It used to be my favorite holiday. Seriously, over Christmas. Who needs gifts when you can dress up into your wildest fantasy? That's what I used to think.
The question I ask myself this morning, on Halloween, is:
The image on the left was painted in 1996. I was in 8th grade, obsessed with the movie "The Crow", listening to heavy metal, and addicted to Gen 13 and Witchblade comic books. I believe it was around that time I dressed like the Catwoman from Batman Returns for Halloween. Whip and all. Yep, I thought I was quite the bad girl. I hid behind a made up character I named "Raven", who I drew all the time, made stories for, and just simmered there. Angry and lost.
She followed me all through high school and into my freshman year of college.
In college she began to morph, just a little. And although I invented other stories to hide myself behind, she was always there. I tried so hard to hold on and not forget who I thought I was.
|2003 - Heavily into Manga and still learning watercolor|
|2004 - Style used for my senior project in college.|
When I left college the real soul searching started. I continued to practice witchcraft, but grew in my watercolor and figure drawing skills. I entered into some really difficult relationships, did my years of exploring the night life, and hit rock bottom.
Enter the church. Now wait, don't jump the gun yet. There was LIGHT. I lived in the shadows so long, it was refreshing and very unexpected. I was skeptical but continued to find faith in it. I always had faith I would find LOVE. Find TRUTH. Find WHO I WAS. Who I AM.
I can't paint the darkness like what's above anymore. I try, and this is what happens:
This image (just below), after many years of searching, is the truth of who I am. I hide behind masks to protect my heart, but it's golden because I am a child of light, the daughter of He who is LIGHT. I wander through the night, not because I am lost, because I'm hunting evil and snuffing it out to make the night safe and beautiful. I have wings so that I can fly, because I am free. These are the truths I have learned through the years, and it is because of these truths I can not go back. I am glad that Raven is now a face who smiles, who comforts, who flies in to bring LIGHT. Not death, pain, or sadness.
So Halloween you say? Sure, I'll dress up, I'll laugh and find the joy in it, but the holiday used to have such meaning to me - freedom to hide. I think today as we celebrate dressing up and scaring away ghosts and goblins, I see myself as a warrior who doesn't need to hide anymore behind costumes, it doesn't matter anymore. So, I'll happily eat some zombie finger pretzels and begin to look forward to Christmas, when family, love, light, and joy are all dancing about.
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
Touching testimony, and so relatable. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself. :)
I never would've known! There is such light in your paintings and I love them.
Thanks for telling this story. It was wonderful to read and see how your path and style had changed!
That's quite a journey! Great seeing your style and talent develop. Your work I beautiful and it would t be what it is today without the raven of yesterday. I live in the UK and Halloween is a very different occasion here! I prefer a quiet and reflective time to think about those that have gone from this life and the transition into the darker months. Thanks for sharing your vision, it really does make the world a better place xxx
What an amazing journey! I love seeing your early work and how you have morphed yourself and your work. :)
Grandma Butcher is smiling at you :-)
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