Seeing brush strokes of inspiration

Published 8:53 pm Thursday, December 2, 2010

It can be hard to be inspired in winter. After all, the leaves have fallen from the trees and the cold, crisp air is the ultimate opposition to grabbing some art supplies and going outside to paint something. All the fall colors have desaturated to a drab gray, and it just seems impossible to want to create something.

But as I was walking into the Suffolk News-Herald office the other day, I was greeted with not just the plain old glass door but a choir of singing teddy bears, a caroling child, and the Suffolk News-Herald logo done up like a giant Christmas gift. It was a Christmas, I mean, artistic miracle to see all those cheerful images sprawled across our business front.

Not only that, I was pleasantly surprised to drive down Main Street later that day to see the wonderland paintings on other storefronts. Snowmen, Christmas gifts and stockings, and a spirit of inspiration that is so hard to find in winter.

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Ever since I picked up a paintbrush so many years and paint spills ago, there has been a soft spot on my palette for those with the ability to create.

It was sort of my thing to share some of my creative abilities with others when I was growing up. I always felt like my art was the one gift I could give people that I was sure no one else could give.

Plus, I thought I had found the loophole to gift-giving that no one else had discovered. I could give my loved ones something that was unique, creative, memorable and absolutely cost effective toward my goal of saving all my allowance for when I found the mythical Snickers bar the size of a submarine.

I’d make picture books of the family for my mom. I’d draw hilarious cards and comics for my siblings on their birthdays.

And even though she may have been biased, my mom would always tell me that whatever I made her for Christmas was her absolute favorite thing that year. Of course, as I grew older, I realized it was the time and effort I’d put into making art for my family that they all actually appreciated more than anything.

So, to all the budding young artists who painted Suffolk’s Main Street, thanks for the inspiration. Giving the gift of your talent to the people of Suffolk for the holiday season is worth more than you can ever imagine.

And on behalf of every one who sees and appreciates your work, I’d like to say it is the time and effort you put into the work on the storefronts of Main Street that is greatly appreciated. You have enriched the city’s holiday season immeasurably.

And remember that bringing people joy with your artistic talents is not just a holiday treat. It is something that you can give all year round. Just keep plenty of paint handy, and remember that just because it’s a pretty color, it is not edible. I learned that one the hard way.