Home » Inspiration Seeking : A visit to my favorite painting

Inspiration Seeking : A visit to my favorite painting

I had a pair of epically bad days. Self inflicted bad days – the worst kind of personal abuse. I’ve been unemployed for 6 weeks, and it really hit me like a kick in the gut. So I did what I normally do to get out of a funk. I made blondies and paella. I went to ballet. I took an epsom salt bath with some rose essential oil. I tried to go back to a favorite tap class I hadn’t been back to since surgery, at some point in that calls I lost all the feeling in my right foot again. And just like that, the thing that was supposed to lift me up, dragged me even farther down.

I woke up yesterday and couldn’t make myself get out of bed. I couldn’t bring myself to write one more cover letter about being awesome at what I do when I was starting to think I was actually terrible and that my portfolio wasn’t as good as friends said it was.

It’s hard out here looking for a job. Applying like crazy. The world replying at the slowest rate possible. Doubting your skills (no matter what anyone says or how well you know your shit). Watching way too much day time news Real Housewives of Anywhere. Going a day or three without talking to any humans.

On top of that, I realized I haven’t drawn, painted, knit or sewn in several months and writing has been a painful process of writing three words and deleting four. All I’ve designed in the past few weeks was a series of leggings.

I’ve been wallowing. I needed a dose of inspiration that didn’t have side effects. No more downing sorrows in baked goods. No more tap improv classes where I struggle to get it right.

I’m a maker who isn’t making. A designer who isn’t designing. So, I went to visit my favorite painting. I know this might sound to you non-artists out there, but art has power. (And it has less calories than chocolate and cupcakes.)

Sky Above Clouds IV by Georgia O'Keefe
Every time I pass through the doors of the Art Institute, I make my way through the impressionist galleries to a bright marble staircase that sits under Georgia O’Keefe’s “Sky Above Clouds IV”. There’s a bench there waiting for me to come over and have a seat.

Something changed the minute I walked through that door. I was both at home and transported. The art couldn’t judge me. I couldn’t get the visit wrong.

Maybe it was the art. Maybe it was doing something unrelated to unemployment. Either way, I felt stronger.

It was a shift in perspective. The meditative and deliberate iteration in the “Sky Above Clouds” series reminded me to enjoy the process. The subject, to rise above. To soar.

That’s what I’m going to do. My process will be deliberate. I will keep evolving and growing. And I will soar.




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