another page from
A Creative Hand/Book
by Aisling D'Art
Left page: a hand printed on a photo of jewelry. Big, delicious, opulent rings with semi-precious stones in them.
Right page: "Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different." --Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi
There are many ways to interpret this quotation. One obvious choice is in terms of art materials. Other people look at a film canister and see a whitish plastic container to throw away when the film is used.
I see the basic structure of a found-art doll's head. (See my Teal Magick doll.)
I see a small container that I can save a great mixture of acrylic paints in, and seal it air-tight for future use.
I see something which could also be a doll's torso, or something to save small rocks or shells in, or store an emergency supply of M&Ms, in the bottom of my purse.
Everything takes on meaning, based on how you look at it.
I'm reminded of one of the first exercises in A Course in Miracles, which is something like looking around and saying, "That ____ means nothing."
This can be tremendously liberating, if we've overlayed negative meanings on what we observe in our environment. But that's a discussion for another day. *grin*
But let's skip ahead to another possible meaning of this quotation:
Having just spoken (on the previous page) about wealth being more about the riches of experience than about possessions, it might seem odd to feature expensive rings on this page. However, it's actually a good fit.
You could look at the rings (or any symbol of financial affluence) and cast yourself back in the role of "starving artist." And that's an unfortunate image which was created by the media as much as anything.
However, you could drink in the beauty of the gold and sparkle, and enjoy it for its own loveliness. You could also find similar, opulent images in your own surroundings--or create them! It's up to you.
There's nothing noble about living in a situation where you're surrounded by images of poverty. Nobody gives you an award, or hangs your art on their walls, if you present yourself as nearly-destitute. How good your art is, is not proportional to how much you suffer to create it.
Recently, I went through a stack of magazines (many of them collected in the recycling bin at our apartment laundry room, so don't feel as if you have to buy magazines for this) and tore out pages featuring images that I love. Not just images that I really like, but images that I adore.
It was part of an exercise from the fashion advice book, 40 over 40, by Brenda Kinsel.
I amazed myself by choosing photos with a lot of texture. The interior design pages I selected, consistently featured a sense of space, big windows, and lots of golden accessories. I lean towards splashes of sunset and sunrise colors, particularly the shades of coastal Maine, rather than monochromatic choices.
Then I looked at what's around me, and in my closet. I've often chosen "cute" florals and a closetful of sedate cottons and cotton blends.
No wonder I've felt like something's missing in my life!
But for as long as I kept buying flat cotton clothing in dark, muted colors (even lovely ones), and threw more chintz floral fabrics (even the expensive stuff) on my furniture, I'd still feel that it's not enough.
It's important to define the images which--to you--symbolize success and personal wealth. And then surround yourself with them, perhaps like a movie set, if necessary. If you can't afford "real" gold frames (and that's one of your personal "wealth" symbols), then use cheap plastic frames from WalMart, sand them lightly, and paint them with a good fake gold leaf paint.
Discover your own symbols of love, wealth, brilliance, and originality.
Provide yourself with these visual cues that make you feel loved, rich, and very creative. You'll be amazed at what happens when you relax in the comfort of your surroundings, and feel that all is right with the world.
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full list of quotations
All original text, photos, and art are © 2000, Aisling D'Art.