In a simple pine frame, resting on my Mother’s desk, there is a handwritten quote that has been there for as long as I can remember. It was my Mother’s mantra, her inspiration and an oft used paradigm for tough decision making. It reads, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. – Goethe.”
In times of despair, my Mother has lent me these framed words, somewhat as a talisman and somewhat as a directional reminder. Occasionally, being bold can be terrifying, perilous and exhausting, but in other moments you feel like a revered vanquisher. It is the greatest high I have ever experienced, but like other drugs the consequences can be grave.
Risk and reward realities exist universally for all those who take a chance. Without risk, there can be no reward and between the two is where possibility lives. Risk can be painful, dangerous and glorious. It’s addictive and scary and mesmerizing and sometimes, when you’re lucky, it can be like divinity itself.
My art lives inside Goethe’s adage. The stakes of committing to my craft is extraordinary in time, in cost, in vulnerability, in dedication and in humility. It brings me to my knees with fear, but as a result I finally find myself growing into my skin by doing what I was told was impossible. When painting I am enveloped in world of my own creation and like Alice down the rabbit hole I have to accept the journey in its entirety. You can’t pick and choose, you can only decide.
Thanks to my Mother, I take my boldness everywhere I can. I use it to empower myself to respect my beliefs and listen for personal incongruities. I use it as a shield against the barriers and revulsions that pop-up along the way. It is my guide, my magic 8 ball, and my serenity prayer. Goethe and my Mother got me here. Boldness and magic keep me in the game. Every day I dream of art.