courage

"Vulnerabilis" a new winged key assemblage

"Vulnerabilis" a new winged key assemblage

This is my latest "winged key" assemblage. This one is called "vulnerabilis" and speaks of how sometimes we get hurt, betrayed, abused, but we feel we have to soldier through it all and keep going anyway. So we lock up our heart and soul like fragile butterflies. "Safely", behind glass, standing still, maybe visible, but untouchable. Too vulnerable.

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage by Laly Mille

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage by Laly Mille

We protect ourselves, we pretend. We cringe if someone comes too close. We recoil. We put up signs that say "handle with care" or even better, don't touch me at all. Don't break the glass. Love, friendship, a helping hand, empathy, intimacy? Entering the danger zone. And we get used to it, living behind the glass, seeing life through the glass. We make it home.

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage, detail by Laly Mille

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage, detail by Laly Mille

And yet, being vulnerable, truly vulnerable, is something different. It doesn't mean we're too fragile for life. It means mustering up the strength to let ourselves be seen, heard and touched again. Owning our story, daring to let this butterfly spread its wings, alive. Vulnerability doesn't mean weakness, it means courage.

But when we're so used to our pretty cage, our self-inflicted imprisonment, it's not easy to open it and take flight. Yet it's not sealed forever, somehow we know there is a way out, we hold the key. And maybe, if we let ourselves dare to trust again, someone will gently help us unlock it from outside. And we'll feel the wind again.

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage, detail by Laly Mille

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage, detail by Laly Mille

The "winged keys" are an assemblage series. I add a new one from time to time. You can see the other pieces HERE.

Wishing you a good flight today...

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage by Laly Mille

Vulnerabilis, winged key assemblage by Laly Mille

Compassion, a mixed media painting comes to life

Compassion, a mixed media painting comes to life

Compassion: Mixed media painting on canvas by Laly Mille

Compassion: Mixed media painting on canvas by Laly Mille

The inspiration for this painting comes from the amazing experience of finding a group of like-minded women and artists through Kelly Rae Roberts' "Flying Lessons" e-course: within this group we create a safe and supportive environment for each other, where we can share anything from technical tips and everyday worries and joys to the most difficult struggles, fears and experiences (many have yet to recover from hurricane Sandy). Although this is a "virtual" place, it enables us to connect in a very real way across the planet, and to truly practice what Brené Brown speaks of in "The Gifts of Imperfection" (I can't recommend that book enough!). These gifts are Courage, Compassion and Connection. They mean that we can share our most authentic selves, our whole hearts, and truly be seen, heard and valued for who we are, where we are in our lives, without judgement of any kind.

Compassion detail by Laly Mille

This new painting is the result of the "work in progress" project that has been ongoing on my Facebook page for the past 3 weeks! I really want to thank all those of you who have followed this process day after day and participated with your comments! Below are all the different steps again, from the blank canvas to the finished piece.

The words "Coeurage", "Compassion" and "Connection" are written on the painting. I like that they all begin with the letter C, which reminds me of the moon crescent. So for the text on the 2 characters' faces I used en enlargement of a dictionary page with the definition and origin of that letter.