Be Brave Friday – Art is a Belief in Life

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore

That Moore quote blew my mind today.

That’s because for me, I always thought that I was afraid to paint or even try to paint because my sweet, well meaning mom told me when I was little that nobody in our family had an artistic bone in our bodies.

I was meant to make story with words, she said. She was right. But I really wanted to make story with image, too. We never had fancy markers. We never had fancy paint. So, I’d work the crayons all the way to the nubs. I’d completely demolish the eraser on the end of my number 2 pencil.

I only took one art class in high school because I was so focused on making sure that I looked “academically rigorous” enough to get into colleges, which worked.

But there was always this urge to paint.

I’ve always though that the reason that I couldn’t share my images was because I was too afraid of ridicule because “nobody in our family has an artistic bone in their body.”

Now, that I’ve seen that Moore quote I think there might be another layer in there that adds to that fear.

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore

One of the major criticisms that I get of my writing (news, blogs, books, poems, social media posts) is that I’m schmaltzy, that I have hope. I usually can brush that aside when it comes to writing because I believe in hope for communities and individuals. I believe that the drive to want to make things better is partially rooted in the hope that each of us can make a difference.

So, why can’t I allow my art to be hopeful too? To be seen? It’s decidedly bright. It’s decidedly full of aspiration. It’s hope.

Hope hasn’t been that cool since Obama, and even then not everyone was into it.

But here’s the thing: hope doesn’t mean an absence of understanding.

Hope doesn’t mean that you don’t acknowledge evil.

Hope doesn’t mean that you don’t see the need for change. It actually implies the need for change.

To believe in life. That’s a giant step of hope. To believe that we can make a difference, can understand, work together and alone to make brighter futures for us and everyone else despite everything?

That’s pretty damn powerful.

We have to believe in our hope, in life, in our own power to do good, don’t we? Because if we don’t? We shutter ourselves, our community. If we don’t, we choose hopelessness, the downward spiral.

I regret how cowardly I’ve been about so many aspects of my life. But I’m really hoping to fill myself with brightness and hope.

 Keith Haring said, “Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”

I want to go further. I hope you do, too.


So, here’s my painting for BE BRAVE FRIDAY

Totally not finished.

Totally flawed.

Totally still trying.

Totally me. 🙂

By me. 🙂
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