Don't Stop Believing' A Pandemic Blog Post
DON’T STOP BELIEVING
When I finish a commission and before I move on to another one, I like to do what I refer to as a “cleanse the pallet” painting.
These pieces stem from ideas that float around in my head that just have to work their way out on to a canvas. Something that happens freely with no rules or instructions. This helps me wind down from the detailed focus of painting a commission (which I love doing) and gets me ready for the next one. It is a healthy progression. Well at least as far as I can tell.
For months I have been getting this signal. “Don’t Stop Believing”. Over the years, I have probably performed that Journey tune hundreds of times. If you’re playing to a crowd that seems to be a little less responsive thank you’d like, it can be your get out of jail free card. Or if you play it to a crowd that’s already rockin’, it can be a great closer for the night leaving everybody in a state of united happiness. Though it is probably considered to be cheese ball in some camps, there is one thing I’ll never get over when I play this tune. Every age, every walk of life, every gender and every person sings the chorus with resounding joy and enthusiasm. Simply put, it is a working musician’s finer moment to provoke a response like this. It’s fun to watch and consequently why I never tire of performing this classic rock tune. Soon as the intro hits, you feel a climate change. Surviving the test of time, it still hits home and seems to mean something personally different to everyone I see singing it in a crowded room. It appears that right at that moment in time that there really is something going on with them that they need these words of affirmation.
And now, more than ever, the lyrics and title to this tune have been so present in my mind for months. Here we are. Nearly a year into an unprecedented piece of history in our world. A pandemic. A wicked stealer of life, joy and freedom. A thing that seems like the end of the world and a nightmare we can’t seem to wake up from. It has stolen from everyone I know and in nearly every industry. Jobs, relationships, money, love, family, loved ones and collateral damage that may not have even occurred to us up to this point. Simply put, I’m sure we all feel robbed.
There are reports of the vaccine. There are reports of things turning around. We have a few shreds of hope to hang on to. No matter what your opinion or how it has affected your life, I know you want it to be over. Me too. So yeah, 2021 has almost become like dropping the name of a celebrity. I hope this star of a the coming year is the brightest star ever and full of renaissance and healing. This won’t disappear over night. Cleaning up the aftermath will be ongoing for a long time. So while we wait for this pandemic sea to part, maybe you too can plant these words in your heart. Think about what you still have, ponder what IS going right, love harder. Think above what new habits or accomplishments that would never have happened. New things you learned or new roads you took to get around this wicked thing. Rethinking life choices, new plans of action. In the darkness new diamonds have formed. What are yours?
So, always and forever, Don’t Stop Believing. Or as I sing it while in action, Don’t Stop Beeeeee leeeeeeevin!
Merry Christmas to you. And of course, a happy and blessed new year.
This was done on a 12 x 12 canvas panel.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I guess this would be roughly the size of a vinyl album cover.
It is a combo of watercolor pans, marker and ink. It has a green guitar on it. I like green guitars.
I will be putting this piece in m store gaylasmith.com tomorrow if you’d be interested in the print of the original
I consumed dozens of popsicles during this creation.