The Beauty of Obstacles
48”x 50” gallery stretchers
Ink, acrylic, conte on canvas
To have obstacles is to have goals. And goals - or dreams, wishes, desires, hopes, however you want to classify them - are a good thing. And yet, no one likes to have to work hard for the things they want - it would be much less taxing if our goals could be met with ease; but what would be the fun in that? In the book The Artist’s Way, author Julie Cameron reframes the concept of obstacles as we face them in life and in art, and through this painting I wanted to explore the idea that our lives’ challenges are not meant to be ugly things we strive to conquer, instead they are an inevitable and even beautiful part of the process of living out our dreams.
When it comes to setting goals - whether it’s a “smaller picture” goal like getting good grades on a school test, or a “bigger picture” goal, like landing that highly coveted position at a reputable design firm - there are steps that need to be taken to get to the finish line. I used to put all my energy and focus into crossing the finish line that I forgot to enjoy the race!
I look back and see how I have gone through some parts of life on auto-pilot. I would take the small steps towards a goal with the intention of just moving onto the next step and that left me feeling unfulfilled. To constantly be looking to the next step is to rob oneself of the joy of the process. The process is part of the now. Embracing the process of living your dreams is what it looks like to live in the moment. I realized that the “goals” I am working towards will never fully be achieved, because they are always changing. When was the last time you reached a goal and said, “whew, I am done now, my life’s purpose is complete!”...that never happens. To achieve a goal is a great feeling but it is usually followed by a new goal, and that means new obstacles and challenges are inevitable.
The obstacles we face are simply part of life. They are the everyday experiences we endure, combat, struggle with and overcome. To wish away obstacles or challenges is to wish away life. And I am done with that rushed mindset! To have obstacles is to have goals, and to have goals is to create a sense of purpose, meaning, and hope for ourselves...which means that obstacles are damn beautiful things. They are opportunities, small doses of joy disguised as agony.
This painting is about celebrating the obstacles in life - they can be messy, frustrating, overlapping, difficult, annoying, big, small...but there is much beauty and rhythm to be found in the chaos if you’re willing to see it that way.
More info about this product:
This painting was hand-stretched by the artist in her studio on standard 1.5" thick gallery stretchers and includes a central cross brace for added stability. It can be hung as an exposed canvas, or framed in a floating wood frame for a more polished look. This painting comes with a hand-written artist statement and signature, and comes ready to hang with mounting hardware on the back. If you purchase this painting you will be contacted by the artist for more information about pick-up options in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, or delivery/shipping information. Please note that the buyer is responsible for any shipping charges and/or for picking up the painting, but the artist will facilitate the process by obtaining quotes, packaging the product safely, and bringing it to a shipping centre at no extra cost. Reach out to the artist directly through the Contact page for any inquiries regarding this piece.
*This is an original painting by Tania LaCaria, there is only one in the world.