The Story

"Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment". -Mahatma Gandhi

I was first inspired by my mother, at the age of 5, to pick up the pencil and draw. I would always watch her draw portraits of relatives that started in the shape of a heart. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I was 9, that I witnessed her acting in a very disturbing manner and learned that she was diagnosed as a bi-polar schizophrenic, along with her ongoing battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

As the years passed, she always managed to express her love and care for me regardless of what was going on in her world. She would always tell me to maintain my truth and stand in my power, and as long as I did that, then I would be okay.

In the forgiveness process of both her as well as myself, I grew in my understanding of her “disease”, and chose to see the light, that even till this day, shines so bright in her. I see her as a woman who embodies strength and courage. I see her as a survivor, as my hero. I see the beauty in her darkness.

Through figurative illustrations combined with primordial, spiritual symbolism, my artwork speaks of unconditional self-love and acceptance in ones-self; and in that, may one come closer to owning the power that is inside of them.

Teresa Maharaj  / master artist