I was in this youth group in high school and in the summers we would head out across the country on mission trips to help the less fortunate in different areas. One year my friends and I met some really cool people in another youth group from Tennessee and we all had a grand time.
This one girl, Danielle, told my best friend that she was fierce and there was this whole hand motion associated with it. I don’t remember what I was, but it wasn’t fierce. I’ve never been fierce. Most of my life I have lived worried that things are going to go wrong or worried I will get in trouble somehow.
I want to be fierce, I just don’t know how.
So instead of being fierce, I painted someone who is. This painting was originally going to be one of three that all focused on the same ideas, but they all turned out so different that that idea went to the way side.
All of them do, or did, have a tree on them, though (I covered the trees on one of the canvases). I wanted to explore painting trees since all I had done up to this point was draw them. The flow of the paint was very different from that of the pen, and so this tree has a very different feel from trees I’ve drawn in the past.
The tree actually went in first, to match the other canvases, and I had no idea what to fill the open space on the left of the canvas with. After waiting a few days I decided to continue with my dancer girls, but instead of flowy and going with the groove, this one was going to be fierce and determined.
The figured I painted into Fierce is all straight lines and points. She’s more exact than some of the others I’ve created. She’s also bright orange in contrast to the tree’s dark blue. The tree and the figure almost seem to be dancing together.
Overall, I wanted the figure to stand out. She is fierce and she isn’t afraid of attention. Maybe I’m not like that, but I’m glad I can express such things in paintings.