Arriving to the studio, coffee in hand, I turn a key that I’ve turned time and time again. I take a deep breathe and silently say a prayer. Crossing the threshold with gratitude to live each day, the life that I’ve imagined, the life that I have painted. Twas over a decade ago that this journey truly began. Yet, just yesterday, a young student turned to me in studio, and asked “Miss.Sarah, when did you become an artist?” I stood within my class atelier for a moment and reflected before responding. “I s’pose, I have been all my life…I can’t really remember a time that I wasn’t,” was my response. I went on to share my history, as our short time together permitted. Such questions, I revisit often, and reflection offers realization that I am living my life just as it was intended. Each day, I’ve written one chapter upon another, applied brushstrokes more than can be counted. Each penned word or vibrant line illustrates the story of my life.

Whilst each work, page, friend, student or life experience is a treasure, this picture isn’t about a single figure. It is about a life lived of many facets. There are seven now carved upon a calendar; o’er a decade of excruciating and triumphant experiences. There were painful times, I feared the book might close. Relentlessly, I’ve picked up the pen knowing there was another chapter wanting to be written…some of them have been written with tear stains while others were written in joy and laughter. Isn’t this the tale of any great endeavor? For years now, I’ve related these similarities to the greatest works worthy of framing. To have lived a life and explored a journey which has evoked every emotion is to have felt things on a greater scale than one might’ve hoped for.

Every work rendered which holds a place of prominence in my life reflects determination and the strength to persevere, qualities I didn’t know I had. When the artist believes in any work, the artist’s spirit cannot put it down until it has lived.

This work here in this rural town, is our life’s purpose and each day exposes yet another realized facet. The picture has changed and evolved much over the years. Even now, there are new elements coming into view. As year eight dawns within these next hours, I look ahead with gratitude for all who have been a treasured part of these seven years of vibrantly painted pages.

There is much ink in the well and a wealth of fine paper. There is canvas in the atelier, and numerous hues of oil longing to drip from my easel.There is fruit growing from vines in the garden and a library of books longing to be read. There are fields to ponder and vistas to gaze out upon where much life must be lived.

The calendar turns a page and the next chapter dawns.. I take a deep breath unknowing all that the future might hold. Within my heART there is a vision, a dream in which I believe. With it, I step ‘cross the threshold.

Sarah Biltmore in blk & whte with hat

Art is Life Expressed- Sarah West