While preparing for a solo art show I removed most of the artwork from the walls of my home because much of it would be featured in the upcoming exhibit. After I delivered the paintings to the gallery and I when I returned home, I was somewhat startled by my response when I walked Into my living room. With the art gone, it was as if the soul left the building. Something I took for granted, what had slipped into the background, suddenly became a glaring absence.
I was presented with stark and empty white walls which I had imagined might be an enjoyable respite for me, to have a clean, zen like experience of blank walls. But instead, I was confronted with the importance of the role my art played in my life. In that moment, I became aware that I didn’t just make paintings, but more importantly, my art brought not only color and beauty but it also had filled my home with a much needed soulfulness, creativity, magic and vitality. A wondrous contrast to the worries and banalities of daily life.
It was a turning point, a revelation of sorts, enabling me to see that I wasn’t just selling art but that the paintings I create are a window or doorway into another world that leads us into a reflection of our own inner life, depth, soulfulness. This is because when I paint I touch into something deeper inside myself that reaches beyond the daily ‘stuff of life’. Before I paint, I intentionally become still of mind and heart. So, that which ‘comes through’ me is not being painted by what I call ‘ little robin’ but by some larger part of myself, whatever language you may have for this, I will for now call it my ‘essence’. It is a universal essence that is part of every single one of us including animals. (in fact animals may indeed be more in touch with that essence because they don’t live from the mind as much as we do.)
Recently, I sold a few paintings and the new ‘owners ‘ told me that shortly after the art was installed people would step into their home, stop for a moment, and comment that something felt different. Some knew it was the addition of the art but others just sensed there was a presence in the room that was uplifting, although they had not even initially noticed the art .
My entire life as an artist had been dogged by a belief I held that ‘doing’ things for people, helping them in some way was more important than making art. I had always envied my therapist friends who had, what I believed was something tangible and useful to offer.
I have learned over the years that my art has something to offer that can profoundly impact people’s lives, offering a doorway into a realm of beauty, magic, soul connection that contrasts the grind of the superficial tasks of our daily lives. I hear quite often from people who see my work for the first time. ‘I don’t usually like abstract work, but I love yours. something about it is different.’ I have always felt that the term ‘abstract’ was not appropriate for what for what I create. So, I am now calling them ‘Painted Poems”.
Often, over time, people become indifferent to the art on their walls after the newness subsides. The art becomes something in the background. but what I learned the day I took the art away I realized that even if people are not stopping and intentionally relating to the art, they are surrounded by it daily and that beauty, soul and magic is a doorway into other realms which is constantly affecting them in a beautiful way whether they are aware of it or not.