What do you think? My grandma painted it a few decades ago when she started studying art. I called my Grandpa yesterday night and said, "Grandpa, would you lend me one of Grandma's naked lady paintings?" and he said he could probably work something out depending on what the monthly lease rate looked like. You should know my Grandpa is a tease and a very funny man. Next he said, "Well, I suppose you can borrow it, but I'm not sure if it's in very good shape, it has finger prints all over it". Like I said, he's a funny guy. There is a legendary family story attached to this painting and it goes like this:
>> Years ago when my Grandma studied art she took some figure classes. She finished a few nude paintings, this painting was one of her best. My Grandpa decided to hang it in the front sitting room across from the couch. One day, two women from their church came to see my Grandma. My Grandpa welcomed them into the house and invited them to sit on the couch. They were trying to talk about spiritual topics with my Grandma, but both of the women couldn't help but look at the painting, blush, and lose track of their thoughts. My family and I still laugh about this story to this day. <<
Yesterday someone left an anonymous comment from this post that read the following:
Before I even had a chance to read the comment from anonymous, the loveliest lady named Melissa replied the following heroic statement:
(I don't like to tease at the expense of another, and I can promise you if you email me with any questions or concerns I will answer openly, honestly and kindly. However, when you leave an anonymous comment, I just can't guarantee you that same safety. You understand, right?)
The human body is normal and natural, but for many people it is very awkward. I am flattered that anonymous thinks I have high standards (thanks, anon - can I call you that? I feel like we're on nickname terms now that I dedicated an entire post to you), and I hope you still think I have high standards despite my teasing. I believe I have provided proof that I inherited a genetically predisposed condition from my Grandma to enjoy painting nudes (and to tease, apparently), so it's hardly my fault anyway. Okay, that's probably not true. Here's what you should really know about my nude painting.
This is another painting to accompany the first in the infertility series. There are many of you who may not relate to this painting, but many of you who might. Thinking about this topic, I felt like the concept was best portrayed around her in her most vulnerable state. True, a turtleneck may have been the second best option because those terrible things always make me feel vulnerable as if I'm driving around town and being choked simultaneously, but I still felt like the birthday-suit was the first best option so I went with it. I hoped to portray the emotion that she is looking at her fleshy, uncomfortable, and awkward body trying to come to terms with why it isn't working the way it should work. It is a very private and helpless moment of searching for hope and peace when you're beyond suffering. I can't think of another way to express this moment more than the way it currently is, and I guess that's the whole point.
I told my Grandpa I'd love to hang that painting on my wall and keep it's infamous legacy of making people feel uncomfortable alive. And so I did. I challenge you to all go throughout the day having more pride and awareness of our universal nakedness that we all have in common underneath our clothes. Hey wait - put your jacket back on, I didn't say go throughout the day naked, I just said to feel okay about your nakedness. We've all got a body. It's been the subject of scientific and artist research for centuries because it's beautiful, fascinating, it creates life, and it's a universal thing. Whether yours is wide, short, thin, tall, saggy, baggy, or tight like skinny jeans - just enjoy it.
PS. Thanks to everyone who joined in on the instagram conversation, you made me laugh all night long.
PPS. This post has been brought to you by Melissa the brave. Thanks Melissa, I did have a great day.