The Courage of Gratitude

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“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art is gratitude.” Friedrich Nietzsche (from The Painter’s Keys)

Courage is an essential part of art.  It takes courage to engage in the act of putting what is inside the heart outside into the world in some form. Whether the art is writing, painting, sculpting, photography, dancing, singing or acting, it will require courage.  The first hurdle is to give the art inside an avenue to show outside.  The next big hurdle is to begin to let it be seen by others.  The third hurdle is to face possible rejection, unpleasant criticism or other negative reactions.  The last hurdle can be the difficulty of finding a market.  Not all artists face all hurdles but it is the rare artist who does not face at least one or two.

When in the middle of crossing the hurdles, it can be difficult to think about gratitude.  Yet that is the most important time to be grateful.  Biscuitsspace.com says, “Gratitude—whether we feel it or receive it—gives birth to creative ideas.”  Taking the time to stop and note what there is all around to be grateful for can be a time for the rebirth of ideas, new directions.  Gratitude changes everything.  The very presence of creativity is a gift to be grateful for.  Art springs from gratitude.

When facing hurdles, gratitude is difficult and creativity can run dry in the process.  It takes courage to be grateful for the act of making art.  Glenda Myles on her blog says of artists: “The courageous are those who follow their heart, who bare their heart, who help open our hearts.  Those brave souls who are too often met with criticism, hatred, judgment and hostility.  But they continue on, continue to share themselves because it is part of who they are as much as how they look or talk.”  It takes courage to be grateful.  It takes gratitude to make art.

Weekend Inspiration–Gratitude

Do we, as artists, reveal to the world what there is around us to be grateful for?  We see, hear, and feel the beauty that may be missed by others, especially those caught up in the rat race of the busyness of life. For myself, I forget to approach each canvas as an opportunity to express gratitude for the beauty I see.  When searching for inspiration, perhaps the best beginning is to start with an expression of gratitude for the good fortune of artistic creativity.