The Story of "Finding My Way"

I've been spending a good bit of time renewing my love of paintings I have done in the last couple of years. I was encouraged to revisit them and see how my understanding of them has changed since painting them. It's been such a good practice and it's also further solidified the idea that art work we love and connect with evolves and changes with us.

This piece was created from a 14er hike that Tim and I went on a couple years back: Grays and Torreys peaks. The early morning color palette was just beautiful. Soft greens, blues, purples and pinks. The subtleness was a change from my vibrant palette of highly contrasted colors, and because of this, the piece has a whole different feel that I've come to cherish. To me, it's calming and peaceful and contemplative. But I didn't really know why until looking at it recently. It was trying to tell me something I needed to hear.

When I first created this piece, I was focused on the idea of journey and the symbolism that hiking (and running) had for my own life. Just like life, this trail had rough spots, we got tired and had to rest, we hit vistas that took our breath away, etc. My other working title for this piece is "One Step At a Time" and when I think about the overall theme of the story of this piece when it started, this was related to getting to a goal, to the destination. One step at a time to get to the top....

Oh, how the story of this piece has deepened through time. When I look at this piece now and consider the story, I'm more focused on relishing each and every step along the way, not the end goal.

I'm learning to relish and celebrate the "steps" taken each day, and when I look at this painting, that's what it reminds me to do. I've spent much of my career focused on an end goal (create x amount of paintings, get into this show, make this amount of money) and with such drive, I'd forgotten to celebrate and relish the steps that were made to get to a particular goal, leaving the end goal feeling empty. Rather than taking a breath and a moment to pause and be thankful and happy about my accomplishment, I asked..."ok, what next?" I moved through a beautiful, lush landscape of life not noticing anything because I was so focused on hitting a goal.

While being focused on a goal is a good thing, I forgot to live and enjoy the journey to that goal. That is what I'm learning to do now and let me tell you, it is so freeing and so much more fun. There is abundant joy in holding the day to day in one hand and your goals in the other, knowing that ambition is important, but not at the expense of everything else.

A couple words that I have gathered to help me remember the tone of my journey are "relaxed," "confident," and "faithful." (I grabbed them from Makoto Fujimara's book, Art and Faith: A Theology of Making, Chapter 10) and in this manner, I will be moving forward. One step at a time.

If you connect with "Finding My Way" or "One Step At A Time" and want to make it your own, you can click here to see more pictures and to see purchase info.

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