Does your art make a difference? Andy Andrews wrote "The Butterfly Effect" in 2009 based on a hypothesis presented by Edward Lorenz in 1963 to the New York Academy of Science. The idea that a flap of a butterfly wing could set molecules in motion creating a hurricane on the other side of the planet seemed preposterous, but is it? Thirty years later this crazy idea became known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.
Six or seven years ago visitors on a studio tour came through my art space and fell in love with a little painting I did at the end of a day in France. My eyes had been wide open because of a week of plein air painting and the yew trees at sunset just shimmered onto the easel. As we talked I discovered they were also artists but not confident to "just do it"! I encouraged them to set up a little space and create. Perhaps by setting a timer, they could enjoy creating in the snippets of time around the "must do" parts of their lives.
Imagine my delight when I discovered both of these artists now have Instagram accounts where they regularly share their awesome creations in a voice all their own. Recently, during a painting event the power went out, and participants (way more than expected) were so excited by what they were doing under Kris's tutelage that out came the cell phone flashlights so they could continue. When I commented, Kris said it all began with me. What? How can that be? Then I thought way back to the day in my studio, I could see the "butterfly effect." One tiny flap of the wing or in this case word of encouragement has brought hours of joy to Kris and Steve, their viewers, now their students and even back to me.
Think of a time when you were encouraged by visiting a gallery, a studio or a creative friend at work. What could you glean to give yourself a push to make time to paint, savor a golden hour or push yourself to get up from the TV and instead seize the time at the easel? Is there a joy to be had making something you could not get by chastising yourself for continuing as you always have?