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Foundation of Gratefulness

Artist Statement

In the face of life’s challenges, it is sometimes hard to stay positive, see the light at the end of the tunnel and to feel grateful. The hedonic treadmill of life makes even the joy of getting through a difficult time short lived. The world moves at an alarming pace pushing gratitude and introspection to the side.

The root of the word gratitude is the Latin word gratia, meaning graciousness or gratefulness. A thankful appreciation for what we receive inspires gratitude.  It allows people to acknowledge the source of goodness in their lives, which usually lies outside of us. Gratitude allows us to connect to others and to something larger than ourselves.
 
We become so accustomed to the positive events happening each day in our lives that happiness becomes a moving target. If we stop taking for granted all that life has to offer, recognize how fortunate we are to be living in this time, we will be better prepared to work through the challenging times. There is strength in the foundation of gratitude.

Each flower is a symbol for something to be grateful for and each vessel has a hidden image at the bottom as often the unseen is as important as the seen. The thoughts we have inside our own head are as important as the ones we speak aloud.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.


According to research, grateful thinking promotes the savoring of positive life experiences.  When you realize how much people have done for you or how much you have accomplished, you feel more confident and efficacious. Gratitude helps people cope with stress and trauma. The expression of gratitude encourages moral behavior. Expressing gratitude tends to inhibit invidious comparisons with others. If you are genuinely thankful and appreciative for what you have (e.g., family, health, home), you are less likely to pay close attention to or envy what the Joneses have. The practice of gratitude is incompatible with negative emotions and may actually diminish or deter such feelings as anger, bitterness, and greed.

In Progress Images - Link

Foundation of Gratefulness - Pollinators
Clay and Glaze
12 x 10 x 10"

Our world is built on the foundation of pollinators and we have to be grateful for each little one.
The unseen work of the pollinators is so important which is why there is a small beehive on
the bottom of this piece. Sometimes the unseen is as important or more important than the seen,
especially when it comes to Mother Nature.

   

From Scratch

Clay and Glaze
10 x 10 x 7"

Collaborative piece with Tressa Gagne

When people hit rock bottom in their lives through substance abuse, mental illness or a life transformation through divorce or death they often say, I am starting from scratch.  Part of the healing process for these people is to create a gratitude journal.  Each rose on this bowl was created to represent a gratitude moment. The roses are on the bottom of the bowl because a foundation of gratitude can make like seem better, and the view of many roses with a few thorns rather than many thorns with a few roses.

 
   
 

Foundation of Gratefulness - Friendship
Clay and Glaze
10 x 10 x 7"

I created this piece on Zoom over several months with friends from the US. They are university art educators. They sent me their grateful list and I used daisies as a symbol of “loves me loves me not”, as sometimes the people that don’t want to be our friend teach us more about ourselves than the people that are our friends. The yellow roses represent friendship, joy and caring. The Forget-Me-Nots represent that we shouldn’t neglect our friendship, like all relationships they need nurturing. The number of flowers correspond to the number of grateful items each person submitted to me.

   
   
   

Foundation of Gratefulness - Peace
11 x 11 x 10"

Eleven Poppies and 75 Forget-Me-Nots. 11 poppies.
The 11 month, the 11 day, the 11th hour. It was 75 years ago that WWII ended.

 

 

 

Foundation of Gratefulness - Good Fortune
11 x 11 x 10"

This vessel is covered in Jasmin flowers, a symbol of good fortune.
Life is full of good fortune. The decisions to turn right, turn left or leave at a certain time all factor into good fortune.
Good fortune isn’t just about wealth and money it’s about so much more, the friends we have,
the places we live (geographic good fortune) the things we get to see the experiences we get to have.
This vessel has a four leaf clover on the bottom because it is a symbol of good luck and with all my vessels and with life the unseen is as important as the seen.
We don’t know the misfortunes we have missed, we only know the experiences that we have had, we can’t know the path we didn’t take.

   
   
   

Grateful 56
Clay and Glaze
10 x 10 x 7"

Each rose represents something that an anonymous participant was/is grateful for. The forget-me-knots represent
not forgetting to be grateful each day. The roses are underneath the bowl because each of us
needs to have a foundation of gratefulness to really be contributing members of this world.
Gratefulness should be at the heart of everything we do.

 

 

A Foundation of Gratefulness

Clay and Glaze
10 x 10"
2019

 

 

 

Foundation of Gratefulness - Joy
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

A Few Thorns Among Many Roses

Clay and Glaze
10 x 10"
2019

 

 

Always Time to be Grateful

Clay and Glaze
12 x 12"
2019