Maren Cahill

I have always been a lover of words, of imagery and of experiences that possess and evoke a strong emotional voice. Taking up pen or camera, I used these mediums to touch upon the heart of life. Despite this love of creative expression, I held steadfast belief that I was not an artist. Yes, I embraced my creative self, allowing it voice in many forms, but shied away from any notion of
myself as artist. “But I can’t draw, I can’t paint,” was the common refrain, dictated by a belief set in stone from the wee age of 7.

I embarked on my professional path, and then motherhood, and devoted myself to both with gusto. I set down the pen and the camera and I wielded a diehard commitment to a profession that was also a calling and relished in watching my child blossom. But with the passage of time, with the growing of my child, with my own transition into mid-life, I realized that time stands still for no one. And the artist begged to be given a full range of expression.

I picked up a the pen and camera again, but also pencil and brush. And I found that I could draw. I could paint. Sometimes not easily, sometimes not well. But, surprisingly, I found that sometimes I could create something wonderful that let my spirit sing. The process of exploration allowed me to tap into a wild, inner reservoir where I found a purity of self I’d never known. I
now call myself artist and apply myself to learning new techniques with the same gusto that I put towards my profession.

Now when I create, I approach it in a manner of supplication, giving over to the parts of Self that were previously in hiding. In creating, those disembodied parts merge into one integrated being, a form that is dancing on the canvas or page, who weaves a story about what she sees and what she knows to be true.

For me, it is important that my work tell this story. Sometimes it is my own, but often it is simply the voice of woman…the beauty, the darkness, the pain, the joy. Always it is about the emergence into authentic power.
As a mixed media artist, I find great satisfaction in weaving different mediums into a piece to create a more realistic and robust narrative. I allow the piece to convey depth of the subject matter by bringing dimension off of the canvas in some form, whether that is paper or textile.

For me, this represents the range and dimensionality of the human experience.

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