Hello everyone! Hope you all have had an amazing summer and are getting in the mood for fall.

After the “Blood, Ash and Bone” collection was completed I had this urge to go from discussing connections of minds and people to inner heart spaces. The first of which you can see here. This painting is called “My Heart is a Myth” and I think boils down to the topic of vulnerability and shadow work.

my heart is a myth full painting christina ridgeway

It’s hard to know where to begin with this painting because it has such deep meaning to me. I have to boil it down to its essence and core. And I believe it has a lot to do with vulnerability. It’s funny, I hadn’t thought of that necessarily until my sister sent me a TedTalk on the subject last week and I sat there and thought huh… that’s the wound isn’t it? That’s the fear. That’s where this shadow side is stemming from.

portrait close up my heart is a myth

As the woman described in the TedTalk – being vulnerable is incredibly hard. We open ourselves up to others to often only be wounded in return. We carry around these hurt little pieces of ourselves sometimes pretending that we don’t even have those emotions full stop. This creates such fear, such bad habits where we try to cover up or mask what’s happening underneath.

close up bleeding heart dove painting

These broken vulnerable places can accumulate and create the shadow side. Doing shadow work seems to be a big thing these days. I have long wanted to paint a bleeding heart dove and glad I found a painting which was perfect for it. Though ironically that red mark on the chest is actually inflated during courting and mating – not a sign of weakness at all. Perhaps our wounded selves don’t have to be either.

When our feelings and emotions are a myth – how are we portraying ourselves? How do others perceive us? Is it really better to keep an open heart at all times, no matter the consequence?

christina and model ulrika in the woods photoshoot

I had such a good time taking all of these reference photos – my long time friend Ulrika travelled up from the south of Sweden to visit me. I used to paint her all the time! She always knew how to portray exactly what I was feeling on the inside.

I have taken loads of references for many more shadow influenced paintings so I look forward to sharing those with you! I hope you all enjoy this new painting and feel as though it resonates with you in some way.


Have a wonderful week!