Life Happens

John Lennon wrote, "Life is what happens when your busy making other plans". That sentiment recently hit my family right between the eyes. My wife, Pam, found out during a regular doctor visit that she had come out of remission from leukemia she was diagnosed with 2 years ago. We were just getting used to living somewhat normally again and even planning on a two-year anniversary trip to celebrate her remission. Instead, we are now in the midst of preparing for a bone marrow transplant. Life happens.

We all experience sudden jolts and direction changes in life-they come with the territory. These unexpected events become a part of the fabric of our lives and can become the source of inner expression and creative growth. I didn't ask for this situation, but I accept it as another pattern in my life's quilt.

We have in each of us a unique pattern of experiences. This quilt, if you will, is the source of our individual expressive voice. Whether intended or not, this unique expression appears in our creative efforts. It is especially apparent when you look at work you did in another period of your life. Sometimes, you'll look at the work and think, "That came out of me?". Other times, the piece will cause you to spontaneously recall your state of mind and emotional situation at the time.

In both cases, it is that unique quilt of experience that is expressing itself through the work. You may have subconsciously intertwined it into the expressive power of the art, or you may have intentionally responded to an emotional event and utilized it in your creative expression. So what does this have to do with Corel Painter, anyway?

Painter is an instrument of expression. We each have our own life quilt to inspire us and draw creative power from. There is nothing more human than expressing our uniqueness through artistic media. In doing so, we share our human condition with the world. It is a cathartic means of dealing with otherwise untenable situations we find ourselves in. Furthermore-and this is the point of this column's subject-it enriches those who observe and absorb our expressive message.

You can certainly use Painter's expressive capabilities to simply create visually interesting eye candy-or you can use it to sing in your own expressive voice based upon the unique pattern of your life quilt. Both approaches will have their audience, but which one do you suppose will resonate and touch others over time?

The next time you sit down with Painter and pick up your stylus, make a choice.

Life Happens.