Creating Joy

First stage of painting. Next stage is to start layering a molding substance with paint mixed in to create a highly textured look. My mom’s husband, Charles, will help with this. I’ve never done it before!

I am working on a 24×48 inch canvas to create a fairly simple image of a flower. My intention is that this flower will be bright, colorful, bounce off the canvas and seem to come alive. I will hang it in my office on campus, which is a very institutional eggshell sort of color and needs lots of pep.

I had forgotten how pleasant it feels to move the brush across the canvas, to watch the pigmented paint be absorbed by the white cloth, and see something that I was sort of planning, but not really sure what it would actually look like appear before my eyes.

It was hard for me to get started. The voice in my head tells me that I don’t know what I’m doing, that I am not an artist. My hand holds the paint-filled brush up to the pure white of the canvas and releases a stroke of color that takes my breath away. I realize the doubts are all nonsense. This thing I think I don’t know how to do is actually one of the most natural and easy things I have ever done. Simply because it feels good. The sensation of paint wiping across the canvas is soothing, calming to all parts of me.

And the best part? I realize that if I mess up I can fix it, redo it, or even just walk away from it.

The second best part? I am the person who decides if I’ve “messed up.” It’s my creative process, no one else gets to own it. Even if I were to ever sell or give away a painting, the process will always be mine. It will be my joy that shines onto the canvas.

When we are driven to create and we do so from a place of joy, engaged in work we love, we do the world a favor.  We live in a way that speaks to our higher purpose or spirit, and we  sigh with relief as the color is swiped across the white background, because we learn that we can jazz things up as they’ve never been jazzed.

I invite you to think about how you can use a creative process (fingers on the keyboard, hands in the clay, paint on your fingertips) to bring more joy into your life. And while doing so, consider how the essence of your happiness is captured and that message is sent out to the world.

You are a powerful being who gets to choose the path to your own joy – go get it sister!


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