ART & HAPPINESS V.1
In my 20s and early 30s I struggled to find happiness. Along with everything that helped – books, long walks, therapy – art was key. I started to paint regularly (once again) in 2007. I found myself painting in abstract and that work was mainly about the internal, whatever struggle I was going through.
Art was my therapy, it relaxed me. And as the years went by, I found an understanding of what happiness meant to me. I started looking outward. My focus was put on the beauty of what was around me – nature, a cool sky, a graceful jellyfish, a fascinating piece of coral, or a cool shell. I got joy from painting these things. My abstract works started to look more like landscapes as I was inspired by all the places I was travelling to.
Travel helped me to look at my everyday life as well to find those bits of wow. I remember when I started paying attention to sunsets, it was during a trip. I realized that we all have the same brilliant skies, it's a matter of what we're paying attention to. So every day, I make it a point to look up and notice the sky.
This morning, I was reading a chapter in "Og Mandino's University of Success", by Louis Binstock on "How to have a happy life". This quote gave me an ah-ha moment, which I immediately connected it to my art. Binstock describes asking this brilliant nun (nameless in the passage) about happiness, and she says:
“We are all so restless that we fail to rest; to look inward more than outward; to let our eyes rest on nature as well as man. To be happy you must have a sense of being, always knowing you are part of a wonderful world, reflecting upon the joy of your being, physically, mentally, emotionally; meditating upon the mystery of the universe, marveling at the magic of nature and of human nature.”
Wow. Yes to all of that.
My wish for my paintings is for them to go out into the world and remind people of this simple happiness, the joy of nature. In painting differently parts of the world and adding my interpretation via colour, line, light, to show and remind people of the possibilities.
I find a room devoid of art with bare walls, depressing. Not even the perfect shade of paint can remedy. I'd encourage anyone reading to fill your lives with art you love. Something that you can look at after a shit day and uplift you. Don't decorate based on paint colour. Decorate with love. Find a piece of art that reminds you of happiness. Whatever it be. Perhaps a photo of one of the best trips, your beautiful child laughing, a landscape of water and trees reminding you of what it's like to be present and breathing, or an abstract work that something just resonates.
Also, look up at the sky. That's all for now folks, thanks for reading and bye!
View my galleries click HERE