Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Freedom of Bike Riding Painting

Do you remember the first day you learned to ride a bike without training wheels as a child? Mine was a Saturday afternoon during the summer when we lived in Florida. Banana seated bicycles were all the rage and I had a raspberry blue one, which sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight. I can remember the feeling of pure bliss and freedom when my feet, ever so gently pushed one after the other and I managed to keep the wheel and handle bars straight, and it felt as if I was flying! I have never forgotten that day, that feeling, and my need to feel free with reckless abandon. 


These days I can no longer safely ride a bike without some type of training wheel to keep me steady because I have had many spine surgeries and a fall would be life altering. There are days, when I feel the wind in my hair, and hear it whisper to ride, but I know I have to remain still...and steady. That feeling is difficult because with the loss of being active that comes with 25+ surgeries one has to mourn the exciting, playful acts such as riding a bike that cannot be accomplished anymore. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about bike riding, the freedom it gives, the joy and jubilation, so I have decided to spend some time through a series of paintings working through this. 


I first chose a color palette. 


I then took some time to think through my feelings and intuitively began to place color and paper on paper. 



I then began to tinker with color and pattern, but not in a forced way, a more playful way and revisited the lesson of Juliette Crane in my Lifebook class for a bit of inspiration as well.  



My first painting, "The Freedom of Bike Riding", is strictly an intuitive piece based on my love of a playful color palette with collage. The abstraction comes from all the myriad of feelings one experiences while soaring on a bike, and the image is a reflection of the freedom one gains by being upright on wheels. Many times, through a painting, I will think through an emotion that has lingered, and mine would be the sadness over the loss of riding bikes. I hope through the process I can gain some joy of the experience once again, albeit in paint, and  have it take me back to a place and time that gave me much joy. 
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