The Day Brightener

Because everyone has the right to be truly free and happy

Turn the Painting Around

Midnight. Hazy and half asleep. My mind was just hovering, waiting to begin the descent into dreamland. My abeyance was abruptly broken by a gruff and grumpy voice.

“Turn the painting around” it said. And that is all it said.

“How strange” I thought. Stranger though was the fact that I knew exactly the painting it meant, and that I was comfortable with the instruction.

The painting was the first one I had ever bought. It is a portrait of Urania, the muse of astrology. It hangs at the bottom of my bed, unassuming, but ever-present.  Read my next post – The Day Brightener Gallery to find out more on this piece.

For the next few days I wondered, what could possibly be on the other side of this painting that could prompt such an impatient demand from my subconscious? The adventurer in me was imagining a mysterious message that would beckon investigations into unknown places and times. Or maybe it would be a winning lottery ticket that had been stashed for safe keeping. The cynic in me was expecting nothing. Both were right.

When I finally had a chance to spend some time with the painting, I turned it around to find that unfortunately there was no winning lottery ticket, but there was a message. On the top was written “Print no 6/75”. These numbers provided some timely and supportive guidance. Stay tuned for another post on what these numbers meant, and how they are wonderful examples of synchronicity.

However, as I stood there scouring the back of the painting for more clues, I realised that there was an even greater message for me in the remaining expanse of drab brown paper. This was a blank canvas. Just like the one that painters face every day. Just like the one this painter faced ages ago, before creating the wonderful image that challenges and stimulates me today.

The nothingness of it is exciting, there are no expectations or rules, just a clear space with which to create. At the same time though, it is also confronting. It raises so many questions. Where to begin? What colours to use? Will it turn out OK? Great artists though overcome these fears. They spend their days gathering inspiration from all around them. From nature, the people they meet, and their own thoughts and feelings (and of course their own personal muses). Then they paint…..and paint….and paint….and paint!

Creativity takes courage”. Henri Matisse

No doubt they have sheds full of pieces that no-one (not even themselves) like very much. It could take years to get the piece just right. Then, when they do, something magical happens. From the inspired hearts and dedicated minds of one person comes a work of art that touches millions, and changes the way we see our world and our own lives.

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work”. Emile Zola

Initially, this thought provided a great deal of support for my work on The Day Brightener. It has given me the motivation to just keep creating. Just splash some paint on, and see where it goes! However, I also actually turned the painting around for a few days, and found a much broader application of this concept. Every day when I wake up I see this blank canvas, and it fills me with a great sense of excitement. I find myself thinking “what kind of painting do I want to create today?” What colours do I want to bring into my life? What messages do I want to send to the world today?

While not many of us are renowned painters, we all have the ability to touch the lives of others. Every day is our blank canvas, and our hearts and minds are our palettes and brushes.

“Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day.” — Winston Churchill.


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