For the first time in weeks, I started – and finished – a painting. My dudio looked like a garbage dump, covered in debris from the past three weeks: leftover memorial service programs, junk mail, the hat my dad wore to the hospital, hangers and bags that held the kids’ funeral outfits, unsent Etsy orders.  

I didn’t have the energy to clean, so I pushed it all aside and sat down with a blank canvas before me. A felt a tear roll down my cheek and watched it splatter on the table. My heart was aching to create, but I didn’t know how to start. Usually, the words come to me first and they inspire the images I paint or collage. No words came. 

So, I made a pile of materials. Paint tubes. Brushes. Stamp pads. Pens. Paper. I let intuition guide me – no words to inspire me, no end result in mind. Slowly, an abstract sunset emerged. Then wildflowers, blowing in the wind, practically painted themselves onto my canvas. I felt a stirring in my soul. 

I thought about the way my dad lived his life. I thought about the way I want to live mine. I thought about one of my dad’s well-known quotes

“To dream what is possible and to put oneself into service of that dream is the formula for a life well-lived.” 

And suddenly, words grew like wildflowers from my heart onto the painting. 

“I want all of my days to be lived in full-color: vibrant, artful and bold. I’m choosing beauty.” 

A manifesto. A choice. A return to beauty. 

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Speaking of art, I’ve re-opened my Etsy shop. And on November 5th, I’ll be part of WildRuffle’s holiday pop-up boutique in Prior Lake, MN with 20 other fantastic, artistic vendors. If you’re in the Twin Cities and want to give your loved ones unique and beautiful gifts this year, I’d love to see you there.