The stuff hope is made of

graffiti quote

Often it is at the most unexpected of places, in the most unexpected of moments that inspiration grabs hold of us and renders us just a bit… well, speechless … if even for just the slightest of seconds.

You see, directly across from the American Tobacco Historic District in Downtown Durham,  under what I believe is the Durham Freeway, is this makeshift sort of parking lot . You know the type: your everyday cement-slabbed-over-run-with-gravel-and-last-nights-beer-bottles sort of corner that really doesn’t strike one as anything but ordinary. In fact, ordinary is being kind – most people wouldn’t see a speck of beauty amidst the rubble.

I am sure you know the drill: as we parked the car my head was buried within my purse, gathering my essentials, prepping my camera bag, checking my phone for messages .. just lost in the boring, everday mundane details we let consume our time. Imagine my delight when I broke from that awful normal .. and looked up to discover that quote.

I stopped.

I inhaled, deeply.

I stared. Mesmerized.

I took it all in.

That perfectly imperfect, hand written, drippy, inked up blob… I found it to be an absolutely beautiful sort of mess. I found the words beautiful, the penmanship beautiful, I found the act of whomever took the time to create it there… well, beautiful. It made that dreary space.. you guessed it.. beautiful.

Here’s a close-up:

graffiti

  “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” -Che Guevara

I have always loved how words guide me.. how they ever-so-gracefully float around within my busy head and resonate deep inside of me. They give me this new sort of sight – that day in particular – because of that particular beauty – I began seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary prominently – the glorious patterns and rustic colors of the vines along the cracked pavement.. the ray of sunlight illuminating the tiniest of weeds poking through the gravel… that sight .. is nothing short of magical.

Truly, it is just that … m a g i c a l. It is the sort of thing hope is built upon.

It is the sort of thing that doesn’t cost a dime.

That perspective, that gratitude and appreciation for what we have, what is there, what surrounds us… is what I believe to be the backbone of not only creativity, but happiness.

Wow. 

Powerful.

Each of us has oh-so-many blessings and regardless of where we may be at any given moment in our lives,  beauty, inspiration and metaphors surround us.. they are plentiful… we can find and even create it in the most unexpected of places… the trick is to not get so wrapped up in the mundane details that we are blinded to it.

Where have you found your unexpected inspirations?

Chrysti

An Unquiet Mind

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no and it would be an answer laced with terror. But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question.

Strangely enough I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated. Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images… So why would I want anything to do with this illness?

Because I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters… and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty and seeing things through. …Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But, normal or manic, I have run faster, thought faster and loved faster than most I know.”

-Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

Just wanted to share that passage from a book that once changed my life . The bold words feel as if they are my own, and for whatever reason, I felt compelled to share them this evening. Perhaps, there is someone else who needed to hear them too?

Chrysti

Gratitude, Collage Tips, Newly Listed Art

 Field Notes

Field Notes – For Sale Here!
One of a Kind Collectible Art Card (ACEO)
2.5″ x 3.5″
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist – Chrysti

Today’s Creating Art Cards (Artist Trading Cards, ATC’s, ACEO’s) Tip!

Remember this tip? I’ve received quite a few questions about how I mount my cards to the mat board… It’s really so simple. I use a permanent glue stick, and my bone folder to burnish it firmly to the surface. Some of my painted backgrounds, are too thick to use the glue stick… so I use gel medium instead.

 Believe In Your Magic

Believe In Your Magic – For Sale Here!
One of a Kind Collectible Art Card (ACEO)
2.5″ x 3.5″
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist – Chrysti

Another question I’m asked frequently is what I use to seal my collages.. If a collage needs sealed (not all do) … I use Krylon’s Matte Finish Spray. This is also fabulous for the pieces that have glossy elements, that I don’t want glossy… it helps to unify the collage. I love this stuff!

 Be Mine XO

Be Mine XOXO – For Sale Here!
One of a Kind Collectible Art Card (ACEO)
2.5″ x 3.5″
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist – Chrysti

I’m also addicted to their Workable Fixatif Spray.. I use it to keep charcoal, inks, watercolors etc. from smudging while I work. I swear by this stuff.

 Happy

Happy – For Sale Here!
One of a Kind Collectible Art Card (ACEO)
2.5″ x 3.5″
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist – Chrysti

Now you tell me something — what tips do you most want to hear? A girl can’t give away all her secrets.. but I’ll share what I can!

 Strangely Good & Full Of Grace

Strangely Good & Full of Grace – For Sale Here!
One of a Kind Collectible Art Card (ACEO)
2.5″ x 3.5″
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist – Chrysti

“The poorest man is not without a cent, but without a dream.”

Thank You all SO very much for your continued support! I’m slowly reaching my goal for my medical bill fundraiser with all these pieces — and I am so much more then grateful! I’m truly touched by your kindness, support and positive thoughts — I am indeed blessed.

Don’t forget to check out today’s giveaway in my earlier post! These giveaways, are just a small way for to express my gratitude.

-Chrysti

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