Nopalera Eye Am
This part of my painting collection called "Eye am" where all the paintings have eyes incorporated into them, that reflect the EYE AM in us all. Reminders of the great spirit all around us. Mirrors, tezcatlipocas.
Nopales are something that is very near and dear to my heart.
They carry a lot of pride, they carry alot of pain.
Like everything they are dualistic.
When I was growing up I recall a few situations where I was called a "cara de nopal" or "nopal en el frente" but in a negative or derogatory manner, Which made me feel badly about how I looked from a very early age. It made me feel bad about my brown hair, my brown skin, my nose. The languages I spoke or refused to speak....shame, self hate.
>Its hard to talk about things that hurt us but when I paint it onto a canvas, express it, see it, dissect it, see the reflection of the pain that was inside of me, study it, find the good in everything, that sweet sweet duality !
My abuelita used to make me cut off the espinas on nopales, which I really hated at the time but now really appreciate everything she was teaching me. My abuelita had a green thumb like no other, she showed my how to propagate plants my first plant I propagated was a nopal, I remember i just grabbed it with my hands and she yelled out "ayyye mijaaa" I remember the panic I felt after hearing her say that, but It was to late and I was all In, I planted my little baby nopal pad, With no gloves like a boss ass lil manillani baby, put it in the dirt, watered it. Then my grama grabbed the tweezers and we sat down and she stated plucking out the spinas, there were so many baby ones and it took so long, but I didnt mind, I loved the feeling of my abulitas wrinkly hands, she had magic healing hands! that is the day she taught me how to get them all out, how to use my hair, how I had to "feel them" because I couldn't see them, that lesson was such a profound lesson, my little brain absorbed this and applied it to everything, don't see it,
FEEEEEEEEL IT , and folks Ive never stopped feeling everything ever since.
Sometimes its a blessing, sometimes its a burden.
I hope these nopalitos will remind you of how resilient you are, it's in our dna.