Finding the Heart of Art

Art is the use of shape, color, and form to express something words are ill-equipped to describe.

I decided that a few weeks ago while working on a painting.

“Wait. You paint?” you may ask.

I do, as of this year. And the one rule I’ve had for myself is:

Plan nothing.
Do whatever feels right in the moment …
even if it turns out looking terrible.

C’est le vie and such is art.

The painting that taught me this is actually the painting I did of my dog, SeBi, after she passed this year.

I did the first phase of the painting the night she passed, but it never felt done. So when her birthday came around last month, it felt right to add it.

Before adding paint, I snapped this shot to make note of where the picture started.

I couldn’t quite get a shot without glare and kept having the thought to take a picture outside.

So I did.

The lighting wasn’t any better outside and I was like, “Well, this isn’t going to work. We’ve got shadows and–“

Then a squirrel that actually knew my dog popped out of the neighboring tree and literally ran up to look at the painting.

It was one of those moments that felt a little surreal. Especially when the squirrel went across the painting so it could jump like SeBi.

You can tell me it was my imagination. That’s fine.

Whatever the case, the rest of the pics I have of the original painting have one of Sebi’s squirrel friends in it and I’m not even a little mad about it.

And this is what the painting looks like following her birthday brush-up:

It was when I was done with this update that I decided art is the expression of that which hasn’t found words yet; it’s an invitation to have a conversation to find those words.

And that’s all it needs to be. Nothing has to be “perfect” in art. It just has to express in a way that brings multiple minds to the same page.

And it’s fun.

That said, you may be seeing more art from me in 2023.

Meeting Strangers [Day 13/365]

Every stranger you meet is a chance to see yourself through new eyes. - Sheralyn Pratt

I don’t talk about it often (although, maybe I should), but I’ve spent an actual year of my life on walkabouts, driving around the United States with a dog and no plan.

Most mornings, I woke up, picked a direction, and went.

Other mornings, I had a place to stay and no urgency to leave, so I explored.

I went all sorts of places and visited dozens of cities, and you know what was common about every place I visited? They were all filled with genuine people doing their best at this thing we call living.

A year on the road as a single female could be a dangerous proposition. I’m sure that is some locations and environments being alone with a dog could have been terrifying.

But it wasn’t for me. Wherever I went, I was safe. Sometimes, I was even overtly watched over. I had countless conversations with innumerable people on topics I never would have explored on my own. And, with each conversation, my view of the world got bigger and bigger, along with my sense of where I stood in that world.

It’s for this reason I say that every stranger you meet is a chance to see yourself through new eyes. Because it’s true.

And everyone you meet has a message for you.