Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

The Cloisters
Oil Painting by Pat Fiorello

I recently went to an art workshop and during a Q&A session,  I asked the instructor, a master artist who's been painting for many years, if there was anything he did to relax and get himself "in the zone" to paint. I know sometimes people listen to music, meditate or do warm up exercises to loosen up brushwork so I was interested in what he had to say.  He was silent for a few moments then shared that he started each painting session thinking of all those he was grateful for in his art career- not only his past teachers- many of whom are gone now,  but also the Old Masters and others who contributed to the legacy of art handed down from generation to generation. He was so moved and present to gratitude that had to wipe back the tears when he shared that with the class.

Sometimes we can get so busy in the DOING part of life as an artist- the creating, but also the framing, buying supplies, marketing,cleaning our studios, entering shows, updating websites and other communications, blogging etc.. that we can lose sight of the joy of BEING an artist. I thought his comments about starting with gratitude could be a great way to  immediately presence that feeling of gratefulness for being able to live the life of an artist.

  After hearing this, I was inspired to start my own "Art Gratitude Journal".  So yesterday, I made a simple WORD document and have it visible on my computer desktop as a reminder to make it a daily practice to add to the list. I started out off the top of my head and in just a few minutes had a full page worth of people, places and things that I am grateful for that have contributed to me and my growth as an artist.  The more I thought about it, the more people, past and present, came up- some of whom I haven't seen in years or maybe only had a brief interaction with but who made a profound difference and others who might have had a brief conversation but that pointed me in the right direction or inspired me to take some action. Even appreciating my local art store knowing that it's a gift to be able to get the supplies I need, when I need them and many people are not fortunate to have that access.  It's amazing how good that feels to appreciate all those people. My intention is to take this on as a daily practice and start each painting session with an attitude of gratitude for the blessings of how wonderful it is to be able to live a life immersed in art.

I guess, if it "takes a village" to grow a child, it "takes a planet and centuries" to grow an artist. Just think about all the people who have come before us and shared what they have learned. It really is a rich tapestry of artists helping artists. Some of you- teachers, students, friends and fellow artists- may already be on my list and I sincerely thank you for being a part of my life.  I hope that I can contribute to you in some way too.  One might take on that as artists our job is not only to make a painting( or whatever you medium is), but to make a difference!

If you have a way you get grounded before you start painting, please feel free to share it with other artists by posting a comment here. Thanks

Have a grateful day!

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