In the era of my adolescence the world was in a turmoil. Like today, fear and hate spread their noxious toxins.
In 1969, the Rolling Stones released Gimme Shelter, a song addressing the times. Four decades later the lyrics still strike social chords of today. Most of the way through the song Mick sings of the hate perpetrated on humans and he’s seeking shelter. The images in this video depict scenes from the day.
An impressionable child of those confusing times, my young mind was infused with the music and images. My elementary school was two blocks from the Florida beach. My third grade class had high windows facing the sea. Cuba just 90 miles south of Florida. During the Cuban missile crises, though not yet in school, fear was still instilled in me how close we came to annihilation. In third grade we watched an old film called Duck and Cover on what to do in case of a bomb attack. We were supposed to crawl under our desks. Ours had cubbyholes so I fretted over how I was going to fit in that little space when a bomb came zinging through the window. I reckon a sense of impending doom was instilled early in me, which has taken most of my life to dispel.
But I have learned from her to rise above the doomsayers, and stay true to the light that moves my soul. In time, I’ve come around to the concept of light symbolizing unadulterated love. The world needs more love and respect. We must love ourselves, each other and the planet. We take care of what we love. I share my attitude about life through my art, but I can only communicate it one painting at a time. I’m kindling a concept to light up the lives of more people.
In the spirit of this, I’m starting an art crusade to counteract ugliness in the world. It’s more than about painting, it’s a place to shed our masks, and take shelter in a supportive, encouraging environment, a place to grow and explore and make new friendships. I’ll start small, just drop a pebble in the pond, in faith the ripples spread throughout other lives. I’m looking for kindred spirits to join me. I will need people with organizing skills who have an interest in art, nature, healthy food and travel adventure. And people with inspiring places that would like to play host to a small group of paint intoxicated artists. It’s simply about putting more positive vibes out in the world.
Most of the way through the song Gimme Shelter the lyrics speak of ugliness, then suddenly in the last chorus the words offer a beautiful solution, sister. . . Love. . .
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Rock on 2015!
About the painting Kindred Spirits:
Oil on linen, champagne frame
30 x 40 inches
A beautiful painting and a beautiful message. The world needs more love and a whole lot less fear. I’m so glad you have the courage to share yourself through your work and your words. Beautiful.
Nelia, thank you, I appreciate your kind thoughts very much. I hope other artists like you will join the rising tide of love and inspiration and flood the world with beauty.