This is a chaotic and scary world we live in.
As I watch and listen to news reports, I sometimes wonder why should I continue to devote as much time as I do to my artwork. In the grand scheme of things—why should I be concerned about painting; shouldn’t I be worrying about surviving and about what the future could bring?. Who cares if the colors in my paintings sing? People are dying and starving—shootings and acts of terror fill the papers.
More than ever, current world situations call to us to be more compassionate, to show love any way we can—even if it comes from a few brushstrokes. I do not believe my artwork will result in world peace but I do believe a result of inspiration can reach into another’s soul—to that part of them that is not afraid, is not fearful; that still wants to feel joy.
I find that by focusing on helping or supporting a fellow human being that it takes me away from the gripping fear of things I cannot change. I can spend time worrying so much about the senseless acts going on in the world that it puts me in a sense of emotional paralysis or I can focus on helping someone right in front of me.
A couple of years ago, I knew someone who was going thru a tough time involving domestic violence and there wasn’t much I could do except try to help her find a sparkle; and the bleakness of her situation made that a challenge. I decided to make her something. Not a painting (since she didn’t know where she would be living), but something that was just a small token of indulgence. Because indulging herself was the furthest thing from her mind. I made her a small handmade gift and the joy this small offering gave her was contagious; she felt happy and supported; even if it was for just a few moments when she used it. This gift did not change her situation; it was simply a gift to show her love. Fast forward to the present–I now make a donation of these little treats to a women’s shelter and a cancer treatment center every year.
Obviously there is a lot going on in our lives that has nothing to do with acts of global terrorism—people are working thru their own personal challenges every day. And If I see an opportunity to help, even if it is as small as a handmade gift, I will act on that opportunity. Of course I am concerned about the future but thinking and worrying about it is not as productive as offering a smile, a donation or a shoulder to lean on.
I will continue to donate my time and my creativity. I will continue to pray for victims of senseless acts and there is no doubt I will continue to worry about what this world is coming to, but not to the point where I give in to despair and hopelessness.
And I will continue to believe there are others who agree.