24″ x 24″ ,Acrylic on Canvas
The journey to your future success, is understanding and appreciating ALL the things that made you from your past. -KFC
When Julie Meyers from our Meals and Wheels and More (Part of Whatcom Council on Aging) asked me if I would have time to do something for them, I told her I would absolutely make time. They are a wonderful organization that provides so much for our local seniors and seniors in need. As I grow older and see my parents become older, I often wonder if they are OK being 3,000 miles away from each other. My mom will cook a roast at 3 in the morning, because she is southern and that is what she does. My dad will go play rounds of golf even though he cannot feel his feet. They just renovated their kitchen on their own. My parents have those freedoms. What happens when that stops and you no longer have those freedoms to take care of yourself, cook, and give themselves the quality of life that everyone deserves? It makes you think often and being a parent to 2 teenage boys, how do I teach them compassion and truly caring for one another? It has to start with me and my actions. So as with every piece I work on now, it has become a platform of self-discovery, letting go unconditionally, appreciating and loving yourself for you, and showing pure love and compassion for what I am doing. If these are actions I show then, my boys can learn by my actions and not just spoken words. Naturally, I wanted this art piece to reflect a giving feel to another person or being. Too many ideas out there but none that really showed the purpose and compassion I was seeking.
What to Paint?
This art piece kept wracking my brain because it was more of a time crunch that I needed to get it done. I went through a gambit of ideas but none seem to fit. During that week, I met up with a great guy Andy, Executive Chef and GM for Drizzle in Lynden, Wa. He was talking to me about his younger years, having to go to soup kitchens while growing up and now, he’s giving back to others at the food bank. Truly inspiring. Not to mention, the random thoughts of the movie Oliver starting going through my head and the scene where Oliver goes up and asks for another bowl of soup. Then it hit me. Hands giving soup to another person! A bowl of soup can be so symbolic in so many ways. Much less being given food from another with love. So, in my new design fashion, I delve into the digital world of google to find the right look. I came upon the image that captured my thoughts. I recolored and digitized it to fit the needs to be the platform for the painting. The colors needed to be bold and very vibrant. I also wanted hints of gold and copper sheens to reflect hope from the hands and heat from the soup. I used neon pink, orange, and yellow undertones with contrasting contour lines. There needed to be a message of giving from one to another. The ladle would be the giving message and wanted a lot of light and color centering around that and the hands. The steam from the soup needed to feel light and dimensional. The overall feel needed to have that of giving and compassion.
Feelings of understanding.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this, you can learn a lot from your past to help guide your success. This piece had a great impact on me in the short period it took me to complete. It reminded me of one my first places I lived on my own in Tampa, Florida. There was a neighbor who lived in the lower cottage apartment from me who was living with AIDS. In today’s age, many have forgotten about how many people were affected during the 80’s and 90’s and the huge impact that made in the world. Much less my immediate community. I was going on friend 13 either being affected or dying from the disease and at the time worked with the folks at The Tampa Aids Network to help assist with local resources. Now, I see Ron across from me, not being much more than a skeleton with skin. No one was there for him and he was alone with just hospice checking on him daily. He didn’t really want to let me in and in a sad way, I understood the need for being recluse. I remember the one thing that made him joy in his last months was Meals on Wheels. At least he would engage and occasionally smile. I truly believe had it not been for Meals on Wheels, there would not have been much Ron would have looked forward to. This memory has always been in bedded into my visual memory to be selfless and give back. Meals on Wheels does so much more than give food back to a community in need. It also makes others have a sense of worth, purpose, something to hold on to. Food can heal the soul. It can give hope and it can give compassion. I truly hope this piece gives that to someone who truly is touched by it. Many thanks to Julie for giving me this opportunity again. It was very rewarding and purposeful.
#yearofpurpose #rippleofpositivity #giveback