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  • Sylwia Herbst

Creating My Way Out Of The Darkness

Updated: Feb 28


Out of the Darkness, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 in x 16 in

Recently I was asked by someone why I create art, so I really took a good look at that.


I can say that it's fun and I love it, but also, in all honesty, art became a means for me to be able to come out of living in the seemingly dark past and into creating in the present time, and consequently creating a future.


I’ve come to see how my artwork is about creating newly each day and being able to invent my own feelings right then and there. Let me tell you the deeper story behind this:


Once upon a time, I used to practically “swim” in grief and despair as I faced tragedy and death and loss all around me. It seemed to be an unescapable cycle. Friends, co-workers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, new boyfriend, brother, father, lost to the inevitable grim reaper. Not to mention, a miscarriage, and an unfaithful husband (now ex-husband) which to me was the end of life as I knew it. I’ve been through more funerals than I can count. It was hard to get happy about life (don’t worry, it has a good ending.)


Art was what I turned to as a way to express emotion which controlled my existence and which I didn’t want to talk about. As you can imagine, some of the art itself was gloomy.


One day, I realized that in an effort to hold onto all those people and things I had lost, I was actually living in the past. It had trapped me. In reality, the past is the past - it is gone. It exists only in my mind, in pictures. Mind blown!


Then it hit me - I had to change not only the way I was thinking, but also how I was living and how I was painting. I made a conscious decision to no longer live in the past, but in the present and have an active role in the creation of my own future. I felt I was behind the reins again and no longer riding on a wild horse taking me into the depths of hell. It honestly took some practice, but I could really redirect my attention onto what was in front of me here and now.


And you know, when I really began to observe the now, the present, I began to enjoy it. And when I began to create artwork that represented how I wanted to feel, I soon felt that way, and that also overflowed into my daily life. I realized that I was creating an illusion or a vision in my mind which then was becoming my reality. I now have an amazing husband and two incredible girls. I find myself not wanting the day to end, instead of wishing for it go by fast, as I used to. Life is good.


So now, my art reflects the uplifting, creative vibe which I want to share with you and hope it inspires you too in your life, and helps you pull out of whatever may have tainted your own universe.


There is something to be said about the creative flow itself. It is a powerful thing that we all have within us, and this, my friends, makes us artists in creating a life. It begins with redirecting our dreary thoughts and feelings onto something else.


So, I invite you to find something to create today. Whether it’s a new painting, a project, a meal, decluttering a space, a new friendship, or even making someone smile. Do it while being fully aware that you’re the one creating it and it will put you right on the aesthetic wavelength, and that, in my book, is a very enjoyable vibe. Happy creating!

P.S. I painted the piece above at the time I felt the freedom from the past. It still inspires me when I look at it. The original is available for sale here: Out of the Darkness

Find prints here: Prints

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