• Susan Klinger, Artist

What will bring you joy?


Many years ago, while framing work for a show, my husband requested I not sell my pastel, “New Day Dawning – Sunrise over the Sea of Abaco”. At the time, I did not ask why. I was just so touched that he liked this piece enough to ask me not to sell it. I must note that my better half is the technical one in the family, not the appreciator of art, so this request meant a lot to me.

It was just recently that he shared with me what it is about that piece that brings him joy. He explained, “Each morning when I come down the steps, I turn toward the living room to open the curtains. As I turn toward what happens to be the east side of the house, I see sunrise (on the wall). Whether it is raining, snowing, gray or sunny, every day I see sunrise in the east.”

I had no idea! If a work of art speaks to you, bring it into your world. Allow it to bring you joy.

I first encountered the joy that art can bring into one’s life, quite by accident. Many years ago as a very “new” artist, I had the opportunity to display my work in the hallway of a retirement home. Some had suggested that it was not a great venue for selling art, but I did it anyway. For me it was more about bringing some color and beauty to the lives of the residents. I learned it was far more than that.

About 3 weeks into a 4-week exhibit, I received a phone call from a lovely woman, a resident of the facility where my work was hanging. She inquired about a watercolor I had done of a scarlet macaw, a very colorful bird. She wanted to know if it was for sale. She proceeded to tell me how she talked to the bird every evening on her way to the dining room, and that she could not imagine not having him to talk to after the show came down. This woman had me by the heart.

We arranged to meet the day I took down my display. She was a very petite woman. Although the painting was framed in such a way to be rather light, it was still not a tiny piece. She expressed her gratitude at being able to “take him home”, turned the painting to face her, wrapped her arms around it, and shuffled off down the hallway holding it tightly to her chest.

To this day, I have not had a sale that touched me the way that one did. It was then that I fully realized that art has the power to bring joy.

If a work of art speaks to you, bring it into your world. Allow it to bring you joy.

#ArtistLife #stories #joy

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