Our world has been turned upside down. People find themselves asking that same question–why can’t we all just get along? Even discussing the answer to that question can result in differences of opinion which can result in more agitation, more fear and more uncertainty of the future. Feeling grounded takes effort these days.
Fortunately there are numerous ways to instill that feeling of being grounded–of being aware that there are a lot of things going on around you that you cannot control but for the moment you are enjoying just being. Maybe it is cooking or reading or walking or just sitting and noticing the expression on your dog’s face.For me, it’s painting. I draw inspiration from the ordinary. No political statements. No call to action, unless evoking a memory is a call to action. They are about weaving symbols with color.
Symbols can be powerful–they can provide a reminder of a time gone by, someone we know or somewhere we have been. Or they can remind us of ourselves and our own feelings. The symbols I choose become slightly abstracted with the adding and removing of color, but they start out as an easily identifiable, ordinary image. And most everyone can relate to them in one way or another.
I think we forget the beauty in being ordinary. Especially in a world that teaches us that we need to accomplish great things not ordinary things, in order to be successful. Doing a good job, being helpful and kind–these are ordinary things but certainly hold more power than we give them credit.
My next painting will begin with cupcakes. A friend asked “Why cupcakes?” “Lots of reasons,” I answered–“they’re a happy image; they remind people of birthday parties, of eating something a bit indulgent, of bakeries, and eating frosting out of a bowl.”
Perhaps a better answer would have been to ask “Why not cupcakes?”