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Genece Hamby

Celebrating Life: An Artful Expression
by Genece Hamby

Celebrating life is good for us. It’s good for our families, our friends and our communities. The positive energy that comes from celebrating is both life affirming and infectious. It is healing and refreshing to cultivate an appreciation for life. An interesting characteristic of celebration is that it tends toward more celebration.

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate. Creating rituals and ceremonies of bliss and celebration is up to us to discover. However, the journey to celebrating life can be and should be an artful expression wide open to possibility. It should be organic and free to evolve with us.

A highly effective and fun way to cultivate the art of celebration is through awakening our creative gifts of imagination. In a world that’s lost some its “imagine” ability in exchange for “serious” busy-ness, we could all benefit from awakening our imagination. The imagination itself can release a flood of creative ideas.

"Imagination," says Webster, "can frame things which are not."

Personally, the celebrations of my life have evolved over the past couple of years in unexpected ways. First, there is much less noise in my head so there’s no need to make lists to remind me of who I am and what is needed to celebrate.

Second, I found a natural, organic way of celebrating that has guided me in achieving balance through artful expression. Specifically, I discovered I am an artist. Awakening to this fact, other areas of my life began harmonizing and aligning with this new found discovery. 

Since I practice what is called “the art of daily painting, there is even more reason to celebrate while expressing stillness, beauty and grace. It started with digital painting using various art software programs. Three years later, it graduated to include traditional painting with acrylics, oils and watercolors. There’s something very soul satisfying about painting for me – it deepens my connections to the world.

If you are a visual artist, you understand what I mean. One of the things that art does best is extend and expand our shared visual language. Art primarily appeals to the sensuous side of human nature. It allows us to delight in form and color and to appreciate the harmony and beauty of the world. This is the ultimate allure of art, to lead us to our awakened imagination where we become the creators.

Art is any recorded experience that draws us back to it, holds us there, grows inside us, becomes part of us.

If you are not an artist, what ways do you awaken your imagination in celebration of life as artful expression? What undiscovered talent have you tapped into that is cause for merriment? We know that art is not limited to the visual arts. Artful expression can be music, poetry, dance, crafts, cooking, decorating, design, fashion, woodworking, gardening, writing, storytelling, acting, performing, and much, much more.

Celebration isn’t just an appreciation for a special occasion, an event or action. It is a way of living, which implies that it touches all aspect of our lives. Tapping into hidden or undiscovered talents can widen our possibilities and help us experience greater joys. However, most of us are full of excuses why we cannot consider the possibility of our latent abilities. We are convinced there's no way to explore new potentials or change our ideas about who they are. Our comfort zone is encased like a fortress with thick walls.

The way I discovered my ability to paint was by “just doing it” one day at a time while exploring and experimenting. Gradually, the celebration came from the daily discipline of painting regardless of the outcome of my art.

What about you? What deep felt emotion are you expressing in celebration of your life?  How do you allow your artful expressions to touch all aspects of your day-to-day world?

©Copyright 2008 Genece Hamby. All Rights Reserved.

Genece Hamby
Genece Hamby is a contemporary artist and poet expressing herself by giving outward form to inward feelings of stillness, beauty and grace. You can visit her website at www.shibuistudio.com or her daily blog at http://sanctuaryofstillness.wordpress.com.

The painting featured in this article is called The Gathering.

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