• Chitkale

Still, I Rise

This was an experimental piece inspired by Maya Angelou’s powerful poem – “And Still I Rise.”

Still, I Rise

“You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Perhaps my favourite lines of the poem deal with defeat and survival. These lines have been my strength in the hardest of times. A rope to cling on to in the shifting sands of time.

I was a wee baby when my mother first read this poem to me. Little did I know that it would soon grow onto me and become a part of who I am.

"And Still I Rise" not only shaped me into the woman I am today but also cast light on how a small piece of literature can be so powerful and moving that it influenced the way I faced situations in my life.

Even in the darkest hour when demons lurked in the corners of my dimly lit room and their flashing eyes and slashing teeth lashed at my every sense, the words of this poem rang true and helped me fight back till the break of dawn.

I truly believe that after every fight with the dark side of us, after every event of pain and suffering we come out a little stronger than when we first started. A little bit wiser and a little bit more capable of handling the future. Like a Phoenix rising from the dust and ash of its former burnt self, we rise.

The painting was an attempt to capture the essence of the poem. I used the colours of dawn to signify the relief from the dark corners of our mind.

Material Used:

  • Mungyo Watercolour Pan set of 12 colours.

  • Crusty old watercolour brushes

  • 170gsm Mixed Media paper

The Process Involved:

This, I think, took me a lot more time than I am comfortable to admit. It was maybe because this poem is quite near to my heart. That it was hard for me to be satisfied with the painting that was meant to be a tribute.

Even though I'm happy with how the final draft turned out to be, I don't think I'm even nearly satisfied with how it looks.

Around three drafts were completely scrapped out and the papers crushed in anger and frustration as they just weren't right.

But then again, I don't think I'm ever satisfied with any painting or sketch that I have ever created thus far. And honestly, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Because if we ever get comfortable with how things are or if we are ever satisfied with where we are doesn't that mean we stop growing? Doesn't it mean that we have drawn a line to where we think we can improve?


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