"Great courage in the face of danger", is how valor is defined by the Oxford Dictionary. I believe that valor is needed to navigate this life. We each have our own battles for which we need courage, strength, and determination.
How amazing to relish those moments where we can enjoy the strength we've gained from weathering a storm. Each obstacle adds a little more strength to our character and gives us knowledge for future challenges.
I believe that this strength also carries a component of embracing our value. Without learning to love ourselves, we will not be able to make the healthy choices in our lives that we need to. We will doubt our decisions. We will follow the crowd. However, when we learn our value, there is an inner strength that stands firm against attack, that believes in our inner voice. When we give that inner voice as much weight as we give other's opinions, we grow stronger. Each time we succeed, we believe in ourselves a little more. And that is how we take fear and self-doubt and build it into valor.
How though can we build our self worth? From my experience, we need to surround ourselves with support systems. As a child learning to walk needs helping hands until they can stand alone, so we need positive supporters until we can learn to trust our own voice. Friends, therapists, social circles, family, support groups, reading, music, these all have a place. They won't be the same for all of us. Only you can decide what form your support will take, who has proven worthy of the task in the past, and who is strong enough to be there for you now and on into the future. Listen to your voice in choosing your support system, change it as circumstances change, or when one of them lets you down. But whatever you do, believe in possibility. Believe that each and every one of us here on this crazy planet has value. Join me here every week, as I explore ways to increase our self esteem, through dialogue, self love, and artistic expression.
In between the daily grind, the filtered social media moments, the good times and the bad times; once in a while we are hit with something that stops us in our tracks. Whether from deep loss, physical or mental illness, grief, abuse, or some other trauma, we've all encountered deep pain in our lives. This March, I have the honour of displaying a group of paintings at The Chapel Gallery in Bracebridge, ON, in a show entitled "Passages". This body of work explores the journey through the emotions created by this pain. There is a path we must take to get through it, and find ourselves again on the other side of grief.
The journey is not linear. With the paintings in my show, I compare each emotion we go through to a passage. It may be that one is stuck in a passage for years, only to circle back to a previous emotional passage. One may be living in several passages at once. All of these emotions are normal. There is no time limit for being in a passage. We each take a similar path, yet we each travel it differently, and that is okay. With each emotional stage or passage, there is potential for learning and finding our way through, to a healthier place.
To heal from pain, personal work is needed, yet with the aid from others, we can navigate the emotions we face, to healing and freedom.
I invite you to join me for the opening reception, March 3, 2018, from 1 to 4, at the Chapel Gallery. The show runs from March 3 -24, Tues. to Sat. 10-1 and 2-5. If you can't make it in person, I will be posting here shortly with pictures of the event.
Being an artist can be a lonely affair. Minutes turn into hours, haunting music inspires the gesture of a paintbrush, the scent of mineral spirits hangs in the air. A day passes. And another.
When we emerge, we criticize our work, we walk away, we come back, we scrutinize it, we change it, and we change it again. And in the end it has become a creation in and of it’s own.
We tend to be loners sometimes. Even so, we derive inspiration from those around us, the world we live in, and the natural terrain. These are some artists that inspire me, let me tell you why.
I follow these artists on Instagram, it’s an inspiration to see their works in progress, their finished art, and a little piece of their day, as I go through mine.
Albert Einstein once said "education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school".
After my weekend enjoying the great weather and amazing people at the Cranberry Festival, I couldn't agree more. I love people, and there were thousands that visited Johnston's Cranberry Marsh two weekends ago. These same people saw my art. That was intimidating, but I'm happy to say I survived the jump. Showing my art to the public is like revealing a piece of my soul. How relieved I was to receive so many positive comments, and I sold more items than expected - wow.
So to any of you who are contemplating taking a leap of faith. I say, go for it! Say Geronimo! It's the anticipation that creates the most fear. Life is an education, let's live it to the full. I would love to hear from any out there that have taken the leap...how did it go? ...what did you learn?... Send me your comments, I would love to hear from you....
OK, so I've painted murals before. Kids bedrooms, restaurants, seniors' centers and small businesses. But this is different. I'm bringing my art to the public. When I painted murals it was the client who chose the image. Before the paint even touched the wall, they could change the layout. This time I'm choosing, and it's sort of like jumping from a cliff. I know I'll land safe, I'm prepared. But I have butterflies in my stomach anyways.
I'm taking my latest pieces to the Bala Cranberry Festival, October 14, 15, 16, 2016. Come say hi, and let's cross our fingers for great weather!