Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beauty Is Only "Kin" Deep

I have had this particular topic on my mind lately. I was inspired to finally write it down after a particularly wondrous workshop last weekend with dear friend and mentor Randy Higbee. We collaborated on a wonderful event that featured a series of gesture poses and one long pose. I was incredibly humbled and surprised to be met with such a unanimous outpouring of support and praise from the OC artist. It was a feeling of utter euphoria to be accepted completely as an artist and collaborator. We have planned another event for Feb 13th. This one will be focusing on John Singer Sargent's exquisite portrait work around the turn of the century. I am really looking forward to bringing something to the table at this workshop in the form of my passion and love for the elegance of a bygone era. That would encompass fashion, history and a time when people were just alot more gracious. Perhaps I am an old fashioned romantic or a lover of things once held dear. Seems there is not alot of areas one can find grace and charm these days. We live in such a society of technology, social networking sites, text messaging replacing the simple beauty of hearing the energy of a loved ones voice when they make a simple phone call, etc, etc. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of alot of these means to communicate in some ways because my work contacts and bookings flow or I can see the pictures and activities of long lost family and friends on Facebook. It is also a great place to keep my work portfolio and pictures of the fun times. But, I got to thinking about the desire to sometimes retreat into that romantic, far-away place of days gone by, and I had to be really honest about the reasons I might go there...

I used to be a fan of romantic movies, old fashioned gowns, music, ballet and anything that would inspire beauty and creativity because I simply did not want to exist in the world. It is painful and a bit vulnerable to write these things, but I think somewhere along the way it will deepen within myself the courage and humility I feel is vital to living an honorable life. Working within a profession that is so based on beauty and whimsy sometimes can be a bit challenging. I heard about a dozen times after my workshop last weekend "You are so beautiful" or "Your face was really perfect for my painting. You have a timeless look about you". All of this is graciously appreciated, but it always takes some digesting and as I work on it, the knot in my stomach diminishes a little. My 1st reaction is to wonder "Can I handle this?" or "Yes, but do they know who I REALLY am inside?" I know one should simply say "Thank you" and leave it alone, but my childhood memories come back to haunt me and I have to remember I am not the 5 yr old little girl waiting for her parents to approve or aknowledge her. Unfortunately, as with alot of folks, my family situation was not ideal. I was born to a set of parents who had neither the selflessness or the desire to be a constant to their children. This happens, as we get older we need to find within us the heart and soul to simply let go of our demons and realize holding onto negativity or anger can only hold us back and keep us dwelling in a dark place that will cripple us as adults from living up to our full potential. I have struggled with this for so many years and I can honestly say that a few years ago I was strong enough to finally shed the shackles of my childhood that made me doubt the spirit and soul I felt rising from within. Some might say that it would be a result of working as an object of creativity or inspiration for artists. It was the opposite, I was not able to fully inspire and feel like I was called, until I learned to rise up to that calling or station I was delivered to, not hide or sit back.

My physical appearance is a result of the genetic make up of my parents. I am fortunate to have had a physically beautiful mother, yet as with all packages, this is not the asset that will allow me to attain the highest level of bliss in my path on earth. The universe delivers us exactly where we are supposed to be at all times. Balance and courage are the tools we must master to walk honorably. To stand tall, I suppose. I started to look inward about a year ago and let go of some of the pain that had been hampering me for so many years. It was only after acknowledging my desires and going for the integrity and honor I strive to leave each day with, both in my career and personal relationships, was when things started to open up and make sense.

The beauty we each manifest as creatures of this planet is within our souls, not in the faces or physical presence we have been born with due to genetics, kin, or lineage. We must look into our hearts and develop a candid, honest relationship with ourselves in order to bring to fruition our destinies. I have learned slowly that it is not what the world holds for you, it is what you bring to it. True beauty is living your truth and not being afraid to be vulnerable or honest. Sometimes we are our own saboteurs and without the working through of our obstacles, we are doing ourselves and our brothers the greatest sin by not bringing our abilities out and contributing to the journey.

As a muse I am learning to apply this and forge my own meaning of "Beauty". Every artist I work with, every opportunity to manifest MY truth (and I am still on a long journey to discovering what that is) with others and collaborate is like a beautiful bouquet of truth. I aspire to look over all the wonderful drawings, paintings, and photos I had the good fortune to create and one day see a garden.

To you the artists, remember to live and breath PASSION and COURAGE in all the work you create. For if you do this, the beauty of your creation will be a living testament to what is WITHIN, not just on the surface.

And what you have created will forever live on. For truth, once declared, does not go out of style, even if the world is ever changing.

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