Week 52: Closed Quote
This is it! The last week of 2018 has arrived, and with it, the last painting and blog post for the year. We stand now on the threshold of the portal which opens up to 2019. This painting acts as the 'closed quote' to the entire years' worth of my expression through the PORTAL 52 project. But, what does this project say? What have I actually communicated through my artistic endeavours? If every picture is worth a thousand words, does that mean I should write 50 thousand words? No, I don't think I have to do that. I can distill my message in fewer words than that, thankfully! As I reflected on the past year, I re-read my first and 26th blogs, the starting and half-way point milestones. I realize now, that I have made many mistakes along the way, but hold no regrets about any of them. Passing through those many 'portals of discovery', as James Joyce defines mistakes, has led me to many insights. First, I'm still here! More than that, I'm still an eager and willing participant on this journey. This year has allowed me to make many transitions and discoveries, as I've crossed through, and represented, portals of various kinds. I've learned that I am capable, committed and creative. Second, my personal artistic process has revealed much about me, to me. I now have more patience with myself, and am more confident with my creative process, trusting it even more than I thought possible at the start of this year. I appreciate the still, quiet times, when not much seems to be happening creatively, because I've come to understand that a lot can be percolating beneath a still surface. Third, I had fun and often became so absorbed in the flow of creating art, that time became irrelevant. Thomas Merton’s words rang true for me at many points along the way: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” In letting go, and allowing myself to become lost in creating, what I found is that I am meant to be an artist. Creating art is what fills me up, sustains me, and fuels my momentum. Art is my purpose. Discovering one's purpose is a struggle for many, so I feel very fortunate to have discovered mine, even if it is rather late in the game. Last, but most importantly, art has healed me, in more ways than one. I have a deeper understanding of what Pablo Picasso meant when he said, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally - every aspect of my being has been positively affected by art throughout the entire year. Healing has come from more than just the act of creating; it’s also from seeing the end results of my creative efforts, and the encouragement I’ve received by others to continue creating. As it comes to a close, this year also represents a new start for me. I am moving forward into 2019 with a clearer vision of what I’d like to accomplish creatively. I’m also starting the new year from a healthy place of being - one that is absolutely filled to the brim with gratitude! Finishing this project would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of so many friends and family members. I am so thankful for every kind word, thought, and action, which supported me in my artistic pursuits. I hope you will continue to follow my progress into 2019!