Joyful Art

shine_apple_painting

I’ve been immersing myself in the idea of joy lately. This little clip from Desmond Tutu’s site reminded me right away and had me smiling ever since. How happy does it make you to see these two sweet old men sharing their love and joy? For so many years I believed that we just envied each others joy and more and more I’m realizing how much we all relish in another’s joy. It’s why I watch those singing and dancing contests, it can make me cry to see someone making their dream come true and even more so when I see them lost in joy from it. Even when I see James Corden in those carpools, I cannot stop smiling!

I feel like I’ve unfairly judged the human race concerning our gifts of joy and how we express them. I’m sorry to say I’ve kept my gifts hidden in an effort to make others feel better about themselves and I see what a misjudgment that has been. I always thought hiding these things from people was modesty or if I mention any of it, it was bragging. As soon as I would open up and the words would spill out of my mouth about what I did or how I spent my spare time, I would immediately look down to search for a way to lower myself and make others feel more comfortable. I certainly have no problems laughing about my short comings, but why hide my gifts? My gifts are where all my joy comes from. When I talk to others about making music or art I’m filled with passion, opinion and creativity.

This painting is called “Shine”, despite it’s drippy appearance. It’s the first of a series of apples paintings I’ve created to express the abundance in my life. One of the ways I’m abundant and joyful is through all my soul feeding artistic endeavors. In the past year or two I’ve finally decided to come out of hiding and engage with others on my level of joy and it’s been fantastic!

Will there be critical or envious comments still – sure and we can all relate to moments of envy and judgment. The fascinating thing is that the strongest reaction I get is someones willingness to share in my passion and joy which brings me in closer connection to them.

I have to admit I’m scared every time I take a step into the spotlight. I don’t consider myself a master at any of the crafts I partake in but every time I do step up I’m surprised at how it’s not nearly as scary as I though it would be. The bottom line is I create because I need to, not because I’m good at it and not so anyone else can validate me. It calls to me and I have to answer. Of course, I still have ego around it, but not as much as you might think. These things feel like they’re getting created through me, instead of because of me. Being in flow and losing myself is what I’m after and afterwards this thing of beauty appears – like big magic, as Elizabeth Gilbert would say.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing, supportive, loving close friends and family but I can tell you not everyone of my close friends and family believed in me when I first started out on a creative endeavor. Luckily, I didn’t need them to. It would have been sad to have missed what all these experiments in creativity have brought me had I let those opinions take a hold. I think this “confidence” stems from a long ago belief I’d formed that art is subjective. What one person likes another might despise but it’s all valid art. I mean, when a critically acclaimed piece of work turned me off, the stark reality of subjectivity was unavoidable. So good news! We can create at any level. We don’t need permission to be a song writer, a painter, a dancer, a knitter, a cook, a crafter, a sculpture…fill in the blank.

So how about it, what is your joy? What makes you lose yourself in smiles and warm feelings? Just for fun I will leave you with this joyful clip – get your joy on!

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