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Before my beach vacation, I was working on a painting of sunflowers at the edge of a meadow. Most of my painting is outside the lines of scenery, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that the sunflowers spoke so clearly on the canvas.

After my beach vacation, I reconnected with my canvas featuring the sunflowers at the edge of a meadow. Actually, there is a rebel sunflower; the one happy flower face that is looking away from the sun. In the meditation before returning to paint, the beach demanded to be the setting for this rebel flower. I was delighted to make it happen. There are multitudes of reasons why this painting works, doesn’t work, inspires or irritates. But isn’t that the bottom line for art? It is about the exchange. The exchange of energy is creation flowing outwards as inspiration to viewers. Or not.

When an exchange with art bumps you off balance, take a minute to lean in and ask yourself why. Are you feeling off balance because something is really wrong, or is it because something is outside the lines of some randomly assigned expectation about the way things should be?

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