Art and Soul

Red and BlueOprah reminded us all a few years ago to “Remember our Spirits.”  Remember when she took the last five minutes of her show and lit candles and got all warm and fuzzy and talked about her “Spirit”.  It sounded a bit freaky, but really, everyone has a soul, a spirit, a body Each part of us equally important. I’m glad Oprah reminded everyone about it. Because you know what? We all forget. Every single one of us, myself included forgets that we have a very soul-ish self that is longing to speak. We each have a unique soul; each soul expresses her voice differently to the world.

Art is a way I unleash my soul, take a minute to breathe, let all the business, deadlines, carpool schedules and carpool schedule conflicts go. It’s when I go to my “Happy Place”. Where I try to connect with my soul again.

I’m a proud Mommy to three up and coming leadership-minded, feisty, strong-willed but very artsy young women. Our home is full of art in all shapes and sizes in literally every corner, oozing out onto our front porch, sidewalk drawings spilling into our neighborhood. It’s not just art. It’s art with intentionality and purpose.  Art that brings life into our home. Art that captures life around us.

Life as art.  is about being a Noticer. It’s about showing others around us what we see and how we see the world uniquely. Every star in the universe is different, every snowflake is different, every human being bears a different fingerprint, and I think that’s on purpose. We have a unique fingerprint on our perception of the world around us.

At two years old, our Whitney was an artist. She’s 13 now and expresses herself differently, but the sharpie smiley face that covered most of our dining room wooden floor was her first artistic endeavor. We were so proud as parents that she finally learned to draw a smiley face on her own. And found a way to make it permanent and beautiful, leaving her creative mark of artistry on our wood floors.

She was so proud. She should have been. Making your mark in the world is important.  Yes, yes, I went to the sharpie website and found out that this magic lanolin oil takes sharpie marker out of almost anything (you’re welcome) and we did eventually remove the sharpie smiley face from our wooden floors.  We didn’t think the person who bought our house would appreciate the art and beauty of this young forward thinking artist’s expression.

Madeline, our 15 year old is a phenomenal photographer. When she was 10, a family friend of ours saw she had a gift for taking amazing pictures. He is a professional photographer and gave her one of his best, most costly cameras to take pictures of our time in India. If you ever want to get an American child’s perspective on children’s lives in third world countries, go to my blog, and type India, Maddie in the search box. You will be astounded at what that child sees through her camera lens.

Our Isabelle.  Her whole life is art. Everything about her. Everything she lives and breathes is artistic. She sings constantly, decorates our mirrors with positive quotes and ideas. She has journals filled with story ideas and cartoons to go with her stories.

For myself, I live and breathe art. But if you want to know a secret, I’ll let you in on it.  I really stink at lots of artsy stuff.  I’m sort of allergic to paint, so I had to give up my painting career about a year in. I am not a very good sketcher. My doodles resemble a Kindergartner’s, and teachers really never asked me back to help cut and paste stuff for my kids’ classes because I cannot cut a straight line. But I notice stuff. I notice everything. Like an orange leaf laying in the grass, or the way the clouds are drifting over my house. I see beauty in spiders and ants and bugs and birds and trees and wind. So I take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.  Photography for me is a sort of prayer.  A thank you to the Creator of it all. To let Creator know I’ve noticed.  That I’m opening my soul to the beauty around me. Photogtaphy fills my soul and helps me breathe.

Every person is different. Every creative expression is different. For women like us in Michiana, there are a ton of ways to find your own soul’s unique expression. Most are very affordable, and some even free! Here are some fun and very do-able ideas even for non-artsy type people:

Wine and Canvas:  A lot of my friends have tried Wine & canvas, an evening or event you can attend with friends or coworkers, drink some wine and receive instruction on how to paint an incredible painting, walk away with a masterpiece that very night!

Flourish Boutique hosted a night like this for women to get together, drink some wine, paint some pretty stuff, and do a little shopping. Flourish plans on doing an event like this again soon, so keep your eyes open!

Snoop around Pinterest.  There are amazing and easy ideas for any kind of artist you want to be.

Ask a friend Are your friends artsy?  Ask them to teach you what they love to do. Do they knit, crochet? Sew? Cook? Paint? Ask them to instruct you in the basics next time you get together. I guarantee they would love to share their passion for their art with you.

Art journaling Get a journal preferably with no lines and doodle away.  Fill every page with a word, though, idea or poem. There are no rules, no time limits. Express yourself without judgment.

And  some final advice:

  • Start simple
  • Start easy
  • Don’t be discouraged
  • Don’t be bashful
  • Try and try and try until you find something that calms your soul renews your mind and stretches your imagination.

Every soul is an artist, a Noticer. Notice what you do and share it first with you, and then with the rest of us. The beauty you bring into the world will inspire us.


This article was published in the November 2013 edition of SASSY Magazine

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