What moves you? What moves me? I have often wondered how I could possibly articulate it. It’s so intangible. Varied. Vague.
And it’s not.
Some things that inspire me (and the art you see here) are very basic. Simple. Even child-like; places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, sparkly combination of colors that light my soul. I am fortunately at an age where embarrassment about this level of simplicity is no longer a prohibitor. It took decades but peoples' opinions mean less than ever to me. I used to care so much about what people thought. Not because I wanted them to like me, although that was a small part of it; I was embarrassed by my own naivety and simplicity. I learned over time that more than anything, I wanted others to like themselves. Like many people, I know what it feels like to not. And it’s not fun. And at this age, I now know that I was never alone in that, no matter how lonely that feeling was at the time.
To me, liking oneself used to mean being happy. All. The. Time. I faked it. I deserve an academy award for how well I did. But I don’t have to fake it anymore because I actually AM happy….and I don’t need to prove it with laughter or smiles (although being as easily amused as I am, laughter is a daily staple in my life).
What inspires me now are much deeper things, although the surface of just pretty things is certainly still a top five. But mostly I am inspired by peoples’ journeys. Once I accepted that my journey up and down, and down, and down a little more was not, in fact, unique to me, I let go. I embraced the sadness and fear instead of hiding from them. And it. Was. Liberating.
It turns out, negative emotions are equally as important as all the good ones. Less fun. But equal. I'm unsure we really grow or evolve from happy experiences. Those are easy. They fill us with love and joy and some might argue that the more poignant ones do, in fact, change us. But I'm not so sure. Soul-changing experiences, the ones that shake our very core, are the ones we learn from. Grow from. Evolve from. And those are arguably the most challenging experiences.
In this particular abstract of a recently visited beach, I was inspired by the evolution of friendship and family that this particular beach visit brought to the forefront of my consciousness. I’ve enjoyed the superficial beauty of shiny pretty things but have used said shiny pretty things to experiment in new mediums on canvas. In this case, gold leafing paper. And silver. This trip with a friend to a beautiful beach in the Caribbean was a new phase in the evolution of our friendship while at the same time, juggling new-and-old challenges at home, at work, in life. And evolving from them. Without fear. Without regret. Liberating.