Let there be Light in Life

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Let there be Light in Life- how Art can help you be positive

“Choose your thoughts wisely, find out what gets you excited, what energizes you and what you value in life.” Diana Reid

This past weekend was my last show on the road for a while. The weather was beautiful and the crowds were dense. I was in the Washington DC area, so I had plenty of conversations that had a grumbling undertone. These times seem to be full of anxiety- worry about the political climate, about the general sense of dis-ease. Yet this past weekend was also full of hope. After the grumbling was done there was a lightness as though life is just going to be fine.

I recently came upon an article titled  “15 Things the Happy People don’t Do” by Diana Reid. Things like not to forget to dream, or not to be selfish, or most importantly to not allow negativity in their mind. Choosing to be happy is critical in this regard. There is the cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full. I am forever choosing the latter. When I look at my work, I am the one who makes you look at the whimsical, the optimistic, the possibility that there is a light in our life.

However, I sometimes wonder if this is just too trite. As though the sentimental is not deep enough. Yet with the bombardment of negative images that surround us on a daily basis, there just is no way a that the 1/2 full cup can be part of the dialogue. My work, my art, chooses to be looking at the future. A place we can go to that escapes the oppressive place of darkness. In the featured painting, Looking for Fun, this piece is a perfect example of the story of the future. This man walks with purpose and elegance. Choosing to find the fun in his world. Such a great piece that brings nostalgic imagery into a contemporary story.

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Undeniable Strength of Young Women

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Recently I sat with my 13 year old and few of her friends chatting about their teachers. An incident came up where these girls complained about a male teacher. They mentioned that he would give priority to the boys when the class played soccer or flag football. These young women are aware of the “absence of preference”. They are aware that sexism plays in different ways- one of which is language. I asked the reason to them being silent and not complaining or pointing out to the teacher his thoughtless behaviour. Their response? Why bother, they said, nothing will change.

Yet these young women register the subtle ways that boys are preferred and prioritized. I find it rather funny in these days of the Million Women March and International Women’s Day that teachers are still not aware of the subtleties of their behaviour. How is it that teachers don’t receive any sensitivity training in the use of their language or attitude? Words and behaviour have effect. These young women register the repeated preference of boys and can choose to do two things- to let this treatment define them and make them accept that they are not strong enough, or talented enough to play the game OR they can register this treatment and use it as fuel for their fight to conquer and take their frustration to leaning in and accomplishing their goals.

As Maya Angelou said;

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

It is this constant defiance of expectations that I use as inspiration in the painting featured today. “Undeniable” is a piece that uses the icon of Wonder Woman and a strident young woman who walks with confidence and strength. Along the bottom are the men with flowers, appraising her with admiration. A view that women all should have today.

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