Ana's Thought: "Artist, paint what you really Love and the world will be your cheerleader in due Time."
When we look upon beautiful works made by the hands of men, we may be swept off in their purity, the directness of vision that turned ideas into masterpieces. In doing so, we are quick to forget that no man - even the brightest, most inspired among us - creates entirely in isolation. History has taught us that the road to success is far more pleasant to walk upon when you are blessed with a companion at your side to champion your efforts.
For Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz was such a champion. He realized the merit of her art immediately after he was given a sample of her sketches. Many exhibitions of her work, including an annual solo showcase, came to be through his insistence and dedication. He cultivated her acclaim with diligence. As a photographer and gallery owner, Stieglitz served as witness to her work and her life. The pair mutually influenced each other's art. By the time of Stieglitz's death, Georgia O'Keeffe was a name known throughout the world - and without his constancy and devotion to her gift, she may have fallen into obscurity. Truly, it is remarkable how great a difference it makes when there is someone who believes fully in your ability!
Though Vincent van Gogh did not find such a companion in life, his legacy was protected and brought into bloom by an equally significant caretaker. His sister-in-law, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, was the driving force behind the preservation and presentation of his art. When Johanna's husband, an esteemed art dealer, passed away, she took the reins of his business. Through years of observing her husband's trade, Johanna made it her mission to bring van Gogh's magnificent pieces into the limelight. Without her efforts, his paintings would have been forgotten, abandoned to all time with dust to dull their brilliance. When we stand in awe of the master, we must pause to appreciate those gifted with the foresight to give him praise, well before the world took notice.
When you set to task at your easel or desk and feel the weight of uncertainty press upon you, do not be afraid. Set your mind at ease - just trust in your ability to create wondrous things. When your work is done, share it with those dearest to your heart. Not only will they ease the burden of doubt, you will find them eager to sing of your talents to the world! When all is said and done, how sweet it will be to celebrate your victories in the company of those who knew you would overcome all along - the patrons of your soul's song.