Majestic Autumn Pastel over Watercolor
Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.” Beyonce Knowles
During this time of the year many of us take stock of the things we have to be thankful for. Often it is the physical things we count along with family and friends. But today I want to talk about something we each have and seldom celebrate and often don’t realize how very important it is. It is our own special uniqueness. Our own brand of creativity.
Frequently we attach ourselves to someone else’s idea, another person’s style that we admire and then want to make it ours. But that is not being who we are. We need to seek out our own strengths, find our own stride and brand of creativity, and celebrate who we are, and what we can do.
Some advice I give to my students is, paint what you love. Paint your passion. But most important stay true to yourself even if it makes you stand apart from those around you. When you want to replicate what someone else has done you stunt your own growth. Be the one to show others what’s possible. Fads come and fads go. But your unique mark will always be yours. Be thankful for your uniqueness, be the best at it that you can be, and take pride in what you have done.
Originality in our art, created by our own hands, driven by our imagination, creates value. Originality is the art of uncovering our own true voice by thinking out of the box. We may admire what someone else has done, but it is our job as artists to take what we know and move on to what is unique to us. Something that no one else will ever be able to replicate because they cannot look through our eyes. Some of the ideas and artistic techniques we use will not be entirely new, but as artists we need to reinterpret them in a fresh and unique way.
Self-revelation is the most valuable thing we as humans are capable of and we should create what we create out of the raw material of our passion. Those things that motivate us.
Nature is my passion. The luminous beauty of nature is something I remain alert to, if not for what it does to my creative mind, for an antidote to the chronic cynicism and disenchantment that seems to surround everything, these days. It tells me that, despite how debased or corrupt we are told humanity is and how degraded the world looks like it has become, it just keeps on being beautiful. My passion inspires my work which is unique to me. I am thankful for that gift.
I have a lot to be grateful for this year. I have survived Covid, cancer, chemo, and two hurricanes and I have grown in so many ways. I have a wonderful supportive family and friends, and I am getting stronger. I give thanks for all of them. But I also give thanks for my unique creative abilities. I have been so blessed.
Celebrate your unique abilities and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Carolyn