Posts Tagged ‘art’

daily good logoI sign up to get emails delivered to me by various inspirational websites.  One I am really enjoying is Daily Good.

“DailyGood is an inspiring quote, a related good-news story, and a simple action — delivered to your inbox for free by volunteers every day. Just a ripple a day, simply to spread the good.”

I love it.  Saturday’s good-news story starts out like this:

Bren Bataclan’s cheerful cartoon creatures have been exhibited in some high places: at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, in Logan International Airport and even on a Girl Scout patch.

But lately he’s been leaving his artwork outside unemployment offices and closed-down retail stores across the country bearing the note: “Everything is Going to Be Alright – This Painting is Yours to Take.”

Joy lives.  And it spreads.


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(cropped) Bloom True - painting by Flora S. Bowley

(cropped) Bloom True - painting by Flora S. Bowley

Beauty is a source of great joy for me. I find beauty in color and space, lines and angles, circles and odd shapes, wide smiles, deep eyes, and Flora’s paintings.

I found Flora S. Bowley’s paintings this week in a treasure trove called Hunt and Gather. Instantly, I fell in love.

Her art is bold, colorful, rich and complex. Simultaneously soft and strong, decisive, confident and meaningful.  I gazed at the large, visual feasts for a good long while, moving in and out of them, exploring.

It wasn’t until days later that I realized all the things I love about her work are things I want to be. What I find beautiful, it seems, is what I wish to find in myself.  I may have known that already, and tucked away that little pearl for safe keeping. But that is neither here nor there.

The gem is this: if I can find the echoes of beauty within—the moments of boldness, the confident actions, the colorful character traits—I can begin to see myself as a work of art, precious and joyful as Flora’s paintings. And my life, in turn, as a masterpiece.

(cropped) Manifest, painted by Flora S. Bowley

(cropped) Manifest - painting by Flora S. Bowley

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I have always enjoyed art. Whether it’s a sculpture, a painting, a photograph, collage or what have you, I love knowing that what I’m looking at is one person’s creative expression of their unique perspective at just that moment.

This particular piece of art, drawn by my daughter, makes me smile. A bold, colorful flower, a really big heart, and her name in whimsical letters.

Joy, indeed.

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Drawing_taryn sm

When a friend and co-worker gave me two homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies one morning following a particularly challenging day, I was absolutely elated. If she hadn’t stood up to hug me I would have sat in her lap and given her a squeeze that may well have knocked all the wind out of her. This small but meaningful gesture gave me such joy for hours, long after I devoured those fabulous bits of heaven.

 It actually took me off guard; how much pleasure I found in those cookies and the warm and nurturing thoughts behind them.  Then, a day later, my daughter brought me, unsolicited, a beautiful drawing she’d just completed. “See mama, these are the clouds, and the sky and the sun.  And some flowers, and here’s me.  I drew it for you.”  My heart melted and there it was again – that deep, deep gratitude for a small and meaningful gesture.

That’s when it occurred to me to make a list of the little things that make their way instantly to the center of me and bubble up a smile that then sends ripples of gratitude so tangible I can just almost see them.  These moments of gratitude, of appreciation – that’s joy.  To be aware of and appreciate the moment and what’s happening in it is pure, simple, golden joy.  It lives.  And it spreads, if you let it.


The List…a beginning

1) chocolate chip peanut butter cookies homemade by a friend

2) picture drawn by my daughter

3) nice meal cooked by my 

4) good wine shared at a table

5) a quick reply from a friend

6) slobbery kiss from my dog

7) a genuinely kind word

8)  hay rides

9)  pumpkin patches

10)  playing board games with the family

11)  tying up loose ends

12)  eliminating clutter

13) morning coffee on a sunny deck

14) conversation with my kids

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The foam waters of Kawana. Photo: Heidi O'Sullivan
The foam waters of Kawana. Photo: Heidi O’Sullivan












If I were in Queensland, Australia right now I’d be at The University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery looking at Heidi O’Sullivan’s photos. The gallery (and an article in The Sunshine Coast Daily) says of her exhibition:

“Soul Connect” is an explosion of positive energy as O’Sullivan uses colour portraiture to study where happiness comes from. Her subjects recharge their energy in their own ways, seeking joy and fulfilment in the every day – singing, dancing, running, meditating and more.

The gallery show is up now through October 11.

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