Below is another new painting in my “Gestation,” series which deals with serenity. It is inspired by two activities which provide me much peace in an otherwise hectic lifestyle with my 18 month old. The first inspiration I am drawing from is based on the feeling I get when nursing Emilia. From a biological standpoint, there is a mammalian hormone called oxytocin that is necessary for the process of milk ejection, or let down to occur. It is also a neuromodulator of the brain that gives positive feedback. I have noticed that as soon as I begin nursing any anxiety slips away and I feel completely at ease.
The second inspiration I gathered for this piece was from my Saturday morning meditation sittings I have been going to at a nearby Buddhist temple. Science has shown that the same oxytocin hormone can be released during meditation. From my experiences with meditation over the last five years, it doesn’t take long for me to feel my brain activated in this way and my body to slip into awake relaxation.
Formally, instead of using the decorative design on the curtain, I drew from an image of mammary glands and veins of a lactating woman, to create the linear elements in my painting. Utilizing a completely white palette, I mixed Ultramarine Violet, Naples Yellow and Titanium White. By varying the quantities of each color, I play with a subtle shift between warm and cool whites.
Symbolically white embodies the notion of wholeness and completion. It provides a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets. White also represents the clean slate, helping us through times of stress, and allowing us put the past behind us and preparing us to move on. Perhaps it was no mistake I chose to make this as a sister painting to “Bye, Bye Baby Beluga,” which I posted in my previous post, Life and Loss. After all there is no light without dark and no dark without light.