Like every day, I woke up at six in the morning, although today is a special day. I am painting an artwork that I will give to my daughter on her next birthday. I draw swimmers, and paint their bodies as seen from a very high cliff and there is always one swimmer of the group that clearly goes against the grain. While I'm painting, I don't know which one of them will take another direction and that's what makes this moment magical, that I never know when it's going to happen.
When someone looks at one of the artworks in my “Swimmers” collection, they start looking for which swimmer is going the opposite way. Some say they feel like children looking for where Waldo is. However, for my daughter it seems to be something more transcendent when she asks me: Daddy, who is wrong? The lonely swimmer or the rest? For me, that many times I have taken the path that was expected of me, and many times not, this is not an easy answer.
When I decided to study marketing instead of what a felt real passion for, who was wrong? When I kept running despite my backaches, who was wrong?
After being diagnosed with two herniated discs, the doctors told me that I was strictly forbidden to run or ride a bicycle. If I had adhered to their advice, I would never have participated in an Ironman. And believe me that for someone who weighed almost 100 kilos, it was something "astronautic" to become finisher in such a competition. I get goosebumps remembering how I crossed the finish line hand in hand with my daughter. No doubt that this experience raised my level of confidence to a point I would never have imagined and yet, the days after meeting the challenge, I began to feel a deep emptiness inside me. What challenge could live up to what for me had been one of the great feats of my life?
I was 42 years old and felt the need to analyse the decisions I had taken so far. Who could tell me if I had taken the right path?
While facing my doubts, one morning browsing Instagram, I came across the paintings of Carla Sa Fernandes and Ronald Hunter. Those works were like a shot of energy and enthusiasm at that moment. I couldn't stop looking and researching for days. Something woke up in me that summer, I had found what I wanted to do for rest of my life: paint
The reality is that this morning, when I still had not envisioned which swimmer would turn around, I was nervous because I didn't know what story to tell my daughter when I gave her her gift. Until I realized that I had the answer in the painting itself: everyone in this life is a swimmer in a constantly changing sea. Without realizing it, I have been painting a swimmer who goes in the opposite direction to the rest because that is how I feel when I take the brush: free, unique, swimming in the direction that is born from the deepest part of me. That swimmer is the possibility of being ourselves: it's me, it's my daughter, it's you. So, when I give her the gift, I know what I'm going to tell her:
“You can swim in the direction you feel, it's your way. You just have to trust”
Hight quality enamel and acrylic paint on "High" Density Fiber HDF