Life AS A Work Of Art

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“…. when I accept the call of creative passion, I am a bold stroke of vermillion, a renegade hyperbole, or the wild fury of jazz violin. The world is a canvas to explore, a blank page to fill, and an arpeggio of waiting experiences. This moving masterpiece called “life” becomes intoxicating when it’s lived as if it were art.”
Jill Badonsky

IMG_0118Outside the rain is steady and cold … It’s the second day of what is predicted to be a three day rain event. Thank goodness I don’t live in the midwest where this storm is producing snow and ice. But still all I want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep the grayness away.

Christmas is upon us. People are rushing about on the streets and nearly causing accidents. My Scroogy self is anxious for it all to be over. Her arrival comes earlier and earlier every year. I swear the city put up their usual snowflake lights on every light pole in town two days after Halloween. Christmas carols were heard playing in several grocery stores before Thanksgiving was done. What the holidays are supposed be about are love, gratefulness, and the birth of one of the world’s greatest teachers. What was once a spiritual celebration now seems to be all about things and money.

But amidst the long list of unread emails is a blog post I read and am always inspired by. Jill Badonsky, isDSC00444 a wonderful artist. She’s also a coach for those looking to live a creative life. I don’t know anything about her coaching style but she wrote the quote above and I’m more than certain that she’d be a fabulous person to hook up with to get unstuck.

Reading that line on her blog got to me immediately. Suddenly there I was remembering that I am an artist and writer myself. I have no business being a badass at this time of year. Life is a work of art and by golly I need to add some color to the dull and lifeless mood I’ve been creating in my head for a few weeks now.

As a starter, I’ll haul out my paints and throw some onto a piece of paper or canvas and see what happens. I’ll stop complaining about the state of the world, and sign up to support another group, who like me wants the violence to stop. I’ll bundle up and go walk in the rain, admire the red leaves still hanging on to the Japanese Maple in my garden, and enjoy the antics of a group of robins splashing about in puddles, grateful for not only a long drink of water, but a bath as well.

Encaustic painting, 6 1/4" x 7 1/2", September, 2012

Encaustic painting, 6 1/4″ x 7 1/2″, September, 2012

I’ve always truly believed that life is a work of art; that you can add a dab a bit of color here or there and come up with something much more balanced than the dark days I’ve been messing with.

If we want to change the course of the world or the way the holidays are, we can set an example and provide laughter and joy to each day instead of more darkness. When we turn on those happy holiday lights we dress our homes in, we bring light to world. It’s the same when we create a magnificent painting or write a beautiful poem.

Do you, like me, believe that life is a work of art?

Read the whole of Jill’s blog post here.


  1. Joan, you and I are are totally on the same wavelength. In fact, I’ve been writing something very similar to this post in my head for several days.
    Well said, my friend.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Becca, I think many of us are feeling the darkness of the world these days. It’s good to know we’re not alone. So hang in there Becca, I’m hanging on right next to you.

  2. Joan, I totally relate to your feelings about the holidays and the current state of affairs in our world. And you nailed it again– we change the world one person at a time by tapping into our own source of light in our daily lives and shining it for others. Lovely post. Thank you for this reminder.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Kathy, Thanks for stopping by and validating what so many of us are feeling. We all need reminders of what we can do to bring positivity to the world.

  3. “If we want to change the course of the world or the way the holidays are, we can set an example and provide laughter and joy to each day instead of more darkness. When we turn on those happy holiday lights we dress our homes in, we bring light to world. It’s the same when we create a magnificent painting or write a beautiful poem.” I’ve been struggling this season and your words resonated. Making a deliberate choice in favour of laughter, joy, and light makes so much more sense than giving in to the darkness. Seems simple, and makes so much sense, but it’s not always easy to remember. Appreciate your words and the reminder this morning.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Linda, Many of us struggle at this time of year. Not only is the global outlook dark, we have our own Christmas Past memories to deal with. It seems easy to let it go, but it’s not. I write these posts not only for my readers, but also for myself to remind me of what I need to do to stay sane at a crazy time of year.

  4. Joan,

    Thank you for unfolding my blogpost with your own perspective and beauty.


    • Joan Rough says:

      You are so welcome, Jill. I love to share what inspires me and your blogposts are a joy to read.

  5. I see color here instead of gray, light as opposed to darkness, blessing – not cursing. Thank you for using your amazing gifts as writer and visual artist to paint a picture of hope and joy. My current writing coach is always coaxing me to shout out my sentences with all five senses. This post proves it can be done.

    Joan (and Jill) – you rock today!

  6. Joan Rough says:

    Thanks, Marian. You have brought even more light into my day, than the sun, which is beaming down on me today. And yes, I agree, Jill Rocks!!

  7. Amen siSTAR! I do, indeed, believe that life is a work of art. Danny Kaye said, ““Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.”

    • Joan Rough says:

      What a wonderful quote, Laurie! It’s going up on my bulletin board! Thanks for your visit.

  8. It really is up to us 🙂 Love this post Joan!

  9. Hope you can create lots of light and colour for the Christmas (and winter) season.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Linda, Thanks for stopping by. I’m planning on as much color and light as I can muster. Sometimes it’s hard, other times a bit easier.

  10. Oh, how delighted I was to find I’m not the only one who is her Scroogy self during this time of year. I’m always suspicious of those who start so early and profess loving the season since I wonder if that’s true. Then you go and turn my thinking upside down, Joan, with your lovely reminder that’s spot on: I get to choose to be Scroogy self or artful manifestor of all things beautiful. So off I go to brighten someone else’s day, while making my own brighter as a creator. Thank you, wise woman!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks, Debra, for your kind words. I bet there are many scroogy folks out there who would never admit to being that way, though I’m finding quite a community settling in around me. It feels so good not to be alone in disliking Christmas Chaos and knowing others who like me, choose to celebrate in our own ways.