She Belongs to the Sun


I come from a long line of strong Trinibagonian women – brilliant women full of energy, love, life and heat – just like the sun

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Sometimes, you do a piece of art and really truly hate it. This canvas had some lovely mountains on it, and a great textured sun from a previous experiment with a glue gun, but the face on it was truly awful. (There is a reason I don’t do portraits.)

So the canvas sat there…. for years!

Until June 2014, when I was desperate to get my creative juices flowing after wading through history and research for months. At the time I was feeling totally drained, exhausted, creativity seemed like a mirage so I figured “let me just apply some paint to a canvas and see where I end up”. If nothing else, it would be a form of release. So I picked up this old canvas with that painting I hated and began to cover it in randomly selected paint. It worked! I had no idea where I was going with this piece but the raised sunrays meant that light would always be coming from the top of the canvas so my lightest colours went there.

A day or two later I thought, long time I haven’t painted a woman – so I created a curvaceous bootyliscious woman worshipping the sun. Then I thought, I haven’t experimented with glass beads in a while and I haven’t tried that contact paper trick Belinda showed me in ages either.

A few days later, I realised the canvas was basically guiding me along gently towards a woman whose soul is fed by the sun and who feeds others as if she is their sun. That really appealed to me, and I didn’t have any better ideas so I went with it.

By the time I had the glass bead outline I knew she had to be a Trini. Just looking at the piece kept bringing up thoughts of my mum, gran and great granny. I thought of amazingly powerful, intelligent, energetic, loving, creative, nurturing, proud Trini women like (in no particular order): Pat Bishop, Verna St Rose Greaves, Daisy Voisin, Denyse Plummer, FayeAnn Lyons, Dolly Nicholas, Janelle Penny Commission-Bowen-Chow, Sharon Millar, Kathryn Stollmeyer, Catherine Kumar, Dana Seetahal, Drupatee, Hazel Brown, Wendy Fitzwilliam, Iva Gloudon, Lisa Allen Agostini, Rhoda Bharath, Destra Garcia, Heather Headley, Shivanee Ramlochan, Rosa Gay, Gillian Lucky, Beryl Mc Bernie, Alison Brown, Barbara Jenkins, and so many more the painting didn’t have space!

I wrote their names in her hair and like tattoos on her body, but frankly it still wasn’t enough. I know I’ll have to go back and do another Trini woman piece (or 3!) because there are so many more women to celebrate on canvas.

Anyway… I hope you enjoy my woman. She’s as close as you’ll get to the sun.

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Original, Print