Ah Haa School for the Arts

Rebecca McFarland

Painting & Mixed Media

Embracing imperfection is at the heart of my work. A beauty comes with age and is born from brokenness. The women I paint are created of torn paper, old fabric, vintage wallpaper. They are in need of visible repair–their imperfections on display for all to see. In their raggedness, I hope they capture the spirit of my own struggle: to face the world as I am.

Most of the women in my paintings are alone. For me, being alone is not loneliness. In solitude, I have become acquainted with myself.  However, the women are often visited by animals. They have left whatever life and longing fills their hearts and adventured into nature.

Wendell Berry said, “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… And for a time I am in the grace of the world and I am free.” My expressed yearning is to be enveloped by the grace of the unfinished world and to be free. Not free to do as I please, but rather, to develop another kind of freedom: the freedom to take care of ourselves and of each other, to be in touch with our aging bodies, our deepening self-knowledge, the mysteries of our intuition, and to use these insights to reveal our complex stories.