How does an artist title a piece? That’s a really good question; I’ll let you know when I have the answer... :) That said, I did get an interesting window into my own process and even a life lesson when I tried to come up with a name for the painting above.
I was uncertain what to call it. So I asked members of my Facebook Community (that’s you!) what the work evokes for you (see comments here). The general consensus was imagery relating to the ocean/water/tides. An old friend from Astronomy Camp** suggested the title Borrasca. According to my friend (and spanishdict.com) borrasca is Spanish for storm, upheaval, unrest, and/or a low pressure system. As soon as I heard this, I fell in love.
My abstract pieces are often an expression of my own internal unrest; I’ve been through my share of storms (as I imagine we all have) and I often choose to create abstractions from these experiences because I find it much easier to explore an idea (or an emotion or physical sensation) without the added pressure of the work “having to be something.” The borrasca or “low pressure” of abstract art helps me to find and be myself as an artist. This idea also goes far beyond the art studio…
Over the years I’ve caused myself so much angst by feeling and responding to pressures that encourage me to be something I’m not. Ever been in a situation where you feel that pull to “fit in”? To go along with a group? To follow the status quo? What do you do?
If you’re me, historically you start feeling the (high) pressure of (social, societal, familial, or even personal) expectations and often make a choice that is in line with the majority and away from your true self. Being myself (or yourself) in a crowd can be hard. So in life, as with art, I always feel freer to be myself in low(er) pressure situations.
Borrascas holds a beautiful duality—truly a dialectic—between two seemingly opposite ideas. Contained in this single word is a choice between the storminess of external pressures and the relative relief and lower pressure that comes when we choose to be ourselves. In other words, the storms and depressions (borrascas) that often create internal or external upheaval can be healed using the English translation of the same. Borrascas as a piece of art is a reminder of this duality: Our storms will decrease when the only pressure we respond to is the pressure that encourages us to be ourselves!
*Title suggested by Lucia Galvan de Fernández
**Astronomy Camp is a wonderful experience for both teens and adults that I was fortunate to attend both as a camper in my teenage years and later as a counselor. If you or any of your children are interested in a wonderful, hands-on, research-quality STEM experience, definitely check it out!