I started conceiving this painting series about three years ago. From 2018-2020 my husband worked on a rotating shift schedule. This meant that for two years he worked a month of days, then a month of nights. On top of this taxing schedule, he still had other duties to attend to which include instructing martial arts classes and checking in on his Marines. It was a hard time. Although he loved his job, the stress it put on our relationship was immense. Some days the only time we saw each other was when the other came to bed. I remember many times, I rolled over and held him, and he held me, and I whispered, “I’m so glad you’re home safe”. And that was the only contact and words spoken that day to each other.
When he got off of shift at the beginning of 2020, I sighed with relief. The hard shift schedule was over. We would see each other regularly, and the little family we built would be able to spend time together not just sporadically but routinely. Little did we know that we would go from occasionally seeing each other, to being unable to leave our two bedroom apartment. It was a different kind of hard. The opposite of what we were used to. In the middle of lockdown, it was small moments of laughter that made my day. These weren’t anything grand or awe-inspiring. They were usually something as simple as sharing a cup of tea with my daughter or taking a nap with my cat. Small, yet the comfort these moments grounded me for the trials of loneliness, cabin-fever, mourning over loss of life, and so much more.
I know you’ve faced your own hardships the past couple of years. Every person I know has had a difficult two years. My upcoming collection is about finding moments of peace and joy when life is full of loneliness, grief, and anger. For example: cuddling on the couch drinking coffee after a sleepless night. A glimpse of grace during a season of difficulty. This collection is not about dismissive positivity. It’s about acknowledging the dark times, and finding moments of light (even if they’re really small).
For more information on Glimpses of Grace, follow my instagram for updates on the collection release! You can find me @NMCManusArt