pilar, spanish for pillar

When complete, my newest composition will represent a 4th generation of family members I’ve painted over the last few years. I’ve mapped both my parents, myself and my husband, my niece and now my nephew’s daughter. Another nephew is in the queue. I look forward to locating a venue and exhibiting the entire bunch one day.

My niece’s name is Pilar, she is 4 going on 5. I outline her on a Sunday morning. I can sense she is doing everything in her power to hold still. This is just my observation … stillness is not (yet) her forte. She is full of eagerness and excitement, is little but strong.


I research human growth and development for the study including height, weight, and size of head. I note fine motor skills. I learn about growth spurts and growing pains. I wonder about what is average, above average or below average. It’s interesting to me how these things are determined. In terms of the general growth chart, Pilar will most likely be smaller than average because both her mother and father are. Perhaps the odds are high this will be true, though I’ll believe it when I see it. I understand more and more why things are measured and labeled but still I think wait and see. It’s probably best that I’m an artist and not a doctor. Or maybe a doctor might say this too, what do I know.

I complete the contour and begin detail. I must have started over at least 6 or 7 times. Because Pilar moves her hands and feet, those areas appears to also be in motion in the study. I have a similar issue with Lawson, a 2-year-old, whom I worked on previously. I trust details to settle as I progress.



The word pilar is Spanish for pillar. It’s right I start with the feet and follow with the leg. While we think of the leg as the area from the hip to the foot, in fact it is only the area from the knee to the ankle – a most pillar-like form.


Merriam-Webster defines pillar as :

1. A firm upright support for a superstructure. Did you know the legs govern the back? Yes they do.
2. A large post that helps to hold up something. The legs hold you – upright.
3. Someone who is an important member of a group. Yes, she is – all children are that.
4. A basic fact, idea, or principle of something. – Yes, yes. We are going there.

I always enjoy bringing in symbolic elements if I can…
Legs allow one to stand, walk, run, kick and dance. Think: support and locomotion. Out on my morning run, I am aware my legs offer me mobility, stability, and independence. Energetically they ground one in their individuality.

Consider ideas of oneness and unity. Think in terms of what you need to make a decision and take full responsibility. If you are split inside, feeling stuck before even taking a step, you hesitate. If in doubt, legs are not able to move straight forward, and in fear they move away. Note the energy of your legs as they move you to our destination – be open, strengthen and then move.

I consider Pilar running with freedom from one person to another, one thing to another. Her father says she is great on the monkey bars, of course she is! She does hold still for moments at a time. Or at least she tries …


Crus, Latin for leg, includes the shin (front), the calf (back), the tibia (wider bone) and the fibula (narrow bone).

This morning I read an article on the meridians. I might try to indicate those channels. I understand meridians form at conception.