This painting is my visualization of Steven Pressfield’s idea of Resistance in his book, The War of Art. To Pressfield, Resistance is anything – our own self-doubt, procrastination, denial, sabotage by others, etc. – that keeps us from following our “genius” calling as referenced in Genora Genius.
The poppies at the bottom of the painting are the Resistance that tries to trip us up and diverts us from our true calling. Just like in The Wizard of Oz, the evil witch used pretty poppies to make Dorothy and her three unique friends sleep – close their eyes and be blinded to their true potential and their journey to achieving that potential. This Resistance must be overcome no matter how pretty and alluring the poppies may be. However, overcoming Resistance and transforming into our self-in-potential is not easy. It can be frustrating, confusing and downright uncomfortable at times. That’s what the undulating green, gold and black circles represent.
But, overcoming Resistance can also be beautiful when you feel yourself start to lift from the muck and mire of Resistance and self-doubt to a clearer space where you can start to visualize the self you were called to be. Pressfield says that when we take the brave step to begin our calling endeavor, our Muse appears on our shoulder like a gentle butterfly ready to guide and support us. A few summers ago, I had seen a beautiful butterfly headpiece in a fashion exhibit created by designer Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The image of the butterfly sphere surrounding the model’s head stuck with me, and this painting seemed the perfect place to incorporate it. So, instead of one butterfly lighting on a shoulder, I used a flock of butterflies to symbolize the positive forces and creative thoughts that stave off Resistance and morph us into our transformed selves ready to offer the world our unique gifts and talents.