Updated: Jul 3, 2022
Whether it’s between children obeying their parents, employee’s obeying the rules of their job, or even civilians obeying the law, I think everyone must have at least some encounter with the struggle between being both obedient and strong? I called this painting Obedience and Strength most obviously because, first of all a dog typically represents obedience (at least the well trained ones) and second, the wild stallion represents strength & power (I mean, they don’t call it ’horsepower’ for nothing). But, as usual with my work, there is a more personal meaning. I was raised in a very straight laced family compared to most of the other kids I knew.. We were happy, but also taught to be very well behaved kids, my brothers and I. All the teachers loved us. Not because we were better than anyone else, (After all, how well did they even know us?) I think it was just because we were obedient. Now, i cant speak for my brothers, but I always found a struggle with ’doing what i was told’ & learning who I was as an individual. If all I do is follow your orders then I’m not me… I’m you. Right? At some point you want the freedom to stop obeying and be yourself. At some point you have examine what you have been taught and decide, as an adult, if those rules still serve your highest purpose for your life. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the problem then comes with the question, ‘at what age should your parents stop parenting you & just allow you to be you?” When should your employer stop nit picking and just let you do the job the way you know is most efficient for you as an individual? When do you get to make choices based on what is best for you, free of their judgement? They’d say never. I don’t blame them. I understand after decades of parenting or ‘bossing’ you probably cant just turn something like that off or ‘stop caring’ so to speak. They are just doing their job. But, from a child’s or an employee’s perspective (which unfortunately doesn’t often count in these cases) you are just delaying the inevitable. I hate to be so blunt about this but should we have to wait until our parents die to be allowed to stop living to please them and start doing what makes us happy? Do we wait until we are the boss or until retirement before we can call the shots on our daily lives? Depending on when that day may come, i’d say that sounds like a lot of years wasted waiting for someone else to let go of the reins of your life. That is the power of the wild stallion. In this image he is saddled, bridled & head slightly bowed in respect for his handlers but you can see the beauty and power of his wild nature almost bursting at the seems.You should be able to see that with a creature like that his power should be his own, not yours. He still may chose to stay & honor the ones who taught him everything he knows but if he feels he needs to run free, you should let him.