I recently read an amazing, heart-breaking first-person article by Jesmyn Ward in Vanity Fair. The moving piece is about love and loss and grief and COVID and civil unrest, and while I don’t feel equipped to talk about it, I strongly recommend you read it. Today, I’m writing about something much more in my wheelhouse, Calida Garcia Rawles, the painter whose image appeared at the top of the essay.
Incredibly, though the young artist has been painting for most of her life, she only got interested in the water when she began swimming lessons five years ago. Though she started swimming for the exercise, she found it was good for her mind as well as her body.
“I found that I felt emotionally lighter after leaving the pool, no matter what issues I was working out before I jumped into the water. This led me to begin using water as a visual language… a way to heal and address difficult and divisive issues. When I am in the water and I see the light glistening off of it in certain ways… it just looks so magical. The way the body appears to break, splinter, and flow in moving water appears other-worldly to me.”– Calida Garcia Rawles