The Art of Growing: How Turning 50 Shaped My Canvas June 12, 2023

June is my favourite month! It has both the longest day of the year and the shortest night.

I wish every day would be so long, allowing me to do all the things I want to do. There are so many things I want to cram into this life that I need three times as much time as I have.

June is also my favourite because it’s my birthday. Every year I feel more blessed to be alive!

I don’t mind the passing of time, in fact, I embrace it. As time passes I feel wiser, more alive, and more grateful for my life. This year is a big birthday for me, I’ll be turning 50. 

These past few months I’ve been thinking of my life so far and also looking ahead. Who am I and who do I want to be for the next 10 years?

I am truly blessed. I am healthy, I have a beautiful family, and I’ve lived a diverse, full life. I am lucky to have a fulfilling career.

More than that, I feel I am living a purposeful life.

I have been working on myself and my mindset since 2001 and it took a long time to understand that being an artist is my life purpose. That I can greatly contribute to the world and the people in it through my art.

For me, creating art is not about the process of artmaking. It is the message the art carries, the lives it touches.

Photo by MoTography

I am very lucky to be in close contact with my collectors. I get to hear their enthusiasm when they order a piece or when they receive it. Their messages fill my heart with joy and my soul with purpose.

When Tanya told me how she connected with one of my Urban Queen paintings, the minute she saw the eyes, I cried. She said it reminds her of her teenage daughter who tragically passed away.

When Trinity messaged me to say my art helped her through her second breast cancer recovery, I felt shivers down my spine.

It excites me when I get messages about how my art makes people FEEL. Most of the time they feel empowered, ready to put on their crowns, walk out that door and live their lives boldly.

It was a very long and windy road to arrive at this place.

I first fell in love with painting at 18, when I moved to London. I don’t think I ever felt happier in my life (except when my daughter was born) than when I discovered painting at The College of North East London.

I had a wonderful art teacher and I loved every minute of it. I would spend many nights painting and drawing, copying the masters, and filling out sketchbook after sketchbook.

I loved the live drawing classes when we had nude models to pose for us, the human body always fascinated me.

I loved every assignment and the feeling I got from producing art is the closest I ever got to God.

Still, I didn’t dare to pursue a career in art because fear and mindset got in the way. Instead, I became a fashion designer, a career I enjoyed, but realize now wasn’t truly my passion.

After building a business in fashion from the ground up, I reached burnout and I stopped. I moved to Romania, thinking a change of scenery might be the thing I needed to rediscover my energy.

In Romania, I built an interior design business from the ground up.

It was a lot of work, but this time, I gave myself permission to paint as a way to find fulfillment. I painted at night and on weekends whilst raising a child and running a business. It was my refuge, my escape, and one of the happiest of my life.

Ten years ago, when I turned 40 (another milestone) I took stock of my life and realized that my true heart’s desire was to be a painter. That, despite my diversions into various other creative arts, my soul was calling out, screaming at me.

An artist is what I truly wanted to be. I took a leap, closed my interior design business, became a full-time artist, and never looked back.

I guess it has been my own journey of empowerment that brought me to this place. It took me 20 years to become a painter and another 5 to feel worthy.

Now, as I turn 50, I’m taking stock again. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it was brutal at times. My own mind, my old belief system, and my own internal fears I had to face and overcome came back to rear their heads.

I have to thank my amazing husband for cheerleading me and supporting me through this journey. If it wasn’t for his faith in me, his love, and his support, I wouldn’t be living my dream. He is an art lover and a champion of women and the world is a better place because of him.

My experiences at 50 make me finally understand the importance of art in our society and my own contribution to it.

Nothing brings me more joy now than to encourage and support other women to feel worthy too. And what a great vehicle I have for doing so!

Art. Colours. Beauty.

As I look forward to the next 10 years of my life, I plan to touch as many lives as possible. To bring joy and hope to many hearts. To show women that they truly can reach for their dreams and get them.

Comments (5)

  1. Kelly Burton says:

    I am celebrating my 57th birthday this month! I will raise a glass to all of us amazing women celebrating our births

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