The Story Behind the Painting

December 30th, 2015

So my New Year’s resolution is to tell the story behind my paintings more often — since almost every one has one! The Winter Solstice seemed like an auspicious day to start, so here goes…

Embracing the Strange(r) by Rosemary G. Conroy, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 36"

Embracing the Strange(r) by Rosemary G. Conroy Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 36″ © 2016

This painting is inspired by a real live polar bear I met way up north in Manitoba in 2013. On a windswept tundra, I spent an afternoon observing this majestic, awe-inspiring wild animal.

I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to see him and be able to drink in his beauty, power, and mystery. I’m not ashamed to tell you I cried. It was that awesome.

AND the next day I got up early and there he was again — just on the other side of the fence that protected our lodge. I sat alone with him for almost twenty minutes — it was such a moving, powerful episode in my life. Eye to eye, face to face, heart to heart with an 800-lb wild creature — holy moley. He could have left at any moment, but he stayed. For whatever reason, he stayed. I felt blessed.
I’ve always longed to be able to communicate with animals in a meaningful way. But until that happens, I paint them over and over, trying to immortalize them in my art as one way of knowing them better.

I’ve come to realize that my paintings are like prayers: sincere offerings of thanks for the inspiration and joy these wild creatures give me; my humble invocation of their beauty and power; and perhaps, most of all, an ardent plea that they continue to exist in this world.

(If you look closely, you can see my prayers for the polar bear literally inscribed on the painting.)

A new word for a new year

December 14th, 2009

For the past few years, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I simply pick one word.

I got this idea from Christine Kane, one of my favorite musicians and blogger extraordinaire. For 2009, I picked the word “ACCEPTANCE” because I wanted to work on accepting people as they are, instead of how I wish they could be. A lovely thought, right? But boy, did this year turn out different than I thought – I had to do a LOT of accepting: Of my mother dying suddenly; of having to clean out her house; and then subsequently selling it (50+ years in the family); of having that, my last connection to my hometown of Brooklyn, NY severed forever; and, last but not surprisingly,  of not being able to work on my 350 project. Oh yeah, and I got laid off from my Something Wild gig.

I did not accept any of this very well. In fact, I raged against it all. I let the grief swallow me up. I barely painted. It was all very natural but much of it was not welcome, not wanted, and definitely NOT what I was planning on happening for this year!

But eventually, with the help of my darling husband, my family, the support of many wonderful friends, the wild bears I met in MN, and an absolutely amazing weekend workshop at Kripalu; I am finally coming to terms with it all. Yes, acceptance was the perfect word for this year.

So what will be the word for 2010? I want it to be a word that is not as heavy, not as self-improvement-y, not as serious. Because I really really hope that 2010 won’t be any of those things. I plan to get back on track with my 350 project and I have all these cool ideas swirling around in my head for a new body of work too. I want to paint paint paint! I want to dance more and laugh a whole lot more than I did in 2009.

So it’s official: my word for 2010 will be CELEBRATE. Because despite all the sorrow and losses, I still have so much to be joyful about. And above all, I want my art to celebrate the things I love about this world. And I have great friends who are really great to have at parties. It’s a darn good word. And even if 2010 isn’t perfect, this word will remind to focus on what is beautiful and magical about my life.

My next post will probably be in January! So Happy New Year, Happy Solstice, and don’t forget to CELEBRATE all the good things in your life — past, present, and future…

Site by Wetherbee Creative