Who am I?
I am Mindy Bielas. I study at Claremont School of Theology in Southern California and am getting a masters of arts in Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament) and Feminist Theory (a.k.a. Women and Gender Studies). I find sacred stories and how they affect society incredibly fascinating. Think about it, everyone has a favorite story, whether it be a movie, book, or in another form. These stories then affect how we understand ourselves, those around us, and how we interact with our world. What if we could see our favorite stories with new eyes? This was my question, and so I started painting in addition to writing the many papers required for graduate school. I am also a comic book nerd, a cat owner, a fairy tale enthusiast, gardener, and harp player.
Why do I paint?
As hinted to above, I paint to share a unique perspective of sacred stories. The majority of my paintings are related to my study of the Hebrew Bible, and therefore are sharing stories that are sacred to a particular portion of society. It is my hope in painting these stories that those communities will have the chance to be self reflective and perhaps reconsider their values. This brings me to my second reason for painting, to share a particular set of values. You see, in much of western culture, the women in our favorite stories are often poorly portrayed; demonized or delegitimization, and if not they are given secondary character status. I believe this contributes to our society's demonization (i.e. labeling strong women bitches), delegitimization (i.e. suggesting women's contributions are less important), and secondary personhood status for women today. Therefore I attempt to read and/or interpret sacred stories from a perspective that values and judges these female characters similarly to their male counterparts, because I think this will discourage inequality within western culture. And lastly I paint because it is my favorite way to express myself and my thoughts. It is the only way I know how to express my interaction with the characters. I also paint pieces that are much more about my spiritual journey than my studies of the Hebrew Bible. In each one of these pieces there is a piece of me.
The Story Behind?
I purposely do not share the story behind each painting so that each person can see what they need from the image. However, if you do not enjoy the mystery of the artist's intent and would like to know some back story to the painting feel free to email me and I will be happy to share with you.