Only in darkness can you see the stars - inspiration behind my art

I don't know about you, but in these dark & increasingly challenging times I need to look for the light. There is a saying that goes... 

"When it rains, look for rainbows... when it's dark, look for the stars"

It's often easier said than done, and we have all known the struggle to find anything good in our lives at some point, but it's the most important thing anyone can do.
It allows a shift in perspective, which in turn makes life become an adventure instead of just a mundane slog.
My life has in the past been just that, however it was out of the difficulties that came a whole new me.
Or rather, the old me.. the original me. The one that got squished along the way & re-moulded into something else.
It was time to reclaim the real me. The inspired, light hearted self. The adventurer. The Artist. 
I am by no means a sensible, practical sort of person. I recall my teachers in Junior school laughing at me for being a 'daydreamer', and this still happens in jobs today. 

Once upon a time I was embarrassed by this, but now, as a woman in her early 40's I am rather enjoying the fact that I can embrace my silly, slightly ditzy, daydreaming self & say "So what?" to those who don't 'get me'.

I try my best. I have learnt a lot of lessons about people, & the world, and I think I am finally beginning to realise what is actually important to me in life.
And it's not being clever, good with money or maths, sensible, chatty, popular, trendy, acceptable, normal, well behaved, or any of those things that society is always banging on about.
What I am loving right now is being adventurous, spontaneous, silly, crazy, travelling, being inspired, light-hearted, and really not caring if I don't fit in.

And to do this I need to keep searching for those bright stars in the sea of darkness, because otherwise its so easy to sink. 

I no longer watch TV, except for those things that feed my creativity (Game of thrones... Vikings... need I go on? ) & can honestly say that my world is a more peaceful place for it.
The news has no place in my head... aside from what I see on social media, and even that I brush over.
This doesn't mean that I don't care about what happens out there... that I don't still feel the injustices being committed each day, or that I wouldn't take a stand if I needed to.
It just means that I can concentrate on making my world a little brighter. Which in turn, makes my Husband's life brighter... which in turn affects how he treats other people... and so on.
I'm not a happy bunny 100% of the time of course, but when you make an effort to seek out the things that nourish your inner self, & purposely create a home that nurtures peace, you have a little bit more to give to others.
A bit more kindness. Consideration. Understanding. Compassion. 
Sometimes that only means 'not' saying something... when you know it will purposely irritate them, or disagreeing for the sake of it.
Or it can be the difference between smiling & laughing instead of acting surly & impatient with a supermarket cashier, who might otherwise be feeling stressed at a long & cranky queue. 

A little while back, I discovered a TV series called 'The Leftovers'. It has a fairly uninspired title, but was interesting to me because it dealt with the concept of  'The Rapture'. A time supposedly when the faithful religious followers will be taken instantly to heaven, leaving the non believers behind.

(I would still be here by the way....)

~In a global cataclysm, "The Sudden Departure," 140 million people disappeared without a trace. Three years later, residents of Mapleton, N.Y., try to maintain equilibrium when the notion of "normal" no longer applies. Intense grief has divided families and turned faith to cynicism, paranoia and madness, leading some of the traumatized to join the Guilty Remnant, a cultlike group. Kevin Garvey, a beleaguered police chief, must keep peace between townspeople and the cult, a task made tougher with concern about his kids. His daughter alternates between apathy and rebellion, and his wayward son befriends a charismatic prophet. "The Leftovers" is based on the best-seller by Tom Perrotta, who is one of the series' executive producers. ~

It was a dark & atmospheric series, and although Season one let it down by being a little too slow, I did persevere & discovered that Season 2 was far better paced. It was thought provoking viewing and in many places a beautiful & moving piece of work.

 “The Leftovers” is part of what might be my favorite TV subgenre: Shows that try to explore complicated and powerful emotional states through keen observation of human nature as well as dream-like symbology. - Maureen Ryan . TV Critic -
I am often moved & inspired to create art by the music I hear, & the soundtrack for The Leftovers had seeped into my subconscious so well that by the end of Season 2 I had lined up a huge sheet of paper on my drawing board.
In fact my muse had so abruptly woken that when I realised it was already nearly midnight, I could not stop sketching out this new piece until well beyond 2am.
I made a playlist on youtube of the most beautiful, spine tingling tracks from the soundtrack & listened to it on repeat. 
It is still beautiful music to play in my studio & I often do.

The soundtrack is by Max Richter & I highly recommend you seek it out. Here is a small section on youtube.

My drawing got interrupted by an overwhelming need to draw trees & Ravens for a while... as you will know already if you follow me on Facebook ;)
But just a few days ago I was clearing off the easel & found myself returning to my rapture inspired sketch. It was one of those 'meant to be' moments that come quite rarely, because it came together so quickly I hardly even realised it was finished.

No struggle... no rubbing bits out to re-do them... no sitting for hours staring at something wondering why it doesn't look quite right.
It just happened.
And as I am only just realising while writing this, it seems very appropriate. My lovely figure had her own rapture moment & instead of disappearing, she was brought to life in the blink of an eye.

And while she no longer perhaps represents the sadness & loss of the emotions she was originally based on, I think she still holds that energy of promise.

The possibility of something more... the unknown. That if we reach out, we will be answered.
For whenever people are taken away from us, even if they cannot return, there is always the knowledge that they have indeed gone somewhere... and what amazing places they could be. 
Adventures will always continue.

'On feathered breeze she remembers' 
Charcoal, pastel, gold leaf. 16 x 23

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  1. Definitely with you on this. Also on the need to draw ravens, they seem to be part of my art right now too.


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