Life isn’t perfect but it can be beautiful nonetheless

Life is Beautiful Coloured pencils on paper 2014

Life is Beautiful
My coloured pencil drawing of street art in Paris.  2014

It was this piece of street art on a crumbling wall in Paris which inspired the name of my upcoming exhibition “Life is Beautiful: Fremantle, Kyoto, Paris”.  When I saw the tiny image on the wall with its words I thought, “That’s my message as well”.  It fascinated me that street artist, Zalez, chose to put those words next to a figure who was in a precarious position; holding on for dear life to the ropes of a balloon.  Whether she is ascending or descending is uncertain.  Her body language looks vulnerable and courageous simultaneously.

This life is precarious and finite.  Who knows what fates await us and think of the minefields we have already crossed at various times of our lives.

Despite all our problems, the wonder of life is all around.  All it takes is openness and sensitivity to look.  My exhibition states this simple message.  It is a reminder to myself and to you to appreciate our surroundings from the humble to the spectacular.  I would like the message to be my legacy.  I hope that people will be inspired by the three words just as I was when I saw them on that Paris wall.  They stopped me in my tracks.

The drawings in the exhibition are a manifestation of the joy I experience when I walk with my camera and compose through my lens – both here and overseas.  When I stroll just looking, eyes and mind ready to receive whatever I come across, I feel deep happiness…and again in my studio when I create the drawings with coloured pencils.

There really were five blue chalk numerals to the right of the red balloon on the Paris wall.  When I drew them in I changed them to 31759.  That’s my birthday.  I have chosen to become the dangling figure.  I don’t know what is ahead but I am trying to enjoy the trip and be brave.

I contacted Zalez on Facebook and showed him the drawing I had made of his work plus the blog post I had written.  I wrote that I hoped he didn’t mind my making a drawing of his street art.  He replied, “Hi dear, Thank you for contacting me!  Sure you can use the image you found in Paris.  The work in the street is for everybody, it’s free!  Best, Zalez”.

Just the other day I heard an author (who had had a turbulent life) being interviewed on the radio.  She said, “Life isn’t perfect, but it can be beautiful nonetheless”.

Life is Beautiful: Fremantle, Kyoto, Paris September 2014

Exhibition invitation

You can see all 28 drawings for the exhibition here on my website.

8 thoughts on “Life isn’t perfect but it can be beautiful nonetheless

  1. anna warren portfolio

    So much to think about and so true – life is a series of opportunities, risks, joys and sorrows, and it is up to each individual to make the best of all of them, and find the joy and pleasures. The little figure in your key artwork seems to me to symbolise freedom, she is floating in the air, who knows what happens next …

    Now I will go and enjoy the exhibition on your website!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Anna – I’m sure you’ve seen so much “Life is Beautiful” on your Australian trip. Well – I know you have as I’ve seen your sketchbooks. Ahh – the joys of observation and quiet contemplation.

  2. Lissa Rachelle

    Oh Julie, I sure wish I lived close enough to attend! I would so love to be able to see all those drawings up close and personal. They look exquisite here on my monitor. I can only imagine how much moreso they must be in the real world.

    Life really is quite the adventure, isn’t it?! So many ups and downs and hidden intersections and switchbacks along the way. So often filled with sadness and struggle, but also with triumph, joy and such beauty. I love how your drawings so often depict both extremes in the same image and how your words encourage your readers to think, to delve below the surface. All the very best to you with your exhibition! 🙂

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      You can swap the word ‘beautiful’ for any other word and the statement will still be true. Life is…agony, ugly, tragic, unfair, torture etc etc. It IS all of those things at times but still, it is also beautiful. The bird on a wire; that bit of sunshine hitting the wall, the colour of the winter sea…these are always with us. They are worthy of celebration.

  3. Melanie

    A very lovely blog about your forthcoming exhibition. Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind it & Lissa Rachelle is quite right, your words do encourage your readers to think & delve below the surface as well as inspire.
    I love your selection, the subject matter and the contrasts. So lovely to see some of your beautiful waterfront birds too.
    I wish you a very successful exhibition & hope to one day see your gorgeous work in person.

  4. kathansen9

    Great post…love the words and image…they really make you pause and realize the truth of those words, no matter what, life really is a miracle!!!

    I wish you all the best with your show…I so wish I could see it in person as I am just learning CP, so would love to be inspired by your amazing art!!


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