October 2011 – Life’s Lessons and Art

I’ve been attending the  Sharon Wilson School of Art for just under two years now.

The school’s annual Just Pastels Exhibition opened last week during which I was able to see my years’ worth of work all hung together. The growth in my work over the last two years has really surprised me. And the more I thought about how drastic the growth had been, the more it seemed as though art was teaching me a life lesson. What do I mean? Well let me try to explain…

Patience and hard work have afforded me the opportunity to grow immensely.  And for those that know me well, patience has always been my nemesis. My artistic journey has been one of hills and valleys, frustration and random pleas for help, in conjunction with surprises of satisfaction.

When I’m painting, each piece of artwork goes through numerous stages as it is built up in layers. Each layer has a different purpose and presents new challenges and struggles. At these stages I constantly remind myself not to feel defeated or give up. Instead, I press on through the difficulty to reveal the end product, a beautiful painting which would not have come to be without the underlying struggle. And let me tell you, many paintings have ended up in “file 13” because I just couldn’t get past the difficult stage. In fact if I look over at my portfolio case, there are some works bordering on that line right now. It’s not easy…

The process is interestingly reflective of life’s journeys. For all of the journeys before today, and all of those that await me, art continues to remind me that one should worry less about where they are not, what they do not have and what they have not done. Instead, enjoy the journey, be patient, dedicated and thankful… because the rewards come in due time.

For my fellow artists out there, have you found that either viewing or creating art sometimes serves as a reminder to some aspect of life for you too? Perhaps even those of you who are not artist can identify with this in relation to something else.