Angel ~ Abbott Handerson Thayer
The power of images has always intrigued me. I remember being in my studio in Laguna Beach one day. I was idly looking around at the images I had put up on my walls or propped up on my desk while my mind was occupied with something entirely different.
One of my secret fascinations is taking a peek into an artist’s working environment at all the wonderful materials, references and inspiration they have gathered together.
On this particular day, I saw something I’d not seen before. As beautiful as they all were, EVERY single image around me depicted dejection, deflation, or someone worn out or defeated. The beautiful angel above was just one of many in this theme.
Unable to admit the truth to myself, I realized I had unconsciously selected these images as projections for how I was feeling. Shocked and amazed pretty much described my reaction to this insight. How could I have not noticed this before now?
I had collected these images unconsciously. But once I became aware, I could do something about my state-of-being.
From that point on, I went about more consciously choosing the images I surround myself with. And not only for my walls.
I began to keep a visual journal where I continue to add images that inspire me and collage together different aspects of who I want to be when I grow up.
The photo above is me at about 5 years old intently focusing on the task at hand – cutting out paper dolls.
I put this photo collage into my journal several years ago to remind me that a) I’ve always been oriented towards using my hands and creating things, b) that I was once able to fully concentrate on one thing at a time and c) I am a divine being, a part of the mystical, magical universe.
All these things are important to me now as I move towards actualizing the potential that was all folded up inside of me then.
Wise Woman Watching ~ 12” x 18” ~ Oil on Canvas* ©Linda Hough
Price Available Upon Request
What do I have on my walls now? No image can really compete with the grand, real-life view of the majestic mountains I have outside my windows. And I’ve grown accustomed to the simple, clean look of no images.
But I do have one single painting up, one that I did several years ago. Any time I begin to feel that defeated, deflated, worn out and tired feeling, I look into the eyes of Wise Woman Watching.
From her, I am reminded that part of me that is wise and knows what to do. I feel her nurturing, tender support. I remember to be kind to myself. And I gather the strength to carry on.
The power of images is all around you, affecting you whether you are aware of them or not. Do the images you’ve chosen for your environment inspire and lift you up? Were they chosen with care?
Next time you walk into a room, stop and ask yourself, why this image? What is it saying to you? Would another image more accurately reflect who you are or who you want to be? If the answer is YES, go about finding it. Surround yourself with the power of your personal images. It’ll do you a world of good.
*Wise Woman Watching was painted from a photograph of Doris Leader Charge as Pretty Shield in the movie Dances With Wolves. She was the Lakota Sioux dialogue instructor.