Gratitude.Posted: August 19, 2014
August 19th, 2014
There are ups and downs in any type of work you do, and lately, it’s been pretty down. People often tell me I’m “living the dream,” and I’ll have to I agree– but I’ll admit: some days, painting is draining, exhausting, and downright painful. I literally need to force myself to sit my ass down to paint. Nothing can be created from not showing up, right?
But something happened lately that inspired, touched, and motivated me a few days ago. A dear, old friend emailed me after seeing images of my latest series: “Abstractions of Song,” a series of abstract paintings I created based on songs that resonated with me. She was particularly drawn to the piece, “I Wish You Love.” Having gone through a particularly difficult time in her life, she sent me this (which I got her permission to share):
it’s so funny, that song has been on a loop in my home and in my car… it’s on a rotation of 5 songs i listen to constantly — sometimes sad, sometimes crying but a lot of times just hopeful and reflective. i thought that song was my little secret i listened to and i was astonished to open my facebook and see it right there in your post….and not only that, see it accompanied by a beautiful piece of art that indescribably captures everything i feel when i hear it. it’s so weird. i know it’s a personal piece of work for yourself but it’s so funny how i can look at it — even on a computer screen, not even live! — and automatically feel like it was meant for me. but i guess that’s the beauty of great art, right?
While I can’t say I know what “great art” is, I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for her sentiments. Knowing her story personally, it was clear to me that she understood everything I wanted to communicate in this painting. I also knew almost too intimately and painfully, how she has been feeling– because I’ve been there. Painting this series meant having to revisit some of my lonelier, introspective times. These paintings were also ambitious– I wanted to capture conflicting, complicated, elusive emotions and materialize them with only composition, color, marks, and paint. I wanted to work in the abstract, because sometimes, symbolism only flattens the depth of the emotions one feels.
I never paint with the intention of imposing my views, or even expect others to understand it fully. But, it is something I always silently hope to achieve. Hearing this from my old friend validated what I’ve been working toward: to reach others through my art, wordlessly, holistically, and to say things that now never need to be said. I am so grateful for being able to challenge myself through my work and be rewarded this way, it is a privilege I hope to never take for granted. Everything about this fills me with gratitude, thank you for being a part of it.