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!
PS. Love this wee book to record gratitude!