This past Saturday I won an award in painting and sold several small paintings, all in one day! Whoa. I cannot say how thrilling this is, how it makes me feel like I’m on my right path, etc. Painting, which I once found somehow terrifying, is now a thing that I love. It’s just a little over a year since I took a course called “Find Your Joy” with Louise Fletcher. And I really did find it. I found my joy. That, in and of itself, is a beautiful thing. But one cannot deny that awards can be lovely, too.
Louise always says that other people’s opinions should not matter. The joy is in doing what you love. Yeah, sure. I cannot argue with that. Very very true. But still! An award!! And many sales!! In painting–a thing I never thought I could do and have been working very hard at all through this last year.
I’ve been a collage artist, writer, and card maker for so many years. I’ve won awards in mixed media at art festivals, even 2D Best of Show one time, but it’s been awhile. Every year prior to this I’ve entered collages of one kind or another into a local art show that I particularly love, a show that people in the community can enter free of charge, with no risk of being juried out. I adore this. It means that I’ll walk through the show and see that Who’s It paints! So & So does pastels! What’s His Name makes beautiful sculptures! So fun! And prizes are awarded.
This year, having found my joy, I entered a large-ish painting, without fear of ridicule, embarrassment, or loss of limb. I had zero expectations. I had never won a prize in mixed media at this particular show, although some years I thought I had a shot. Never. Never, for years. But now I have, in a medium that I once found so intimidating.
Over the moon I went. Right over it. I zoomed right over it. A banner day, a banner weekend. I could not wait to tell everyone. A freaking award in painting!! Have I mentioned that I went right over the moon? I so did. I am still there, still someplace way beyond the moon. The thing that gives me joy also gave someone else joy, and thus gained me a ribbon. So, okay, the joy really is more important. But I’m pretty sure it’s the joy spilling out all over the place that won me the award. Yeah.
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” ― Tom Bodett
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi
“Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain
If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.
Thanks for listening,
P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”