Finding Myself in Paint

painting emotions artist of faces Sabrina Lloyd's Mondays woman's face with blue hair

The following is a guest post by Sabrina Lloyd, a local Salt Spring Island, BC artist who creates artwork with feeling, painting emotions and the faces on which they wander.

At the age of 38, I walked away from a very successful creative career as an actress. I wanted to see the world, and my husband took my hand to show it to me.

Oil painting of a woman's face with blue hair titled Mondays by Sabrina Lloyd Salt Spring Island, BC artist
Mondays by Sabrina Lloyd

We moved to Uganda and then Rome, back to Uganda and then Kenya. It was a decade of packing and unpacking and one child and then two, and diapers and schools and goodbyes and trying to find a piece of the woman I left behind through all of it.

I wrote short stories when I could and poetry when the sun was just touching the horizon. I got a degree and had dreams for what that would bring, but life was so full and moving brought so much stress and loneliness that I often felt paralyzed to do more of anything.

painting emotions and faces artist in Salt Spring Island, BC Canada

All the while that creative soul inside of me was pushing against my bones.

Life kept getting more complicated. Because of health issues I had to bring the children back to North America while my husband still worked overseas. I was now a single parent, in a place I knew no one, living on the side of mountain, on an island in the Salish sea. Those short stories and poems got shorter and shorter until I had no more room left for even a single word.

weight of the world oil painting of womans face full of emotions with too much on her mind
The Weight of the World by Sabrina Lloyd

And then the world shut down with Covid.

I’d dabbled in paint throughout my life, classes here and there. I always admired painters and held a secret wish. As everything closed and we became more and more isolated, I picked up a paintbrush and started to paint.

painting of an emotional face done in oil paint and pastel mixed media by Sabrina Lloyd mother artist of emotions

I painted the faces we no longer saw. I painted loneliness. When I woke up sad and wanted to cry, I painted my tears. When snow fell and my breath was taken away with beauty, I painted that beauty and peace.

Painting Emotions

My art is about emotion.

How I—we—live, love, give, receive, survive. Hide. It’s raw and messy like we are. Sometimes it’s dark, and sometimes it is so full of color and hope and the maybe of a better tomorrow.

I explore joy and sadness, confusion, loss, confidence. The exhaustion of motherhood and the serenity (sometimes) that comes in middle age. My life is still so full. I am still single parenting and still isolated and alone, but I now make room for the creative part of me.

painting of a woman in oil titled Mother by Sabrina Lloyd artist in BC Canada
Mother by Sabrina Lloyd

It’s not that my creativity left me completely, I am now able to see. I put it into to my homes and my children. I gave it to everyone around me, making sure we were surrounded in as much art and beauty as we could be. But isn’t that what women do? We give so much away we forgot to keep something for ourselves.

It took a decade of suitcases, a move to an island and a pandemic to finally claim my creativity for myself again.


Painting Emotions Author Bio:

Sabrina Lloyd is a multi-disciplinary artist who has traveled the world from Uganda to Rome to Kenya, to finally landing on a Southern Gulf Island in the Salish Sea. She is a mother, a writer, a storyteller, a visual artist and an award-winning actress. Her art is about emotion. Emotion has always driven her. From the characters played to the art of painting emotions that she now creates, she explores what makes us human. 

On her website you can find more of her visual artistry and writing, as well as her emotionally-compelling paintings.

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One thought on “Finding Myself in Paint

  1. David

    Perhaps alchemy might be this: ‘Your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse.’

    Beautiful work and a powerful story of creativity in action and its ability to nourish and heal. Thank you Sabrina.


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