Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Happy Places"

My Happy Place

When most people think of late December, they feel happiness and a lighthearted joy; it’s a time for family and loved ones to get together and show their love for each other. However, if family members collide it can cause major stress and the busy stores and consumerism is not for everyone. Christmas can certainly be chaotic.

This reminds of a funny story about a recent customer I had. A little while ago, in a nostalgic mood I had painted a red 1950’s pick-up truck. A very nice customer bought it recently and after she received the painting, she sent me an email. She thanked me for the painting, and told me that it reminds her everyday of how she wants to just put her dogs in the old truck and escape her chaotic family.

Her sarcastic words made me laugh, I know we’ve all felt that way before. In spite of how much we love them, family can be stressful. But in addition to making me giggle, it also peaked my interest. My painting had taken her to her “happy place.” You know, that place in your mind that you can go that energizes and uplifts you with it’s utter calm and peacefulness. It’s wonderful to think that one of my paintings could take someone there. So I got to thinking this week, with the chaos of the Christmas season upon us, “Where’s my happy place?”

Everyone’s is different. Some might be looking for a way to escape the stress of family, work, or bills, but the conclusion is the same for everyone: Total peace. That customer of mine would have taken her pets along with her, which is wonderful, but not for me! No, my annoying “FEED ME OR I TRIP YOU!” cats would not be in my dream location.

I decided to paint my happy place and if you paint, I encourage you to do this as well. It was a fun experiment in making dreams a reality and I truly enjoyed it. My happy place: I’ve left all the stressors of my life behind, all the things holding me back are now in the dust. I’ve made it down to some exotic island and I’m alone: There’s only me, some beautiful tropical plants, a sun-soaked beach, a breezy blue sky and I’m sitting there, in a deck chair, just absorbing the peace and the sun and the breeze.

If you don’t paint, or don’t know where your happy place is, I suggest closing your eyes and thinking to yourself, “Where do I want to be right now, instead of pushing papers at work/racing through the mall/sorting bills like a robot?” Without a doubt, you’ll immediately go to your happy place.

Everyones location is totally different. I spoke to my daughter Caitlin, and she told me about her happy place: In a misty wood, like in an old fairy tale, she is wandering around a dark trail and then she finds an antiquated, deserted library with big cathedral-style wooden doors and she enters, and all of her favorite books are in the library and some she’s never heard of as well. She sits by a fire place in a cozy over-sized chair and reads a great book, and that brings her peace.

Please share where your happy place is in the comments section below. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I love what you said about a happy place although I have never thought of it like that. When I paint I am in such a state that what ever may have concerned me before is tucked away and for the time I am painting it is heaven. Great blog. I love that you paint daily.