It takes courage to stay true to your dreams, doesn’t it? When I started this painting, I did not see nor understand my own courage. Reaching for an example, I remembered the vast sky above a rippling ocean, colorful shells, smooth pebbles and spectacularly colored cliffs looming large above tiny bright umbrellas while on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
I recalled that the jagged hills were created by the accumulation of mineral and organic deposits, rain, wind, ice and whatever what was once life, was brought in for transformation by the sea. And the earth, the sun and the moon delivered. It created unparalleled beauty that today is continually enriched by those of us who visit along with present day natural occurrences.
While nature does not speak of courage, it vividly portrays what it takes to live a life of trust in the perfection of every moment, open acceptance of all just as it is, willingness to adapt and transform, being present and patient and play a diversity of roles while looking awesome at any stage of the game!
Thus I reflected on the 10-year old girl who stubbornly colored every school assignment and boldly sat by while teachers doubted her artistic skills to reach a place where painting was pure joy. The happiness that art brought her continued for much of her adolescence, until a huge barrier showed up in the shape of a new country, new language, new people and familial expectations. The demons that appeared loomed large and she thought she lost her magic tools; her brushes seemed powerless.
Searching fiercely to recover the spark, she tried blending with a culture she did not understand and bravely explored the surrounding foreign landscape. The young woman saw mountains she could not climb and barred doors without any key in site. In time, Buddhist teachings and practice offered great solace and healing. The gentle love of a friend who questioned why she was not using the gifts she called skills, urged her to find the courage to fulfill her dreams. Courage; what is that?
It took me years to realize that courage means to embrace, just like the cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard, all of my life as the right life; that obstacles and experiences are there for me to learn and even embellish, while taking only one step at a time and trusting the process. I also learned that the bars were never locked and began viewing what was beyond doors as possibilities for magic.
After years of creating what I called functional art and interiors that enable people to see mountains as adventurous journeys and operable doors everywhere, I rediscovered my magic brushes, one canvas at a time. It took courage to just play with colors, textures and shapes and allow my clamoring heart to speak. In it I not only found my primary means of expression but in its rhythm I found the magic I thought was in my tools.
Today I find open doors I did not know existed and beyond them I encounter fields of plenty as far as the eye can see. I still want to enable others to perceive life as an adventure, but now I also help them find the magic in their hearts through painting. The paintings I create reflect the blossoms I collected by embracing the full span of my life. In turn, I pass on the wisdom I earned so my students and collectors can create their unique life stories.
My story is that of someone who fought many demons, real or imagined and painted them all into a very colorful life. May this painting’s message be inspiring. Click on, A Colorful Life to purchase prints, as the original is gone to a woman who found this image inspiring.