The Secret Story of Joyful Spirits

Joyful Spirits Wait Beyond The Gates, 18" x 24", Acrylic on Canvas

Joyful Spirits Wait Beyond The Gates, 18" x 24", Acrylic on Canvas

What does hope look like? Or happiness? 

When I am working on creating an optimistic painting I often start with that thought. Is it confetti? Balloons? Simply the color yellow? 

I started this painting with the sole purpose of making an image that would encourage you to seek joy and find it even in the painting itself.  

I started with the happiest color I could get my hands on - a blinding, screeching yellow. Many shades of canary later I saw a very paranoid looking rectangle on my easel.

Oh, dear.

Definitely not bringing the happy, there. 

For days, I twisted and turned. Alternately making the canvas a painful riot of color and shape and then a boring blinding desert - a parched yellow surface. I added shapes and painted them out. Coral, blue, peach white - why was I not able to deliver the sun?

I plopped my frustrated carcass into my teal painting chair (the one on which I’ve scrawled “Artist’s Chair: For Brooding”) and thought about joy and happiness and all delights.

And I considered. When are they most precious? And I realized that the sun is always warmer at the end of icy winter winds. An embrace much sweeter after a long absence. 
I needed to add darkness to my paintings to appreciate the sunshine which is sometimes beyond our grasp. 

After weeks of struggle, I quickly added dense heavy black fencing across my painting. The sunshine and confetti spill brightly between the slats - creating a promise that better days lie beyond the gates of darkness.

Happy days are always ahead.