I sat beside her on the long bus ride into the French countryside. She was decidedly the oldest one in the group. Short gray hair, ample body, slow in movement. Of the thousands of quotes I’ve loved and forgotten through the years, let alone the hundreds of names of people I have met and now can’t recall—I still remember her and what she said.
A Mormon grandmother who shared her wisdom with me.
‘Always, always keep painting,’ she said. ‘It will hold you up in difficult times.’
I wrote it down on a scrap of paper which I still have these some twenty-five years later. I’ve pulled it out over the years and saw that it was still true.
That our creating is our strength.
It is one of the reasons I endlessly talk about it to my students, to you in my newsletters and to myself.
Somehow in our modern world, we lose track of exactly why we create. The good it holds inside for us. Swept along by the current of achieving recognition and acceptance of our work we get blind to the sweet honey of contentment that arises when we simply make. A simple drawing in our journal, the placement of color on a canvas—doing for ourselves what no one else can do. Making ourselves strong and resilient with our connection.
I am thankful that Alice B. made a point to share those words with me. In the years since, I have found myself taking solace in painting when life has taken unexpected turns.
And so I am here to remind you to make something for you. And know that it’s good and feel the strength.
Always, always keep painting.
These places touch hidden places in the heart—we feel them as much as we see them! On a side street in a hilltop Provencal village, this fountain captured my heart.