As I was painting this very colorful abstract figurative oil painting, I was thinking about the colorful people that have come and gone in my life. The teachers, the friends, the leaders, the followers--all have had an impact on my world in some way. Some have had great influence in my life, others, not so much.
There have been people throughout my life that encouraged me and made me feel I could do or be anything I wanted to be. There have been those who have helped me through painful or difficult times in my life. I remember a wonderful teacher I had in High School, Mrs. Gray. I'd been in honors math classes since junior high school and had always done well until my first semester of Algebra II. I started having difficulty, and I just couldn't get it. She encouraged me and worked with me until I finally broke through. I loved her for that. She never made me feel stupid, she was patient and kind, and without her, I would have failed the class. On the other hand, I also had teachers that were exactly the opposite of Mrs. Gray.
There have been wonderful people and not so wonderful people, but they all shaped my life and made me who I am today. So for each person that has passed through my life, I am grateful.
I think it's important to have positive influencers in our lives, but even more than that, it's important to be a positive influencer. Encourage, teach, be patient, and help someone else along the way!
Oil on canvas