Hope In Another
This collection of paintings began from a place of longing.   I was seeking hope and solace amidst a growing sense of grief and despair about our hurting world. A world, that at times, feels irreparably broken.  The focus of my attention and intention turned to familiar landscapes and wild creatures- the migrant Peregrine Falcon who perched on my balcony for hours, the watchful doe with legs folded beneath her in a posture of vulnerability, the tentative pause of the listening coyote across the pond. 
And then came the life altering events of the past year; some personal, the rest shared, adding to the weight of a seemingly unending barrage of horrors to Mother Earth, our fellow creatures, and our humanity. It pushed me to try to manage and understand this deep well of grief by exploring deeper questions of hope, through my painting process.
Where does hope reside? How do we make the unbearable become bearable? How do proximity and attention help us to care and act? What does it mean to really see another? How do we become the hope for those who cannot survive without our protection?  
My paintings are inspired by nature, rooted in memory, connected by emotion. I believe the process of painting is an opportunity for the soul of the subject to come forth through the artist’s unconscious movements and gestures. My love of birds, in all their beauty and wisdom as inhabitants of the world for the past 60 million years, make them frequent subjects of my paintings.
I am drawn to the mysterious and unbidden ways that creating or viewing a work of art can transform us, much in the way regarding another being with an open heart transforms us. It involves listening. Seeing. Feeling and imagining the heart and soul of another with compassion and curiosity. The vulnerable pose of a young horse in an uncertain landscape stirs in me our universal need for sanctuary. The benevolent gaze of a migrating Peregrine Falcon evokes the spirit of the courageous young man who expressed his love as he lay dying, after he was slain protecting vulnerable young women on the train. It’s about love and it gives us hope. Hope in Another.
Bethany Rowland
October 2017
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