Grateful - Gail Sibley, The Nile in Greens and Blues, Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 6 x 8 in.

17 Reasons I’m Grateful To Be An Artist!

As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, I think about all I have to be thankful for. I’m so grateful for so much in my life! I really am a lucky gal! I’m grateful for all those I love and who love me, I’m grateful to live where I live (Victoria, BC, Canada), I’m grateful to have been born and brought up in Jamaica, I’m grateful to be financially stable, I’m grateful for travel opportunities, I’m grateful to live in a world with internet which allows me to share what I know with others across the globe.

And then there’s art.

I’m grateful for all those who follow me and buy and collect my work and generally support and encourage my art-making habit. Thank you!!

And then there’s the doing part of art – I am so thankful to be an artist!  Let me count the ways!

As an artist, in no particular order, I’m grateful to:

1. See the world differently and with a sensitivity that I realise others don’t. Beyond the awe of a glorious sunset, we see things like the colour created by the reflection of the sky on a car’s rooftop, a shaft of light across the dining table, or the intricacies of a cast shadow. 

2. Help others see the world in new ways. My friend Sandy continues to remind me of this! 

3. Spend my time “colouring” as my brother-in-law Richard smilingly calls it 

4. Have an excuse and opportunity to travel – teaching workshops around the globe!

5. Get into the flow and lose any sense of time and all other concerns or thoughts in life

6. Express my thoughts and emotions about what I see or experience

7. Create something from nothing. Successful or not – that’s magic!

8. Employ art as an outlet for anger 

9. Tell stories and share traditions for those who come after us – the past is celebrated not forgotten

10. Give a visual voice to big ideas such as Aging or Identity 

11. Transform pain and suffering from life’s challenges and traumas through art-making. Art serves as a therapeutic release where it’s possible to find solace and healing through the creative process.

12. Immerse myself in something I’m passionate about

13. Discover more of who I am through my art. The creative process encourages persistence and resilience. We learn to overcome challenges, embrace failures, and persevere through difficulties. These valuable life skills are not only essential for artistic development but also for personal growth in all aspects of life.

14. Experience the unparalleled joy that comes from bringing an idea to life which brings with it a sense of accomplishment that’s unique to the creative process 

15. Find delight in the smallest details alongside the more obvious grandeur of the natural world

16. Enjoy the freedom to advocate for social justice and express controversial or unconventional ideas, to challenge societal norms and engage in important conversations through our work

17. Be part of an art community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for creativity. This sense of community is not only supportive but also inspiring.

Being an artist is an enriching and rewarding journey filled with all these reasons to be thankful. As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s celebrate the incredible privilege of creating, expressing, and sharing our artistic visions with the world. The act of creation is a gift that brings beauty, meaning, and connection to our lives.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the great Richard Schmid:

“Somewhere within all of us is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no known limits, and once you tap into it you will realise what truly rich choices you have. May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist.” 

~ Richard Schmid

Have I missed anything you’re grateful for as an artist? Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!

And that’s it for this time!

~ Gail

PS. Love this wee book to record gratitude!

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8 thoughts on “17 Reasons I’m Grateful To Be An Artist!”

  1. Thank you Gail for these thoughtful reflections. Among all others, no.14 is a very strong reason.
    And what about no.18: There is a whole world of art materials, art books, museums… it is such a joy to dive into this world and discover something new again and again. I’m grateful for my interest and enthusiasm!

  2. Art can be a place to bury yourself when life gets difficult – not escapism because so often that is not an option we would want, but a place of refuge to help maintain sanity.
    One of the pictures I worked on when my husband was on his last legs. It was intense and sadly it sold on it’s first outing to an exhibition almost immediately after it had been completed. As you probably well know, when we are deeply involved in our creations, there is a length of time needed after their emergence, before we can happily part with them – otherwise there is grief (almost as of a child we have given birth to)!

    1. Thank you so much Caro for sharing your particular journey with art. I’m sure your painting sold because there was so much of raw you in it – it was painted from your heart and spirit, in pain.
      And thank you for mentioning the need for a length of time to be with your work before you are ready to part with them. Sometimes that can be days, sometimes years!

  3. Hi Gail,
    Now I know why I love your blog. It’s much more than the nuts and bolts of pastel painting. The core of all you write is spiritual, not material.
    I absolutely love the quote by Richard Schmid, a real keeper.
    May I add one by Mozart: “Real genius without heart is nonsense. Because neither great intelligence, nor imagination, nor the combination of both make up genius. Love! Love! Love! That is the soul of genius.” The generous care you pour into this blog illustrates this perfectly.
    Nancy Malard

    1. Ahhhh Nancy, thank you so much for your lovely response to this post and to my blog in general!!
      And ahhhh that fabulous quote from Mozart – thank you!!!You, Nancy, have warmed my heart 💖

    1. You are so welcome Kamlesh! And thank you foe adding your thoughts about wha art is for you. “A teacher of patience and acceptance” – so good!!

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Gail Sibley

Artist. Blogger. Teacher.

My love of pastel and the enjoyment I receive from teaching about pastel inspired the creation of this blog. It has tips, reviews, some opinions:), and all manner of information regarding their use through the years – old and new. Please enjoy!

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