One of the first paintings at the museum was of a tornado. Not the swirling, cows in the air kind, but the dark clouds, brewing…the beginning of the storm. The grass green. The ground calm. The sky graying, moving to black. And it was beautiful. So very beautiful. I wasn’t afraid.
We don’t get to decide what we live through. Which will be our storms survived, but we do get to decide whether or not it is beautiful. We have this choice daily to take our darkened clouds and say, “Look…look what I have done with åwhat I’ve been given.”
Years ago I painted a pair of work boots. Worn weathered. Used. Used on me. I was kicked with a pair like that. I know people would wonder, “HOW COULD YOU EVER PAINT THEM????” But there’s beauty, you see. I took away their power. They are empty. I took away their power and gave it to my own hands. My own heart.
I decide what it beautiful. They can never hurt me again. I am not afraid of the storm.
You may think that is where the story ends. But that was just the beginning. I changed the narrative of that painting years ago. When you buy a print of it, it reads, “My heart is well traveled.” Because this is the real beauty. This is what came from that one decision. And as I can spin under skies of every color, I can say with all certainty, “Look… look what I have been given!”