finding my center

When my heart and mind are questioning things, I turn to art. And so today I turned to art. I still have no more answers than when I started out, but in the process of art making I found my center. I let go of the questions, of the worries and just created.

I was not ready to create art about the issue at hand today, and so I worked on a call for art that I knew I wanted to participate in. The show is called Freedom From, Freedom To and is being organized by the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition. The call for art states "What does Freedom mean to you? We are challenging you to help us raise awareness about the unfortunate reality that slavery still exists today. Whether it is called trafficking in persons, human trafficking, forced labor, forced prostitution, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, or modern-day slavery—we must take action to put a stop to the exploitation of others."

When I began contemplating this, the image of the butterfly came to mind; specifically of hands letting butterflies go to fly freely in the air. I did a search for a quote, and found this one (which was perfect for what I wanted to express): I only ask to be free. The butterfly is free. ~Charles Dickens

And as I searched I also found that the symbolism for the butterfly is freedom, the soul, change, joy, color and creativity. The image I had intuitively represented seemed to embody perfectly the mission of the call for art: freedom from oppression and the chains of human trafficking, the soul and livelihood of those involved in human trafficking, changing perceptions about human trafficking, joy resulting from freedom and the color and creativity in the artwork created. And as I further thought about the image, I began to see that the butterflies are souls that have found freedom through the hands of those to end human trafficking. It is a wish realized through art that someday all people will be free.


  1. Kelley, this is GORGEOUS!!! Thank you for showing the progression. I absolutely adore seeing other artists creative processes. I love the theme of Freedom. Love it.

    I also turn to art when I'm trying to figure things out. I've been dealing with some difficult emotions that are throwing me for a loop. Art lets me tap into my joy and helps me unwind the confusion. It's the great healer, the great unraveler, and the great teacher.

    So glad to be reading your blog tonight. It's just what I needed.

  2. What a great piece. Thanks for sharing the photos of the progression, it was very interesting to see.

  3. Thank you all ladies. I really appreciate your warm comments.

  4. What a wonderful post showing your progression. I love seeing what I might be able to accomplish by being inspired by others. I love your entire blog. I only wish I wasn't too sleepy after watching the Super Bowl to keep reading. I will be visiting often in the coming weeks. I've just started art journaling and a blog and I really need artists like you to help guide my way. http://studiocaptivity.blogspot.com/

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for demystifying some of this stuff. I want to journal but have absolutely no idea where to start or even what materials to use. I have been looking at sites, pinning on Pinterest, and watching videos on YouTube for help. So far you've been the best help. I am a new follower too!


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