About The Artist : Cierra Rowe
Clearly I'm not comfortable with revealing everything about myself, however I would like to give folks an idea of who I am, why I paint and how my relationship with art began, if anyone is interested.
I was raised in the Bluegrass State, surrounded by conservatism, unwavering christian values, and thick southern drawl. As a child I fixated on colors and shapes. I didn't really understand what each one meant but somehow, I related to them. I gave them my own meanings, paired them together and scribbled the nightmares and time away until I eventually matured into a despondent teenage gal.
At a time when ''fitting in'' was paramount, I failed. Despite my attempts, I could not fit the mold, I was weak and without a solution. Frequently I blamed my race for sabotaging me, for giving me this strange and unruly African hair, these thick pink lips and this dark color which I could never seem to wash off or cover up, no matter how hard I tried. Other times I blamed my sex, because I was just as frightened, disgusted and ashamed of my sex as I was my race. I was humiliated and constantly teased for something that I had absolutely no say in, as if I had asked to be born this certain way. I realized that I couldn't escape who I was and that was that.
I should also clarify that there are some things which I refuse to discuss because I am still confronting the past.
Eventually I coped with my issues and insecurities on my own terms and began self injuring. Scissors, razors, kitchen knives, glass, my fists, walls, furniture. With each slash of the blade I felt more secure, with each punch to my body or face, I felt loved. The isolation was frigid, the constant flood of racing thoughts was debilitating and the keloids and scars were repulsive, so at this point I was completely alienated. I felt dirty and shameful. I could not hide from myself, I had no one to confide in and I was scared and extremely self conscious.
Covering myself daily, with sweaters and heavy makeup, out of fear that someone would see the deep scars and bruising or make eye contact with me, I was unsure of where to go from there but still carried my interest for art. I desperately needed an outlet and I found art to be my only healthy option. I attempted to start creating more, using anything that I could find, I tried to draw or paint my feelings and purge myself of the things that haunted me.
The colors felt like the chill after the rain, each brush stroke was meaningful. It felt right.
Every emotion had a hue, every thought, a line. I had finally found something that fit me. I could vent through my paint. I could be honest without fearing the consequences. I felt safe. Each time that I had enough money to purchase supplies I would and each time that I finished a painting I felt cleansed. Bit by bit, I was able to stifle some of my anxieties and relieve myself onto my surfaces. I developed confidence and became giddy at the thought of painting. I rarely felt the need to revert back to previous behaviors.
Since then I have continued painting, conveying my experiences, and ideas, trying to figure things out within myself. Depending on the day painting serves as a diary of sorts and other times it's a free flow of expression on an empty and willing canvas panel. My inspirations vary from day to day. Many times my paintings are influenced by repressed memories, fears, people, questions and sex. Sometimes it is all of these things and other times it is subtle ideas of romanticism or anger. Capricious, I suppose, but I put a great deal of emotion and effort into my paintings. Each painting is very important to me and assists me in gaining clarity.
Currently I dwell in the quiet rural countryside and am married to a very special man who shares my love of coffee and who supports me as both a woman and an artist. I enjoy discussing my art with sincere individuals when the opportunity presents itself and take pleasure in sharing my work with others. Paintings are posted to this site as often as they are finished. Chances are that I'm thinking about the next painting and most certainly am nursing a hot mug of black coffee.
Nice to meet you.