Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2015
12x36 original acrylic on canvas
This painting is only available in the original
(i.e., no reproductions will be made).
“Every woman should have a secret garden,” was a beautiful piece of wisdom that a mentor once shared with me. These words have inspired my life and also helped inspire this piece.
This painting is about the mystery and effortlessly beautiful energy of a woman who is connected to and cares for her secret garden.
I created this piece to draw you out of your mind and what you "think" it means to have a secret garden. I created this piece because rather than have you just think about it, I wanted to put you squarely in an felt and known experience of being someone who enjoys a robust connection to her beauty, dreams, passions, and her own unique understanding of what it means to be a woman.
This piece is for you if you are one of those women who is determined to step out of the uninspired “should’s” and confining norms of what mainstream society expects from women. This piece is for you if you want your life, including how adorn the walls that surround you everyday, to be an embodiment of what it really means to you to be a woman – untamed, beautiful, and always a little mysterious.
Special Features Guide to "Secret Garden":
All of my paintings have special symbolism, sometimes words and phrases, some images hidden in plain sight, and other gems that can make the painting come to life if you know what to look for. Here are four special features about this painting that will help you better enjoy the painting and feel more confident and savvy about why you might be drawn to a particular piece of art:
FIRST: The Figures
You may have already noticed that there are two figures in this painting, or do the two together make a third? Does this mean literally three different people, or three in one? Or is this not meant to be literal at all, but rather a gesture at the multitude of different dimensions we women, as rich and deep beings, all possess? You get to decide….
SECOND: Lines Convey Movement, Motion Conveys Emotion
Notice the lines in this painting. To me, the shape of the line conveys motion which conveys emotion. Notice how in this painting, which I’ve said above is very feminine, there is scarcely a hard, straight line to be found. Rather, from the shape of the woman/women to the shapes of the leaves and other marks within the figures, the lines are predominantly flowing and curvy.
Here’s an exercise you can do on your own. Get a piece of paper and draw a bunch of hard, straight lines. Now draw a bunch of curvy. Notice which one, to you, feels more masculine and which feels more feminine?
THIRD: Bird in Flight
Notice the flying bird beneath the breast of one of the figures? Take that in.
Now, imagine a tattoo of a bird in flight at that very same place on your own body. Notice what that feels like, what that evokes for you, how it changes your physical and emotional state in an instant to imagine that. What you felt was the life of this painting connecting to your life and dancing with you.
FOURTH: Hidden words
Although the words I inscribed into this painting didn’t show through in the final layer, the energy of them remains. Here are some of the words I used to inspire and focus myself while I created this piece: