Art is my breath, in a world not made for me.
My relationship with my body has had days, months, and years of darkness. Art has been my invitation to understanding, accepting, and self-love.
I have never felt like I fit in, and art was something that accepted me, loved me, and invited me to love myself. It didn’t matter if my family was chaos, what school was like, or what I looked like. Art became a conduit to express my love of life and the joys I found in it, as well as the deep pain I felt.
I nearly didn’t survive my childhood, and I’m thankful everyday that I did. I use that power in my actions – loving community and sharing the threads of gifts I possess.
I love this life, and the magic I’ve created – I now live with safety, connection, and authenticity.
The art I want to share with you are ones that bare my soul, and my vulnerabilities, because I want you to know that if you ever felt misunderstood, out of place in yourself or in this world, and that maybe you didn’t belong.
You are not alone.
The inspiration for this series came from one of my most beloved friends. She had asked about getting a custom piece for her room, based on the feeling of dancing, freely. The idea came up, about loving our bodies as they are, and the seasons of love. Our bodies do amazing things – they have purpose, and bring us from one place to another, nourish and care for others, process pain, heal, manage mistreatment. Despite all they do, we can take out out pain, frustration with the world, and even hurt us.
The love for my body is hugely dependent on my self-talk:
- How compassionate am I being?
- Am I speaking to myself like a good friend?
- Can I shift from harsh to neutral? “This is”
- Can I invite a gratitude for the strength my body shares?
- Can I plan for actions that show care?
Positive (or neutral) self-talk invites activity and investment to sustaining this body’s health
- I do not do activity as punishment. I move my body as self-love.
- I don’t run 10k, and (not “but”) I run as my body asks.
- I don’t attend the gym, and I lift weights on my yoga mat, and stretch in my bra and favorite panties, as my body asks.
- I dance in the kitchen to my favorite song on repeat, so loud that I see and feel the music, just as I feel the sensation of the floor on my feet and see the home I made.
- This life is the one that I’ve made, and loving this body I was given is part of my investment into the life I want.
I whisper to my body, “I love you. Thank you.”
I make space to feel the waves of pain, setting up ways to express it:
Music is an important part of life and creative process. I live with many sensitivities and neurodivergence/brain differences, including chromesthesia (where I see music and sound).
This is the Inspiration Song that inspired me for this series. It bursts, then swirls of bright green blue, bits of red, into sensual curves. As I see a photo, the visual combines into the feeling of the final product.
I focus on the feeling so that my fear of imperfection or making a mistake disappears. I understand that I can fix nearly any mistake I make (sometimes the errors are on purpose, because it feels right) but more importantly, the process is magic.
I celebrate the expression, beyond the idea of what I wanted it to be, to what it actually is.
I make space and walk away for a time, until I feel invited to come back to it. If I leave materials out in an invitational way, I know it won’t be long before I’m back again. Setting up is much of the battle for me, and
I cherish the flow that welcomes me – I cannot chose the flow, but the flow choses me.
Leaning into a moment
Multimedia on canvas
Multimedia on canvas
I lean in,
To Love you,
Like you haven’t felt before.
Quick, to my core.
That voice though-
You sweet thing,
The sweet spot of knowing-
Angela Taylor is a visual artist and a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She uses art to express deep emotion and process complex trauma. She uses photo-realistic and abstract styles with the human body and nature as inspiration. She is an author of three books, based in art and creativity: Get Your Art On! An art for wellness facilitation guide, All Kinds of Minds, and Forever on Fire. She has multiple pieces exhibited at local public spaces, including within organizations. Most recently, the Warrior Goddess, standing 5 feet tall.
Angela creates in alcohol ink, acrylic mediums, mixed media, photography, writing, poetry and live painting performances. She integrates her training as a therapist and mental health and accessibility expert, empowering and supporting community members to express emotion and process pain. Her Inner Fire Project is a new art as therapy initiative to offer another therapeutic and healing experience for her clients. Her passions lie in the love of community and increasing well-being of those living with complex neurology and behaviour. Learn more about her work at the charity she founded at www.InspireCommunityOutreach.ca, or about her story at Supporting Community Together.
Love to you as you find your breath.
Thank you for sharing your magic with me and taking the time to read.
Read more about my story at www.emotionalreflection.com
FB and IG @ArtbyAngelaTaylor