(v.) to do something with soul, creativity or love. To put something of yourself into your work.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you”.
~ Maya Angelou
~ Elenor Roosevelt
So true, thank you Elenor! Sitting down in January, my birth month, I began to paint this birthday painting…At times it felt, well, odd. Naturally being a giver, throughout the day I think of what to paint to encourage and give to my children and others. Growing up in a very turbulent home life, art, had always been my sanctuary. Creating brought me; hope, peace and survival. ..It was something nourishing and positive…
As I look back, what could have been so simple, I made complicated. I resisted, in parts, one of the most profound gifts that I had been given, that which is a key part of my identity, CREATIVITY.
Then, I often thought, ” How does this fit into school and my family…they all seemed to be receiving so much praise for accolades in Science, Math and honors”, I’m the creative black sheep”. I ran these tapes through my brain, toxic thoughts for many years that became my song. I ,”believed”, if I fit that structure I would be loved more…
Buzzzz….Wrong answer, the battle was in my mind. As an adult, I praise my God, that I realize where those thoughts were coming from and not a pit I wanted to live in.
(Breathing deeply)…Self care isn’t selfish, I feel I need to write that again…Self care isn’t selfish. It is one of the most unselfish things one can do. Being emotionally, physically, spiritually balanced helps me, but also, helps those around me. A whole healed person and the messy story they write on perseverance can touch someone else and it can snowball in a positive way. Hey, I want to be apart of that snowball fight!
So, at age 44, I celebrate all 44 of these growing in years. This is what I love about mixed media; I get to play with color joyfully, as I did in my youth…with abandon. In peace and playfulness, I paint with my hands. I get to build layers on the canvas similar to the layers of years of my life…Some weathering, some looking better with age, wisdom and antiquing.
I’ve expressed my femininity in this piece. “I love pink and I’m proud!”. I also draw on what I have cherished…Great-grandmother’s lace and buttons. They highlight the painting. As I added these pieces in, I recalled the same joyful excitement of discovering them for the first time, as I did in my youth. In the 1800’s as she created the lace and sewed the buttons to her garments, little did she know she would be blessing another generation…
Now I get to carry the responsibility of the blessing. A good place to be, to see art, as your personal responsibility…
What does the chair in the painting have to do with anything? This is what I love so much about art. It can be enjoyed at face value and deeply appreciated when the story behind it is revealed, much like people! As a formally trained Interior Designer, I appreciate the lines. In college I enjoyed learning about the Art History of a piece. How whatever going on politically influenced the art world as well. At a deeper level, where I like to percolate, I refer back to self care…I struggled with worthiness as a child. Brew up a difficult childhood and mix in a heaping dose of rejection and ta-da, you brew a perfect cup of low self esteem. FYI, I no longer drink from that vessel, it was way too bitter! I now enjoy the sweetness of life….In young life I didn’t feel worthy to ever have a chair as beautiful as the ones I poured over in design and Art History books. I was fascinated with the style and colors.
Buzz….wrong answer again….I am worthy to enjoy a beautiful chair (self care) and a sweet cup of tea and a balanced life. The chair, in the painting, with my great-grandmother’s lace balloon tied to it, FYI, sits in my hallway, I smile and breath deeply in a content fashion each morning as I brush past…content knowing I was created to open my gift, layer by layer, pull it out of my the box it was given to me in and display it, share it, treasure it with the world. For I know now I was CREATED to CREATE.
Celebrating a Happy, Happy Birthday…
Until soon, Heather
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”
~ C.S. Lewis
” In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”.
~ Abraham Lincoln