Quitting vs. Stopping…
This topic always makes me cringe. The idea of quitting my passions forever… Shifting away from one passion and closing the door, to focus on another… It sucks, it’s hard, and sometimes, arguably every time, it is necessary. Quitting, by definition, implies that “usually” you end something, or relinquish something permanently. Key word being usually… This is why comeback stories are such a huge deal. Take for example, boxers. These tough dudes train their whole lives to fight. And sometimes, once a boxer has quit his sport and moved on with his/her life, they cannot take the absence of the fight. 5 years pass… 10 years pass… Alright coach, I am ready to play again! The comeback kid! It is rare to quit something and walk away with intention, just to find yourself to do it again (except bad habits, those die hard with us;). Quitting is a very abrupt change.
So what happens when we stop?
Above is a painting titled, “Naples” I had just finished massage school, and it had been quite a few months since I had last painted. I had stopped painting, I had chosen to focus on my studies and I was going to school from 9am to 10:30 pm, making up hours like a bad kid and doubling my education in the process. All i could think was anatomy and massage. My focus and energy was being exerted towards something incredibly rewarding, and I did not feel the loss of my passion for art. I knew I would return some day.
“Naples” got its inspiration from my trip to Florida shortly after graduation from school. My father and I decided to track down Taqueria San Julien, a hidden gem on the outskirts of Naples. This would be our third day in a row getting tacos from this place. Google it, I never lie about tacos… Haha, well, after we got our fill, we decided to head into the heart of Naples, and he took me to a bakery for coffee and a fancy brunch meal. Eggs Benedict with salmon.. It’s hard to forget the food I had consumed this day… This entire trip honestly. Everything was SO GOOD! My father wanted to take me to see an artist he found last time he was in Naples, so we set off down the boardwalk. The walk was phenomenal! Getting to talk with the locals and observe the strange inhabitants of the trees, plant and animal alike. And as if emerging out of thin air…
It was a small little place… You could walk right by it and not even know. I present to you, the incredible works of Emily James!
She was in her office space working that day. She was messing around with some acrylic pour stuff and doing abstract ocean work with her hands, it was whimsically lovely. I would love to see what she has been up to since I last saw. Her work is moving, breathtaking, inspiring… She gave me permission to take photos of her work, and so I set off absorbing her works, learning and studying. She loved it, and we shared experiences of past works. We hung out with Emily for a couple of hours, and it was a moment in time that is timeless and a flash all at the same time. I am so inspired when I see what she sees.
Her work is fascinating and deep. Simple and beautiful. Powerful and mysterious. I had never been moved to react to art as quickly as I did until I walked into her studio and saw her works. And then I truly met her.
Emily James… A person who mentored me in the briefest of moments, but life-lasting eternal. Saw through my being and spoke to my soul. “Never stop painting” still echoes throughout the chambers of my body. Her eyes weren’t looking at my eyes, they were looking through them. The connection was ancient. Primitive and good. Whole and wise. Courageous. Unforgettable.
That moment was so impactful, I remember turning around and asking myself if that was real just then. I was transported to a woman’s mind, heart, and soul. And she took care of me in the process. Gives me goosepimples…!
The same day we land, I get to work and I begin painting. And what comes out? A piece that had been inspired by one of her own. I never took a photo of it, but I do remember chuckling when the piece emerged with the block-y brush strokes. Emily had created a weaved (woven? woved.)/torn canvas piece, that reflected an abstract checkers board. Textures and colors were everything about the piece. The title “Naples” came around later once I reflected upon the memories and relived the laughs. What a dear treasured memory to have being expressed through a piece of art.
Thank you Emily for you continued inspirations!! You are loved greatly!