• Peyton Cram

Our Life as a Story

"Art is a line around our thoughts." -Gustav Klimt

All my paintings are a part of me, my story. A concept I encountered when I decided to engage with a practice called, Dancing Mindfulness. Everyone has story, whether we believe it is dull, chaotic or whether or not we believe it wouldn't be heard or whether it deserves to be heard. I can tell you, all of our stories add rich detail to our world. Without our stories, we wouldn't have the magnificent artwork, books, ideas, friends, family, passion, and zeal for life, if we didn't not have our stories.

Our story involves our past, present, potential futures, the people in our life, and our impact on the world, and its impact on us. Those sayings about forgetting and moving on, the past only impacts you if you want, forgets that we cannot let go of the past. Each moment in our life has been stitched into our soul, leaving a lasting impression. The good, the bad, the indifferent.

We're quick to dismiss our strengths and struggles. Societal and familial messages of humility and other messages of others have it worse, constantly bury us under the weight of remaining voiceless. Remaining quiet about victory and growth in regard to our story and struggles only tears us down over time. I know it did for me. Edging around the corners of life, social interactions, and myself, kept me numb to the passion of living. Keep our stories mute. Why?

Now I'm not saying share every single detail from the roof tops, but I am saying you have the power to own your story. Our personal stories deserve to have a light shone upon them. Each story provides a wealth of fabric and richness to the world. Our identity. That's why I paint. My paintings are my identity and while they are mere pieces of my story, they are pieces to a larger mosaic of who I am. I recognize they aren't all sunshine and happiness, but neither is my past, a major part of my story. How I'm expressing my story is through healing and growth. Where I was, where I'm at now, where I would like to be. It is also my way to connect with people, to let them know they aren't alone.

The featureless people and the silhouettes are purposefully featureless. It is easier to reflect and project what it needed onto something you can see yourself as. It's easier to experience that visceral reaction when the image is left for you to play with. Hell, it's easier for me to figure out what I need to see while painting and featureless. Part of my story are these figures I call "non-people." People I couldn't recognize as myself at first, but that showed how disconnected I was from the story I was trying to tell, the coming home to self.

So I encourage you to find your story and find a way to express it. The plot always changes with each new stitch and piece placed into the mosaic. You can either view it as exciting or daunting, that is entirely up to you. I choose to see it as exciting, because why not?

Inner Flame by Peyton (Marnie) Cram 2018

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