Sanctuary, oil on panel by Paul Richmond
My new painting, Sanctuary, evolved over the past several months during which we launched the You Will Rise Project, a website that features artwork, stories, poems, videos and other creative expressions by victims of bullying. Consequently, I began reflecting on my own experience of being bullied and used it as the inspiration for this piece.

I was constantly made fun of as a child for being effeminate, quiet, tall, and uncoordinated. My coping mechanism was to disappear into my imagination. There, I could explore fantastical worlds where bullying, self-doubt, and fear were never welcome. A gangly, awkward boy from the Midwest could become a fairy tale princess or a glamorous movie star. And when the white walls of home felt too confining, more enchanted surroundings were just around the corner. Art gave me a means of capturing my daydreams, making them real, and seeing the work of other artists meant being invited into their secret worlds too.

I’ve been deeply saddened to hear about the increasing number of young people who have chosen to end their own lives. I could never presume to know the extent of their suffering or understand all of the factors that led to their decision. It’s heartbreaking and tragic. My hope for everyone is that they can discover their own sanctuary — a place to restore, nurture, and protect themselves — even if it exists only in their imagination.

The original Sanctuary painting and limited-edition prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery here.

Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond


LB said…
It's beautiful. So many dreams it takes to cleanse reality.
Eden Winters said…
How gorgeous. Simply looking at it bestows a sense of calm.
Anonymous said…
In hopes that everyone can find his or her sanctuary.
Eden Winters said…
I got my print!!! It's absolutely gorgeous!!!

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