I have a painting hanging in my bedroom… it’s the one that I created in a group Paint Nite event. The painting is of a peacock, with its rich array of glamorous plumes. I definitely followed the step by step instructions, but if you look closely you will see where I was led astray. Where I took my inspiration into my own hands.
The white speckles around the neckline became delicate strands of pearls. The tail transformed into an elegant ball gown… and the head crest… like the feathers in a fine lady’s bonnet. As I looked around the room, not one was exactly the same. Even though we all had the same instructor and followed the same instructions, each painting was unique. Each painting was inspired by its creator.
I was reminded that we all look through different colored lenses. We all have different styles and preferences. And we all interpret our surroundings in tune with our past experiences. One peacock on my left had only purple feathers. The one on the right had streaks of green and blue, and still another had sneaked in some red.
As for me, I chose to interpret the iridescent plumage as reflecting all the colors in the rainbow. I saw yellow, pink, and orange. Why should I limit myself? I couldn’t feel more happier as I vigorously made my way through all the paints in the palette. I couldn’t feel more inspired as my vision revealed itself.
There’s something special about having done it with your own hands, having put in a degree of effort into it. It may be shells picked up along the ocean shore that we later display. Or the flowers we arrange in vases, freshly picked from our gardens. We toil in hopes that we will be rewarded with vibrant blooms. It’s true, a bouquet from your garden is more satisfying than the one you pick up at the grocery store.
Less and less we rely upon our own skills and talents to design fashion, build furniture, plant flowers, and paint paintings. Someone else is doing it for us. All we need can be bought with a simple click of the mouse. Perhaps we are stuck in the world of consumerism and take the easy way out. We consume, but do not create. Maybe we need to embrace simplicity and get engaged with our surroundings. Maybe we just need to get inspired.