Ready to Give Up? Why You Should Soldier On!

Monotone Rainbow by Cherie Roe DriksenWhen the Going Gets Tough

Life get’s hairy — let’s face it.

“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs” — Victor Hugo

Let me paint a metaphorical picture:  You’re standing at the checkout, waiting to pay.  You’re going to make a beautiful meal when you get home and you’re salivating at the very thought of those steamed baby potatoes with melted butter and parsley, the carrots Julliene with coriander and the roasted butternut with creamy mushroom sauce.  Then disaster strikes!

Your card is declined just as you’re about to whisk your shopping away and head off to culinary heaven.

You go home and eat baked beans on toast.

Take That Shovel and…

We’ve all been there.  At some point or another along life’s many twisted and adventurous paths — we all come face to face with the discomfort of a bump in the road (to put it ever so mildly!).

You’ve basically got 3 choices when you hit these hurdles. You go get the shovel out the boot of your car.

Now you’re standing along the roadside staring at the bump, shovel in hand, and you can either:

  1. Shovel more sand and grit onto the bump — make it good and high (and more difficult to overcome)!
  2. Give up and toss that spade aside, or….
  3. Level that bump!

I know you’re all savvy and can probably see where I’m going with this, but let’s get more specific anyway, why don’t we?

Shovels Aside, Show Me the Gold

Now the key to success is very unlikely in excessively piling more dirt and gravel to the hurdle. It’s probably not the wisest thing to throw in the towel and declare defeat either…no! You show that bump who’s boss!

  1. Making things worse by playing the ‘poor me’ card (shoveling more sand on the bump) — we can all fall victim to feeling sorry for ourselves when life gets us down.  It’s okay to have a little pity party rounded off with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.  However, inevitably you are the master co-creator of your experience and you’re going to need to pick yourself up off the floor and work on a game-plan to get out of the quagmire!  The sooner you get out of victim mode the quicker you can bypass the obstacle and glean all the lessons it came to teach you.
  2. Packing it all in (tossing the spade aside) — it’s easy to give up and wave your white flag of surrender. But perhaps you have not yet fully tested your balls out — they may be stronger than you think (yes, you read right and feel free to reprimand my verbal conduct in the comment section below)? Have you ever thought about why you came to planet Earth — the playground of all things dualistic and difficult?  Are you giving up on a dream, goal or ideal? Is your surrender empowering or disempowering? How about standing strong, head held high and facing those demons straight up? What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain? Are you in your truth and integrity? If yes, you walk on, sunshine! Climb right over that bump and show the world that you’ve got what it takes to overcome diversity (and some pretty impressive gonads).
  3. Riding the waves with grace and ease (leveling that bump!) — I’m not going to give you any clichés about lemons resulting in margaritas or soft drinks but what I will say is that when those waves hit and it looks like you may drown, try not to panic (when in doubt of drowning, try floating on your back — metaphorically speaking, ‘go with the flow’ or see where the universe is trying to take you).  Instead, see that wave for what it is, what it can possibly show/teach you and why it came at that particular moment. There is gold to be mined in any situation and your job is to dig until you find your treasure — don’t leave any stone unturned. The best way I know to do this is with patience, understanding, compassion (for yourself and for others — hell, we’re all on this floating globe on the outskirts of the Milky Way, navigating the daily grind of existential interference) and a lust to understand the workings of the universe and why we’re all on this pick ‘n mix planet. There are lessons in everything and, if I may be so bold as to suggest, your job may be to cross the bridge so that you can look back, when you’re on the other side of your dilemma, and say ‘Ah, is that why that happened?! I’m sure glad I stuck with the program’

Let’s finish with that metaphorical painting I started earlier: So, a week after the baked beans on toast incident, you’re back at your local grocers when the checkout lady casually tells you about the food poisoning scandal they had with that dodgy new brand of creamy mushroom sauce.  Boy, do you think your lucky now!

As Winnie the Pooh so eloquently put it (with a little help from A.A. Milne):

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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The 12 Hour Saatchi Art Competition Challenge — Start to Finish

Your Untypical Typical Artist 

Print 2I’m usually quite organized, not like the stereotypical ‘last-minute’ kind of artiste.

However, on the 16th April 2013, I had a hunch to go and ‘check’ the due date for a competition I wanted to enter.  I thought it was due on the 30th April but to my surprise, it was due the very next day — on the 17th April.

Aaaaah!

What To Do!

I had already bought the canvas, got the prelim sketch idea.  Heck, I’d even thought out the description and had the perfect title!

I had but one choice.  Do or die!

I locked myself up in the studio that afternoon and didn’t emerge until way after 9:00pm.

Here’s the photographic process:

1 2 3

4And then I put the final ‘blue wash’ on…

The Monotone Rainbow City

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
15″ x 30″ x 1.5″
Prints available (click on picture)

Never Say Never!

I had done it!  The next day I submitted all the info and gave myself a pat on the back.

It just shows you, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!  As long as you have the will, the drive and the hootspa.

The Story Behind the Painting

Print 1This scene is taken in Loop Street, Cape Town, looking towards Table Mountain (a little bit of the mountain can be seen in the background).

The painting tells a story about the grey area of our (South Africa’s) rainbow nation.

Here we have a simple street scene but hidden within the paint is a history of greed, opportunity and division.

I have used gold and silver spray paint as the base coat of the buildings (the connotation behind the colour gold is that of wealth and prosperity) this depicts South Africa’s mineral wealth — the foundation that built the nation.  However, the buildings are now covered in the grime and dirt of time.

I have two main characters in the scene.  One is a street person, sitting on top of a wooden crate.  His clothes are baggy and don’t fit him properly.  He is staring at the young black student on his iPhone.

This young man, the second character, represents the opportunity that the black youth have today as opposed to what might have been under the Apartheid regime.  He is wearing the latest fashion and seems to want for little.  He is not even conscious of the man sitting on the crate.  He is too wrapped up in social networking.

The man on the crate has not had the same chance in life.  He is the same age but his story is one of poverty and misfortune.  He is not yet experiencing the new rainbow nation of opportunity.

He is one of the many South African’s who do not benefit from the new system.  Both these men are the same age yet their lives tell two completely different stories.

South Africa is a growing third world nation but it still has to iron out a lot of socio-economic problems.  This painting depicts the divide in the culture that exists today.

Yet there is hope and to denote this I have given the painting a blue wash.  The esoteric meaning behind the colour blue is that of youth, spirituality, truth and peace.  Which is what I wish for this nation.  To truly become the rainbow.

TO VIEW THE PAINTING AT SAATCHI ONLINE PLEASE CLICK HERE (ORIGINAL AND PRINTS AVAILABLE)

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