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Painting a New Life

Musings of the Day

Creating is Like Breathing

Hear this read aloud below

Creating, in whatever form, is like breathing for me. It is necessary for life. Without it I will die. My body needs it, my spirit thrives on it, my soul hungers for it. Like actual breath, it animates my body and gives me life, so much so that it is what I turn to when I am anxious, ill, needing comfort or support. It could be called an addiction. I have to engage in the act of creation or I feel like I will expire. Some turn to food or drugs. I write or paint or design a new fabric or imagine an image. As addictions go, this isn’t a bad one to have.

When my hands began to fail last year and my ability to paint and sew and work with my hands in any creative way, was threatened, at first I panicked. I had poured everything into creating my pillows and blankets, into years of painting and designing. Now what was I going to do? I had to create in some way. I began by writing. At the very least I could get on my computer and put into words what I was experiencing even though it wasn’t as articulate as the images and colors in my soul. But then something came to me. I still don’t know how it came or where it came from, but that no longer matters. I could “paint” on my computer with very little impact on my hands or my back or my energy level. My health challenges didn’t seem to impact my ability to create in this way. It was then, as I grew in my capacity to express in digital images, that I was reminded that my path is one of the artist and seeker and that as long as I stay on that path it does’t matter what form it takes.

Here I am months later and my images are evolving, getting more complex and expressive of what lives within me. In some ways these new images are more articulate than my acrylic or watercolors. They allow me to paint in ways that I could not with my hands and what’s coming through me is showing me the path I am walking in my life even more clearly than ever before. People are calling my images other worldly, multi-dimensional and “out there”. Those who have not responded to my hand created paintings are responding to these. I seem to be reaching people on a deeper level somehow.

I think when someone sees a painting or drawing they have a set idea of what that is or should be. They identify it as a painting, ask about the texture, like the colors and wonder if it will go with their decor. But with these new images, because there is no identifiable medium, somehow they are able to penetrate beyond the mind into the soul. Maybe it’s a bit like seeing a photograph, a sunset, a gorgeous flower. One doesn’t feel the need to fit it into their decor. It’s just there to be enjoyed for what it is. Which leads me back to creating art.

I create art because I have to. As I said, it’s like breathing for me. Sharing my creations, having them received and the love reflected back to me, is the nourishment I need to keep going and to blossom. Imagine your life without ever having anyone show you that you make a difference, that your being alive makes a difference. Imagine if you, breathing, being alive, didn’t matter to anyone except yourself. Try to imagine what that might feel like, if you thought that maybe only one or two people in the world really cared whether you were alive or not. How lonely that would be. Imagine now how you might feel if the very thing that kept you alive, your breath, wasn’t valued by anyone else or very few at best. Breathing, when it got difficult for some reason, might be hard to continue. The very thing that kept you alive might seem not only inconsequential, but an inconvenience.

I’m exaggerating to make a point, but its not so far from my experience. When the very thing that keeps me alive, creating, is not valued by others, then living becomes harder. I don’t have the nourishment to grow, to heal and to continue to live. Creating is love, at least it is for me. It comes from love and is my way of loving the world. Loving is breathing. It is essential for life. Without it we die.

This is why I share my work as much as I do. Why I write and do journal posts and email you with them. It’s why I am on social media, something that I find challenging, but also the best way I know how to reach across the globe and share my heart. I am spreading love, sharing my life giving creativity, and opening myself to the energy that comes back in return. This is the life cycle my friends. Create, share, nourish and repeat. Breathe in and breathe out. Creating is like breathing for me.


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