I Believe Life is a Canvas

Sarah - Raymond, New Hampshire
Entered on April 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in a paintbrush’s ability, its kinetic potential, and the exhilaration one harbors when that brush is dipped in paint and used to portray emotion. I believe in using brush strokes that are not important alone, but as a whole, with every one being beneficial to the overall composition’s visual harmony. I believe in smearing color onto the canvas to see that these strokes aren’t the only focus. I believe that life is a canvas.

Some people aren’t interested in this “life as art” philosophy, but I think it works. My tendency to worry about the small things-boy problems, test grades, arguments with friends, and the like-block me from seeing the big picture, the entire canvas. I focus on the brush strokes and am preoccupied with making perfect strokes. I find it important to take a step back and look at my canvas from across the room to see how these strokes work with the composition. Stopping and looking at events in my life better helps me see their meaning in the long run.

Being high strung and usually worried, painting distracts me. When creating, I am safe. I control the situations on my canvas; I like being in control. I open up when painting, allowing people a glimpse of my deepest self, the part that usually remains hidden. Oftentimes, I have difficulties expressing what I feel. By using colorful strokes on canvas, I portray such emotions more clearly. Although I am safe while painting, I also know how to take risks about how much of that inner self I convey. Explaining these paintings makes me uncomfortable because it involves the type of communication I have trouble with. It is better to look at my canvas, my fully conscious actions, instead of asking for my input in words. Words are just brushstrokes, but my actions portray the full composition.

I believe in smearing color on my canvas. Intricate strokes are fantastic, but I have trouble not worrying about the details; sometimes smearing around color widens my focus. Of course, I still pay too much attention to the brush strokes. Grades especially are my weakness, though I realize they aren’t going to shape me as a person or determine my contribution to society. A “C” on a biology test does not mean I am less intelligent; rather it means I had a poor test and need to study harder. Grades are a brush stroke on my canvas; all I can do is take a step back and look at my canvas, my life, from a distance. I need to look at the entire canvas, even though I don’t know what bursts of color may appear in the future. I need to take these bursts of color, these events, in stride and not worry until after seeing their affect upon the entire composition. I believe that life is a canvas and all the events in my life are important to the whole because they act together to create who I am.