What I love the most about traveling is a fresh stamp on my passport signaling my journeys. Being on a plane can be cathartic until I’m stuck in one spot for what seems like eternity.
As a first generation Jamaican-American, traveling is not a new experience for me. I spent most of my early years traveling to and from Jamaica.
I would peek out of the standard oval plane window, thousands of miles above civilization, deep in existential thought about how small I really am. An aerial perspective of a chunk of life, glimpsing into a kaleidoscope of hallucinatory colors capturing the boxes that I’m trapped in.
This experience transmuted into my watercolor paintings as nomadic landscapes, road maps connecting emotions to identity in search for belonging and a sense of liberation.
Sweden is an escape from the prison of my daily mundane routine: home, work, and school. Living here is changing me for the better, unlocking passions like photography and creative writing that was packed away in the locked attic of my mind. Honestly, sometimes I forget that I’m here to learn.
This post marks a month of fun, experiences, and adapting to life here in Sweden. Thoughts of relocating here often run across my mind. At times, I catch the homesick bug when I remember the distance between Stockholm and Philadelphia. My throat tightens and water swells in my eyes as if to quench my thirst of routined mundanity. Until I squish this bug by reminding myself that I’m only here for the summer and self-soothe with the elixir of painting.
My watercolor paintings are a performance art.
When my right hand grasps a paint brush it seems to take a mind of its own. It illustrates the illusionary aerial view from the obscured glimpse from the plane window. The brush cascades across the paper in an agile manner. The vivid colors harmonize together in free form borders and my eye dances down the lines like a parade following an unconventional route.
Freedom is in artistic expression. My journey here is more than a stamp in my passport. My watercolor paintings are like notches on a door frame signaling my growth. Who would’ve known a month in Stockholm could promote such growth?