This painting is part of The Stories Project by the Kelowna Women's Shelter which includes artwork by local artists inspired by the stories of women or children who’ve experienced domestic abuse.
After speaking to the organizer of this event, I was given a couple of anonymous stories by women who have used the shelter and it's resources. The second story resonated (I couldn't believe what this woman had accomplished) and the image of this painting came to mind immediately.
In it, I highlight her mention of "blossoming" into a new life and the practices of writing and running that helped her get there. I can only imagine how much courage it would take to make such big change in one's life.
Here's the story the painting was created from:
“This is not a story purely of tragedy but instead, a story also of success and of survival. The day I left him for good was the day my life slowly started to evolve and blossom. The progress was slow, meandering, and some days I was so riddled with anxiety I could barely move, paralyzed by my past.
Along with the unshakable support of my best friends, I turned to running and writing as my therapies. Everyday I would look in the mirror and think “Be patient and kind with yourself. It takes time to heal.” I felt with this newfound freedom, I owed it to myself, and those around me, to give life another shot; to start over.
I went on to travel overseas, move to new cities, obtain a university degree and secure a great job, well paying and fulfilling. I went sky diving, ran 10km races, half marathons, and a short triathlon.”
I found this woman's story incredibly hopeful and was honoured to have a glimpse into her healing journey, and paint a small part of it.
A full collection of stories and art were displayed together in an exhibit at The Vibrant Vine winery in August 2022. This was meant to bring awareness to survivor's individual stories and see them in a new light.
If you’re interested in this painting, let me know at . I will donate 100% of proceeds from it, to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter to support the difference they are making in women’s lives.