Your Life Is a Work of Art – Good or Bad

I awoke this morning with vivid recollection of a colorful dream that I had in the night. It was of a painter standing before his canvas, busily creating his artwork.

Now I have a good understanding of what it takes to create a worthwhile piece of art (I’m a singer and also dabble in oil painting from time to time – so I know a thing or two about the creative process). Anyway, in my dream, I saw this artist – painting on a huge canvas, masterfully using colorful short, broad and chunky brush strokes, creating a glorious body of work for all the world to see. Unfortunately, I never got to see the finished piece, because I woke up before the painting was completed. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to see the final product. Nevertheless, the dream made a very strong impression on me, which motivated me to write this little blog.

My Dream Interpreted

As an executive wellness coach and holistic health practitioner, there always seems to be a plethora of altruistic, life changing thoughts and ideas swimming around in my head. This is due mainly to my desire and need to help people who seek me out for solutions and positive change in their lives. So, upon having this little “dream” (if you will), it became clear to me that I should write it down in hopes that its interpretation might inspire others.

Rick Osborn, Executive Wellness Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Graphic Designer in Raleigh, NC

So, here’s how I see it…

The Artist or Painter –represents you (and me). In other words, you (and I) are the one with the ability, the talent. You’re the painter, the doer, the artist – the one with the brush in his hand. You have control over what goes onto that Canvas.

The Brush – represents the choices and actions you make in life – how you choose to design, paint, and forge your way. The only means by which your canvas becomes a work of art (or garbage, for that matter) is how you use your brush to paint on it. Wrapped up in your choices and actions are everything from your career to relationships, spiritual decisions, how you exercise, etc. to the very nutrition that you provide for your body. All of these choices and actions determine the quality of your art (life and health).

The Palette and Paints – visually represent your talent, personality and expression. Combined with the Brush, proper use of color demonstrates your skill, ability, talent, and/or gifts to the world. Paints are full of color. Using color is how you leave your mark, showing the world who and what you are. When people view the art that you create, they see who you are because of a combination of colors and brush strokes. Your color choices and placement demonstrate what your painting is going to be. And what you paint either will inspire and motivate or repel and offend all who see it.

The Canvas – represents you, your world, your life – art or trash. It is yours to decide. What goes there on that canvas (in large part) is entirely up to you. It is your choice. Be careful what you paint on it. It is what the world will see with regards to you. It is what will be displayed before God and everyone else. It is the mark that you leave. It’s the influence (good or bad) that you will have.

I suppose my point here is this…

You are the Artist of your own life (the same applies to everyone) – to a great extent.

And, while there ARE things out of our control in life (our height, body type, skin color, sex, family of origin, health issues, the weather, economy, etc.), there ARE many, many things that we can create, control and determine for ourselves.

Unfortunately, many of us do not actively render and create Art out of our lives. We either let others determine that for us, or we unfortunately choose to carelessly make a mess on our canvas due to lack of care or consideration.

Points to Consider about your LIFE work of Art:

  • You’re born with only ONE blank canvas.
  • The choices and decisions you make (i.e. your brush strokes) apply the color to your canvas/life.
  • Dried paint is permanent in life. It can’t be undone, so make sure you paint wisely and with intention.
  • Remember, you can paint over mistakes, but the buildup (what’s underneath) is still going to be there.
  • If you make a mistake in painting, figure out a way to use that mistake in your artwork – so that it has context and meaning in the big picture. And don’t wait too long or you’ll miss your chance.
  • Sloppy and careless brush strokes and use of bad color are tough to cover up.
  • Color fades over time. Make sure you reapply and touch up to keep things fresh.
  • Creating good art requires perspective. Make sure you stand back from your canvas periodically to make sure that your brush strokes and use of color are becoming what you want to create. Failing to do this regularly will most likely result in a disappointing piece of work.
Rick Osborn, Executive Wellness Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Graphic Designer in Raleigh, NC

“The Magpie” – 1869 by Claude Monet


Perhaps you’re thinking that God is the Artist of our lives. I don’t deny this truth at all, in fact, I believe it wholeheartedly. Like I wrote before, there are many things in life that have already been predetermined for us. This is evident. And I believe that daily communion and inspiration from the Creator of all (God Himself) is of utmost importance to the endeavor of creating Artwork out of our lives. But for my purposes here, I want to emphasize that we are free agents who determine much of where we go and what we become in life.

With these things in mind, I leave you with the following thought…

Being the Artist of your life is empowering. It involves great responsibility (to ourselves as well as to how we impact others). Let’s all strive to be the best life artists that we can be, creating individual masterpieces that inspire all those who look upon the canvas of our lives.

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