I wanted to keep this painting simple, but I also wanted to capture the viewer’s attention–making you feel as if you were present. I use to focus on every little detail when I painted, but I’ve learned that being subtle is sometimes just as powerful.
I always try to post some sort of reflection along with my artwork, and my reflection for this piece relates to time. Sometimes we stay focused on the past and re-live the negative situations in our heads that keep us from moving forward. In reality, there are just things we cannot control and there are mistakes we have made. Accepting all of these things as a part of the human condition is necessary for us to move forward into a better place. Our past memories can be used as a learning experience or simply as a reminder that all people are flawed. It is also important to remember that the perceptions we hold about ourselves and of others are not always correct, and that is okay–we are all complex individuals made up of many different experiences and ideas. It is impossible to know everything about ourselves and about others. Like art, language, is symbolic and so our perceptions formed about what others have said is never the same. There is beauty in this!
Happiness is not composed of the constant need for a dopamine induced euphoric moment, because that is not how humans are built–despite what our capitalistic driven society tells us. The idea of being happy all the time can cause us to think that something is wrong with us mentally when we don’t feel happy and make decisions that can negatively affect us. Of course, we should do what we can to put ourselves in better situations or remove things in our lives that negatively affect us, but the obsession with finding this false notion of happiness is detrimental to our being. Instead, we should move beyond that way of thinking and realize that most people are not “happy” in the way we are made to believe–despite what we see on TV and social media. We should instead seek to be content and at peace with ourselves. Unlike the dopamine fueled feeling we receive occasionally that leave us feeling empty afterwards, this feeling is long lasting and leads to a healthier mindset and well-being. Once one understand this, the decisions one makes and the habits one forms follow suit, leading to true personal fulfillment and a better understanding of what happiness means.