literally in tears by the end of this video because it is so accurate.
The catepillar crawls around inching its body to an anticipated destination. As it crawls it has no idea that there will likely be distractions surrounding it. Human life is a lot like this as well; we go on our daily journeys trying to reach a destination which we might call goals and dreams but we are easily distracted by our surroundings. The butterfly by nature posesses the goal to fly instead of crawl; with that in mind it never doubts that it will one day fly, it just knows. As the caterpillar finds a place of rest before it transitions, it wraps itself in a coccoon to avoid any outside interference and begins it's transformation. What exactly is going on inside of that coccoon is somewhat of a mystery, but it is clear that stage is done when the butterfly emerges with bright and beautiful wings. During my creative process I can't explain exactly what is going on in my mind but the final result always emerges in ways that I can't explain or comprehend.
Watching my children from womb (coccoon) to now young adults has been a mariposa experience. They are growing their own meticulously colored wings showing me how fragile life can really be while still having enough strength for survival. While the butterfly is still a caterpillar, it doesn't really see the entire world around it because of a limited view. When they begin to fly the world is shed in a whole new light and they can see and experience a lot more. This can come with many trials and errors, but the butterfly endures. I think as human beings we go in and out of stages from each chapter in our lives. We have the ability and advantage to go through the process again and again, each time emerging differently.I treat my art with the dignity of knowing that if I do not create from the right place (spiritually), it will not have the necessary impact. I must be vulnerable enough to listen yet strong enough to comply with the direction of creativity. I cannot lock myself in a coccoon forever because I would not be able to succeed as an artist or a human being for that matter. It takes time and diligence to create whether on a living or gesso covered canvas. I must listen and learn from nature, it is by far the best teacher and example. The wonderous and mysterious life of a Mariposa is something to marvel and admire.