With November 6 quickly approaching, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time ruminating on hope; more specifically, I’ve contemplated what it means to have hope, what it means to spread hope, and what it means to act upon hope. I sincerely believe that we collectively must hold on to this powerful positive feeling, using it to bring forward light, joy, and meaningful change. I have dedicated a substantial portion of my life towards attempting exactly that.
Merriam Webster defines the verb hope as “to cherish a desire with anticipation.” I personally love this definition, for I feel it applies perfectly towards my life philosophy. My painting career has been built with this mindset, and I believe in the power of art to impart this to others. I have spent my entire life from the time I was a child cherishing my desire to be an artist. From my early days doing crafts with family and friends to college painting courses, finally culminating in my decision to pursue this creative path instead of retiring, I have acted with an eager anticipation of my dreams. This “cherished desire” has brought me great satisfaction, and pushed me to make bold decisions in starting my business, teaching workshops, launching my website, and exhibiting my works. From a deeply personal standpoint, my art career has been launched by the transformative power of hope.
In addition to the personal application, I use my creative practice to bring hope towards others in several different ways. First: I do everything in my power to contribute to charities and worthwhile causes with my paintings. Recently, I participated in an endeavor with fellow artists to support victims of Hurricane Michael. I contributed an original painting to an auction, with all proceeds going towards those displaced by and suffering in the aftermath of this storm. We successfully raised $111,861.00, 559.3% of our original goal, to donate. This charitable effort on the part of artists generated true, meaningful, substantial results and hope for those who need it right now. This upcoming December 16th, I’m participating as an exhibiting artist for an expo in Florida, during which art will be sold and 18% of all sales will be donated to charity (more info on this event can be found at http://form.jotform.com/82894054084968). Additionally, I donate a portion of the proceeds from all of my workshops and paintings to charities that support animals in need.
In addition to generating hope through charitable art contributions, I also strive to impart the feeling of “cherishing a desire with anticipation” on others through workshops. I absolutely love watching someone’s face light up when they realize their passion within reach. There are few feelings more satisfying than witnessing someone who has previously believed they couldn’t be an artist have the revelation that they are fully capable. Their hope - that they can successfully paint, that they have creativity, and that they are talented - is realized.
There are days with an inarguable amount of darkness in this world, but I sincerely believe that art breathes light and hope into the blackest of nights. I am dedicated to using my painting practice to spread this positivity and do my piece in enacting change. There is, however, more than one way to prompt change! I have all the confidence in the world that you can use your talents and unique personal qualities to spread positivity. And, in addition to that, please remember to take the time to vote this November 6. I’ll be putting down my paintbrush and heading to the polls. Let’s all hope a little more together, exercise our abilities to spread kindness and hope, and do our part - through voting and through other expressive means - to lead to a more hopeful future.