When I think of all the things I identify as– sister, daughter, friend, artist, designer, skier– it is the artist that I most readily grasp at.  I think that the way in which I view the world is different than most to begin with because I cannot hear, so I use the world around me to search for visual clues. I’m a keen observer.  One of the things that sparks my appreciation and, in turn, my happiness is an appreciation for the everyday.  I find that, for me, a bit of visual beauty or interest can impact my mood.  What do I mean?  Art makes me happy.

At the turn of the 20th century (and of course throughout the course of history), there was a heady debate about the question “what is art?”  When I studied art history, we had lively debates about just that question.  Our perceptions are challenged a lot these days with the advent of tools such as instagram, photoshop, and websites that allow us to sell our handmade goods, marketing whatever we desire as “art.”  For me, art is something that evokes a feeling.  When I glimpse small bits of beauty around me, I am happy.  When I am happy, I am grateful.  When I am grateful, I am happy.  See  how that works? I challenge you to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and to see the beauty in the everyday (and everyone defines these things differently, which is part of the magic of appreciation).

It can be as simple as these…a little glimpse in my shopping cart last week.

Thanks for small measures

These snapdragons make me smile because I can picture my grandmother showing me why they are called “snapdragons”– you can make them move like the mouth of a dragon!  Beautiful and nostalgic is a hard combination to beat. Nietschze’s point is simple.  To consider something beautiful or great, you must acknowledge it as such, and to do so is to appreciate it.

I’ll be starting up my own gratitude challenge in November and I’m going to invite you along for the ride.  In the meantime, I want to share an absolutely wonderful blog I happened to come across while reading an article that caught my eye in the Huffington Post.  It’s called “Colors of Gratitude” and Miriam Ava’s manifesto, in particular, really resonated with me.  Check her out if you have a minute!

Happy Wednesday!