Tag Archives: joy

The Open Road … Where, exactly, is it taking you?



I have written before about my love of roads in paintings. Simply put, I love roads. The road less traveled. Where the road may lead. The metaphorical representation of a journey. Memories of childhood road trips.

IMG_5509But the road has become even more important to me as time marches on. On the lighter side, I love adventure. I love going places and experiencing new things. Learning and growing from these experiences. I like how the changing of your backdrop (location) lets you examine yourself in a new light. The continual lessons of the road. But it is the inner journey that has become even more important to me and the metaphor of the road within. The outward journeys are as much about the inward journey as anything.

Life is one long journey and yet altogether too short. Who we are on that road? Who do we choose to surround ourselves with? Who will we love? What will we choose to stand for?  We all have our own choices of how we will view the world.

IMG_0424I believe in the words of Joseph Campbell: “You bring your own meaning to life; that is the meaning of life.” For me, that means time in nature and with my dog, with my beloved husband and cherished parents, friends and family.

It also involves a love of work. Work, I feel, is what we do in life to give back, and giving back is intrinsically woven into my meaning of life. My meaning comes from sharing my love of art, art as a language that gives voice to the voiceless, as an escape and as sheer, pure joy. Art saved me, not because I was in trouble but because I needed this language to fully communicate, and I know art can save others — if only in the appreciation of it, the joy of it. And so this is my road. And it’s the road I paint again and again.

This road becomes more precious, more dear as I get older, as life happens to me, and what is important is elevated.

Where will the road take you? What does it mean for you? I’d love your thoughts in the comments below! As for me, I shall keep traveling along, enjoying each moment as best as I can, ever, ever aware of the journey!


Florence, Day 8: A Journey Within: Sometimes You Do Need to Run Away



The urge to paint has been strong. Yes, I’m here to study art, and I have been, but I’ve been playing with my pencil, experimenting with some oil sticks and watercolor. But my acrylics lay waiting. And that is my medium of choice.

I woke up sore, a good sore, the kind that comes from going and going, walking, then walking some more. So, I had to decide: a day trip to Siena or paint. Siena sounded oh-so-lovely, but my sore feet were less enthusiastic. Knowing I have three more weeks gave me the boost to stay in, set up a “studio” and paint.

I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m studying my craft, I don’t do my best work. I think it’s partially an identity crisis. What I mean by this is, you’re learning new things that make you approach your work differently. I think it’s partly just getting used to those new things.


There is also the being away part. Out of my studio, my habits, my regular systems. Sure, everywhere you go, there you are, and all that, but still: Changing your surroundings shakes things up, makes you look at things differently. It’s all good, but also adds to the out-of-my-element feeling with my work.

All I know for sure is I only left the house today for provisions, and yet I went on a journey: one within. The kind that often shows up when you’re away and your senses are assaulted in that beautiful way that new surroundings provide.

I need to believe my own words to my students when I teach. Things like, “You won’t do your best work; don’t expect to. It’s about the process. Be in the moment with your work and detach from the outcome.” Reminding myself, as I do my students: “Get out of your own way and let the art happen.”

I’m not sure how well I did at this, I only know I committed to the process, honored my time with my craft and finished happy in my soul. That, after all, is the most important bit: the commitment to the work and the process.