7 years ago I was finishing up my last semester of college and debuting my first solo art show. So many emotions ran through me as I was about to close one chapter and begin another. Little did I know that the decision to showcase my poetry and paintings would be a glimpse into my future.
Growing up, painting and writing were my favorite things to do. I would write short stories and poems for everything that I was going through as a way to release sadness or to celebrate the happy moments. When we were told that we had to decide on a topic and medium for our senior exhibit, I immediately knew it had to be words and art. Looking back now, I laugh because I was just graduating with my degree in Communication Design and there I was showcasing my paintings. Painting has always been a great stress reliever and at the time I needed to do something I enjoyed, between all the final critiques and portfolio reviews.
Coming up with a theme was easy for me. I've always been drawn to real life, nature and experiences, so I thought it would be a good idea to reflect upon my college years. I titled my show "Journeys Reflected." This was my artist statement:
Life is a journey. Our every step, touch, and spoken word quickly becomes a memory of the past. Sometimes we must reflect upon these experiences, good and bad to continue on our climb into the future. Personal moments over the course of my life have become inspiration for my paintings and the poems that accompany them.
I am deeply influenced by the Expressionist art movement because these artworks sought to express the meaning of “being alive.” Journeys Reflected showcases memories that were significant stepping stones in my own life. This includes moments that were trivial as well as moments that took my breath away.
The work in this exhibit is meant to inspire and encourage others to take a few extra moments to appreciate the simple things that may have been missed in life. Family and friends were my motivation and often the subjects behind this series because they provided endless encouragement towards every dream and goal.
Life is a journey,
a series of challenges thrown our way.
Testing our strengths and weaknesses
to prepare us for future days.
Obstacles may bring hurt
and they may bring pain…
but everything is a blessing,
the tears erase the stain.
Sometimes we focus
on the negative for too long,
we miss the bigger picture
and ignore the joyful song.
The joyful song
echoes as our hearts slowly grieve,
letting go of pain,
allows the emptiness to leave.
People that enter our lives,
we are destined to get to know,
even if it’s a short while,
they teach us to grow.
This journey called life,
is a series of moments in time;
teaching us all outcomes,
are about the climb.
The climb builds strength
to continue on our way,
molding our hearts
for future days.
Sometimes we must look back
to compare who we were,
to see a positive change
of the person we have become today.
After my senior show I stopped painting. I don't know why, but I think I got caught up in applying for jobs and landing my first "real job" outside of the world of freelance. A piece of me died as I transitioned into the corporate world leaving behind my passion for painting.
It wasn't until my husbands grandmother passed away, two years ago, that I began to paint again. Even though I only knew her for a short while, her loss was very hard to deal with. As a way to ease the pain, I turned to painting. It healed my broken heart and also restored it so that I could be a stronger support for my husband (boyfriend at the time).
Through the experience of loss, I was once again reminded how precious time is and that the little things in life are truly the big things. My goal for this blog and business have always been to encourage and motivate people, but now I really want to dig deeper and encourage others to live a more positive and fulfilled life. Each one of us has a different journey and message to share with the world. So often we're on auto pilot and not truly living in the moment or appreciating the seconds that go by. It's time to look at life differently as a gift because tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Are you doing something that you enjoy each day? Are you happy? Are you surrounding yourself with people who bring you up or down? Are you living or just existing?
These are real questions we need to ask ourselves. Life is a journey inward, it's time to start living with purpose and intention. Will you join me?