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Created to create

I often hear people say that someone or something doesn’t deserve respect. Often seeing people act disrespectful in some way. I see people, animals or objects not being given the respect they deserve all the time. I truly believe respect is a reflection of yourself not what’s in front of you.

Often, I remind my children that it’s not yours so don’t treat it that way. Most of the time they ask why? I tell them that you should respect and care for everything if it’s yours or not. That objects you possess someone has had to work hard (usually me) to obtain and if it’s not yours someone or something has had to work hard to obtain it. For example a simple branch hanging from tree in some cases may have taken decades to grow from a seed it should be shown respect. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to grasp the concept of this. It’s been culturally ingrained in us that if we own it or can control it then we can do what we like with it. From a very young age we are given gifts that we can treat in ways we like, eat products that without a second thought how it got to your plate, or simple take advantage of things that are less powerful than ourselves. I think it’s very important to teach children or adults to treat everything the way we would like to be treated.

This isn’t to say I’m some left wing, tree hugging hippy. I just think the world would be a better place if we all showed a little more respect to what’s around us. There’s no planet B and you only have one life, but one is enough if you live it right. I truly believe my purpose in life is to leave a positive memory in my wake. Being respectful is a big part of that memory I wish to leave.

I painted this picture for Karen because she is the most respectful person I have ever met. I thought of many Christmas present I could buy or make for Karen. After several ideas were thrown out it came to me. When I think of word respect Aretha Franklin and her song RESPECT just stuck out. It was at this point I tried to figure out how I could put that on canvas. Considering I hadn’t painted for years and wasn’t even sure I was capable of such a painting.

In secondary school Art was by far my favourite subject. School life was pleasant, but I really was somewhat a nobody I was quite shy and hung around in the shadows. Don’t get me wrong I had a lot of friends, but I was never really that popular. I just floated around attaching myself to different groups whilst keeping myself on the outside so to speak. I think this was because I didn’t like to be the centre of attention. Many people probably won’t believe this, but I was really shy! I wanted to express myself in some way which would help me feel proud and have sense of belonging in this strange teenage world.

Art was the perfect option for me from a young age I was fascinated by the process of creating something out of few materials that could become your own masterpiece.

When I left school, I took Art in college at that point I was only interested in listening to hip hop, training to be ninja and drawing. Needless to say, I didn’t do very well in Art school. I wasn’t interested in learning about art history or any of the academic stuff. I got behind on work and just scraped through the course.

Skip a few years and I’m married with children. About the only thing I have time to paint is a wall. I kind of forgot that I was passionate about drawing or painting. It took a separation and some tough months to ignite that creative flame once again. I started to draw and eventually picked up a paint brush.

I’m so glad a I did it!!! Finally, I get to hang my own painting (albeit not in my own home). That’s another off the list.


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