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Pink Series, 2023


Artist's Statement

I hate the color pink.

As a student, I was given an assignment to paint something “ugly.” I chose to paint a pink styrofoam container. As I sat quietly painting, I realized the the container was not innately “ugly.” I had labeled it ugly because as a southern child of the 70’s, my disdain for the color pink was connected to the social norm that pink is for girls. I was expected to be pretty and nice, to say yes ma’am and no ma’am, to make good grades, and to follow the rules. Because I didn’t know how to change that or even realize how frustrated and angry I was about these expectations, I hated the color pink.

This exercise was many moons ago. I am now solidly middle age. I have had the privilege of creating a life that is fulfilling, and lovely, and adventurous. I am still painting and exploring myself and my thoughts through painting. As I began painting this most recent series, I thought that I would choose colors that were more neutral and perhaps a bit more subdued. My painting practice requires me to be still and to be present, to see what comes up... and, I’ll be darned, I continuously chose bright colors.... and almost every single piece has pink in it. I would finish painting for the day and stand back and think... pink again, hummm, that’s interesting.

It seems that my hardline judgements about the color pink have softened over the years. What does that say about me? I’ve changed certainly, but mostly I think society has changed. There are more places where it is safe to challenge social norms and in ways that are more meaningful than just hating the color pink. We have so much work to do to create real equality for all, and in the same breath we can acknowledge and even celebrate our societal wins.

So, consider this a party for pink- a call to find joy in the wins and perhaps to ask yourself, do you really hate the color pink? 

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