These times now are certainly very different, challenging, and uncertain. In the Spring when all of the teachers and students were sent home from their classrooms to teach and learn from home, it became a time for me look inwards and to reflect on what matters to me the most. Although, I teach Art everyday to all of my wonderful, creative young students, I had forgotten to create my own Art. All of my art supplies were packed away in bins and boxes in the crawl space of my basement. I finally decided to begin my new journey in painting again. I crawled into the tight, low ceiling space to pull out the dusty boxes filled with my paints and brushes. I sorted the good tubes of paint from the dry, hardened ones, bought a couple of canvases from the art store and set up a little space in my basement to paint. Once, I was ready to start painting, the blank, white canvases stared back at me wondering what I planned to turn them into.
At the time, I was working through another running injury of my left hamstring and I missed the routine of my daily runs. I missed running with my friends. I missed the challenge it gave me in my pursuit to reach my goals. So, I decided to paint about running to stay connected to the sport I dearly love.
My first work was a portrait of the professional runner, Steph Bruce who runs for the Hoka One One Naz Elite group in Flagstaff, Arizona. What I love and respect about Steph is her ability to balance motherhood, her high level elite training, and her performance food business. She consistently puts in the hard work to chase after her goals and dreams and is very open and honest with how she does it all even when her desired outcome is not achieved. But, she doesn't give up. She is relentless in the pursuit towards her dreams and goals and the story of her journey is important to share. She shared a photo of herself with her hands on her knees after a run on social media that I connected with immediately. Her pose in that photo is one that I have felt myself many times. I decided to paint her portrait in that same pose. However, in my painting I placed her on a track after completing a tough workout where exhaustion sets in and she pauses for a moment to catch her breath. The circle of the track reminds us that we must not stop though, but continue moving forward. The journey must continue.
This is where my painting about running began. After this work, I realized that I wanted to paint more stories about running and the life of a runner to share the beauty, the truth, and the many unseen moments with people. My hope is that my paintings of a captured moment in time will allow you to take a breath, be still for a moment, to connect, and to be uplifted with hope and inspiration.