The canvas and the pool stand similarly, and I approach them interchangeably. My heart rate begins to race, my brain is in overdrive, my palms sweaty. I’m intimidated, the white of the canvas, infinite in its possibilities, and my fear that when I paint it, it won’t reach its potential of creative extravagance. The pool is empty too, will this swim be a flight— or a fight.
“don’t f*ck it up”
Before you enter the water, you’re flying through the air, just like placing chilled paint on your hands— Every hair on your body stands in salute. The pool is blue, but if you spend enough time in it, more colors come to life; a painting emerges.
Once I’m submerged in the water, and pulled into a painting, my anxiety is at rest. I’m drifting, but in full focus. You can’t tear me away from a race, and you can’t tear me away from the painting. I’m full speed ahead.
I have lived in two worlds for most of my life. I have lived in the water, as a swimmer and self-proclaimed mermaid… and I have lived outside of the water, as an artist and as a creative. For most of my time, I had wanted to keep those worlds separate. I didn’t feel as though they always fit. I was strong and hard headed in the pool, and vulnerable and emotional with a paintbrush.
What I hadn’t realized, was that those two worlds had always been colliding.
Now the best part of this story, is the influencer, the muse, the commissioner—. Tyler, my brother had asked me for a painting for him and his fiancé, Jenny. He had two requirements.
“It’s gotta be huge.”
“Do your thing.”
Tyler has been a regular on thebrieshow, as he should be. If you are even a small part of my life you know the significance of our brother-sister relationship. Immediately, I felt as though this painting had to be perfect, as it was going to be in the home of one of my favorite people.. Even more so— the person I wanted to make the proudest.
We moved beyond me giving him crinkled pictures I had drawn of him and I for his 12th birthday. This was the real deal.
So the canvas sat in my bedroom for four months. It was daunting, it took up half my wall space.
“you start on our painting yet?”
I’d hear this every few weeks.
“Uhhh, yeah, I started,” I’d always respond as I stared at the whitest canvas I’d ever seen.
When I was finally able to move some paint, it didn’t take long for me to let the pressure be released. At the retirement of my swimming career, I had an epiphany—I would be able to tribute both swimming as well as my brother.
I would paint my transition, the moments in which I would use everything swimming had given me to be the artist I want to be— my two world’s colliding.
Tyler has always been my biggest fan when I was in the water. There was always a fear that we wouldn’t be as close when my swimming career was over. Now, buying this big ass painting, I understood that he would always be my biggest fan— in whatever I did.
Thank you Tyler!
Proud new buyer's of "Two World's Collide".
Can't think of two better people to own this piece as they have loved and lived in one of my worlds, (the water one) for as long as I have. Thank you Jenny, Tyler and Boomer for wanting to look at my art everyday!!!!