Friday, September 4, 2015

why should art be important?

I sometimes feel like what I'm doing
is not important at all.
That it's stupid to fill my days
with art and writing
when there is a crisis in Syria,
and drowned children
and parents who are so desperate
for a new life - a safe life -
that they will risk everything
for the chance of a new beginning.
All of a sudden,
my little paintings
seem pretty senseless.
And insensitive.
And so not important.
But I make art anyway.
Because I need to.
Because it's the only way
I know how to process
the chaos out there.
And then when I see things like this
popping up all over the internet...
 ...or this
I realize that I'm not the only one
who needs art to make sense of the world.
Art is a powerful thing.
It's how we face our own pain.
It is powerful for the artist
and powerful for those who see it.
 It makes us think...

...and rethink
and sometimes, it makes us feel
like everything's gonna be ok.
Like we're no different
than anyone else.
Like we all have the same fears.
Cancelled dreams.
Who hasn't felt like this
at one time or another?
Like you were on the wrong path,
or things were just taking
too damn long to finally become REAL?
There are changes happening around here lately...
I am gently closing the door to some things,
and slowly opening the door to others.
They may not be permanent doors
and they may not be profitable doors,
but they are exciting doors
and interesting doors
and doors that look like
they could be filled with balloons
and sparkles
and unicorns.
So fuck it.
I'm going in. :)
Sometimes, we just need to give space
for something else to have room to grow.
I painted this (above) a few nights ago
in about 10 minutes flat.
I was surprised by how much
i liked it when it was done.
I used oil pastels for the black & white,
and acrylic paint (on paper) for the rest.
It captures the energy I was feeling
at the time.

Then a few fun doodles

in my little Moleskine book...

blue Sharpie pen on paper.
 and a tiny Buddha illustration. :)
I had coffee this week
with a wonderful person
who I consider a friend,
despite only seeing her in person a few times.
The lovely St├ęphanie Guimond
at Creative Living Experiment
who I'm sure many of you have met on-line.
She's taking a bit of a break these days...
but still has loads of inspiration on her blog.
She's a fabulous artist
and an even more fabulous person.
We talked about all things & art,
and the dry spells we all encounter as artists.
The walls we hit.
I don't know of any artist
who hasn't questioned why they make art
at one point or another in their lives.
My days can flow into one another
with doodles & paintings & creativity
and everything is right with the world.
And then, something happens
somewhere in a far away land -
like a drowned little boy,
and I question my whole reason for doing what I do.
That's usually when I pick up this book:

and see things like this...
 or this...
or this...

And I remember that the reason I do what I do
is because it's who I am
and I don't know how to be
anything or anyone else in this world.
When I look at the work
of Maira Kalman,
I know she doesn't know 
how to be anyone else either.
And that makes everything ok, somehow.


  1. A lovely thoughtful post, the crisis in Syria has been on all our minds lately, very upsetting.

  2. such a very thought invoking post-so worth reading and re-reading and looking at the imagery too. The best thing anyone can do for themselves is to be authentic! Lovely art too!

  3. Love this post. I've actually just spent some time reading your last several posts and really enjoy your writing. I love the energy and emotion in your journal page. Best of luck in all of the new doors. I am really glad to have found your blog!

  4. A post rich in thoughts shared, wonderful art, I love that energetic piece, that must have felt so good to do, wide, open, spontaneous strokes, beautiful! Your doodles are always fab too, such relaxing zen moments!

  5. Thank you for sharing so many beautiful, wise and truthful thoughts. I love visiting your blog, your place where you share your art and a bit of your world. It is always inspiring. I wish I could meet you in person. I read Siddhartha when I was 17. it is one of those books which change your perception forever. Big hugs and much love to you

  6. I enjoy your art and your writing very much, I recognize so many of the things that I'm wrestling with in your posts. For me your words are healing. So don't ever think that what you're doing is meaningless and pointless. It isn't. Please never stop making art and writing. I greatly believe in the healing power of art, making it as well as enjoying it. Last Friday after I posted on my blog, I saw a post on Facebook with a beautiful picture. But it was the poem that accompanied it that was so powerful. It was a poem from Warsan Shire about the situation with the refugees, and I read it and re-read it and shared it all over the place because I felt that everyone needed to read these words, to finally get some compassion and comprehension in the minds of all those people that keep screaming the refugees are bloody parasites. I still read it at least once a day, because somehow it comforts me. And I think that's the case with a lot of art, at least when it's coming from the heart. I think this world needs art now more than ever ....

  7. You my dear always matter, your powerful words and art matter so much! You radiate passion so deep and vibrant that must be expressed to make a difference. You do make a difference Pauline! You just never know the minds that you have influenced! Being anyone but you truly would be a sin against nature...because your powerful voice must ALWAYS be heard. You speak for many of us too!! The energy in the 10 minute abstract is amazing... just like you! Always speak your sings through the wires! Who it touches we can never really know... it is a frenetic sad time so many of us are heart sick about! Pauline you MAKE A HUGE difference!

    Always inspired!
    Hugs Giggles

  8. Man this is a thought provoking and powerful post! I relate to the idea of, what's the point, why bother, and then come to the conclusion, it is because we are compassionate, and it some way feel like we aren't doing anything to help, but all the people that want to help are banding together and making governments view things differently, saying things must change, when there is art out there too, like yours, it adds to the voice, the voice that no one heard before, or corporations, big business and governments ignored... Pauline... It matters, you matter, well written thoughts and art can enlighten others x

  9. Merci Pauline! For your words, your art and your generosity of spirit - online and in person! I so very much enjoyed our conversation and coffee date. Now I think there's a book to be ordered and read... :) xox

  10. Such a wonderful post filled with so many words, such feelings that I can relate to as well. Sometimes I find me sitting down to do art takes a back seat but when I do it, it fills my soul, it heals. And we all need healing.

    I love your painting! It is so wonderful. It’s the soul reaching out, rejoicing in living but at the same time it looks like the soul reaching out to escape the darkness. Very wonderful.

  11. 'Fuck it. I'm going in'. That made me laugh out loud, and aside from all the other wise and heartfelt things you said, I loved that because it feels very hard to laugh sometimes with all that's going on, and if I'm going to bring anything to this planet I want it to be a higher frequency than rage and despair, which ultimately just bring more of the same. So actually just being who you are is perfect, whatever reason you do art for. Also, love to hear you hung out with Stephanie! {Met her online and love her work too.} xoxo