Using the Power of One to Build an Art Community

In 1967, Harry Nilsson recorded a song that was later performed and made famous by an American rock band called Three Dog Night. The song was called “One”. Nilsson apparently wrote the song during a phone call to someone where he got an engaged signal. He stayed on the line listening to the “beep, beep…” tone, and in that moment a song was born. It’s opening line has lived on to become a saying you might be familiar with, “one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do”.

Work in Progress - Number 1 floral inkWhen I decided that I was going to work on the number one for my next piece, this is the saying that popped into my head. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’ve been working my way through Tony Robbins’ book, “Awaken the Giant Within” and in doing so, it’s caused me to have a look at some of my long held beliefs. So when this saying popped up, I recognised it as a belief. I decided to have a deeper look at why my mind had settled on it and explore why I associate the number one with being alone.

The first thing I recalled was one of my all time favourite books, “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer. It’s about a young man by the name of Chris McCandless who was from a well-to-do family in the US. In 1992, Chris hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. He had $25,000 in savings and just before setting out on his journey he gave all of it to charity, he abandoned his car and the possessions that he had (in fact he set them on fire!) and he committed to inventing a new life for himself, far from the life that he’d left behind.

Four months after entering into the Alaskan wilderness, his decomposed body was found by a hunter. Jon Krakauer has pasted together Chris’ actions over the four month journey, and the book shares Chris’ story. One of Chris’ most profound discoveries was that “happiness is only real when shared”. Chris discovered that one is a lonely number.

“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer on paperbackAt the time of creation when the Lord made Adam, the Lord said to him that it was not good for him to be alone (Gen 2:18). The Lord said he would make Adam a helper (Eve), someone he could go on and share his life with. The Lord of the universe, the one who I believe knows infinitely all, tells us in the scriptures that it’s not good for us to be alone… and I take heed! I’ve let this take root in my life and become one of my own personal beliefs.

Work in progress - Number 1 Floral in Ink and Coloured PencilI’m someone who gets excited over new brush pens, or at just how awesome and opaque Prismacolor Premier Coloured pencils are. I’m fascinated at how leaves sparkle in the light when you look at them from the right angle, and I’m someone who lets out a cheer when I finally stumble upon the perfect flourish for my calligraphy and I want to tell the world about it!

I live in a small rural town and I don’t encounter many people with the same sorts of interests, so I can feel alone at times, and yes, I can get depressed about it. And, since I’m being really honest, I’ll confess that feeling alone is one of the main drivers behind this blog. I believe (as it’s written) that it’s not good to be alone, so I thought I’d act, I’d make some decisions, and start creating and carving out the life I want for myself.

Finished piece - Number 1 Floral in Ink and Coloured PencilI want to create a place where I can hang with my friends, where we can all get excited about new product releases, where we can all share what’s on our hearts as we create, where we can build each other up in our giftings and where we can learn from each other.

Kind of like the feels you get after a much needed catchup with your friends at your favourite coffee shop, well, that’s the type of place I want to create for us. I want to create a place where “one” is redefined, and instead of it being singular, we define it as plural! One community where everyone’s valued.

Close up of Finished Piece - Number 1 Floral in Ink and Coloured PencilSo to my beliefs, do I still believe “one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do?” Yes, I do, I just won’t let this belief limit me, I will let it empower me instead. I’ll let it be the driver behind me, spurning me on to keep posting and creating content that calls out “will you join me? Will you help me create one of the most awesome communities on the internet?”

What sorts of beliefs do you have around your art and crafting? Are these beliefs limiting your creativity or empowering it, let me know in the comments below. Or if you’re feeling stuck, sing out, perhaps I can stop by and bring some encouragement.

Why not begin by joining my Expressive Community?

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Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!

Bless you my friend

Chrissie xx

2 thoughts on “Using the Power of One to Build an Art Community

  1. Your Number 1 is beautiful Chrissie. I envy you living where you do as that’s the type of place I have longed for over the years. I haven’t touched a paint brush in 8 years! A long time. I got too busy looking after Peter. Now I’m alone…..the number 1……sometimes I like to alone, in fact most times I must confess. But being alone isn’t good for anyone as you said. I find I have to push myself to do things, simple things like doing the dishes. Maybe it’s because I’m still in that grieving period….it’s only been 10 weeks…… but I hope to get back into the Art side of things as well as all of the everyday things that need doing.
    Keep up your beautiful work, you have come a long way over the years since you began.
    Love and Blessings
    X X ❤🙏

    1. Hi Sue
      I think you’re right in that you need time. There is no set timeframe for grief and loss, you just need to take however long it takes. I’d encourage you to hold on to the vision you have about getting back into art. Try to imagine what an afternoon would be like fitting in some time on a piece, imagine the colour palette you might use, how the paint will look as it goes down wet onto the canvas, all creamy, how it smells… hold on to your vision, and in time it will come to fruition for you. Don’t rush yourself, just take those baby steps, one day at a time. Bless you my friend xx

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