curtis logo

everybody wants some

Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on February 24th, 2016

mariaEverybody wants to find inspiration, right? I’m often asked where I get my ideas from.

The short answer is, “It varies.” Ideas come to me in a bunch of different ways: while I’m meditating, while I’m doing yoga, while I’m driving, while I’m showering, while I’m dreaming; sometimes it’s a conversation with a friend, sometimes it’s something I’ve read…and sometimes, it’s a combination of those things.

Every year around my birthday, I do a “cake painting,” an idea that was initially given to me by my friend, Buck.

I’ve come to enjoy painting cakes and cupcakes so much that occasionally, I paint them even when it isn’t my birthday.

A few years ago, my dear friend Tim recommended that I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. “Trust me,” he said. “You’ll love it.”

So, I headed over to Curtis Memorial Library, and sure enough, they had an available copy right there on the shelf. “The Alchemist” is a small book, but good things come in small packages, and this little gem is no exception.

I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished, I re-read it.

I copied lines that I found inspirational onto random pieces of paper and tucked them away.

I went back to Curtis Memorial Library to see if they had more books by Paulo Coelho; they did, so I grabbed the one with the title that jumped out at me first: “Warrior of the Light: A Manual”.

This small book was also filled with powerful ideas and passages, one of which directly inspired me to do a cupcake painting, even though it wasn’t my birthday.

The passage? “A warrior of light knows his own faults.

But he also knows his qualities. Some of his companions complain all the time that ‘other people have more opportunities than we do’.

Perhaps they are right, but a warrior does not allow himself to be paralyzed by this; he tries to make the most of his virtues. He knows that the gazelle’s power lies in its strong legs.

The power of the seagull lies in the accuracy with which it can spear a fish.

He has learned that the reason the tiger does not fear the hyena is because he is aware of his own strength. He tries to establish what he can truly rely on.

And he always checks that he carries three things with him: faith, hope, and love.

If these three things are there, he does not hesitate to go forward.” The title of my painting? “Essential Birthday Wishes”. Yes, I changed the words around for the sake of composition, but I have a feeling Mr. Coelho would be okay with that.

Essential Birthday Wishes hi res copy

“Essential Birthday Wishes” 11″ x 14″, acrylic on canvas

If you’re local and you’re interested in seeing this particular painting in person, please stop by Wyler’s (150 Maine Street, Brunswick) this weekend!

I’ve started a venture called Brushstrokes With Impact ™, and I’m having a “pop-up” art show, along with a “Paint-a-Thon” on Saturday, February 27th, from 10am-6pm.

I will be painting all day long and raffling off the completed painting at the close of business. 50% of the proceeds from all raffle ticket sales will benefit ArtVan, and 10% of all artwork sold from my “pop-up” show (excluding magnets) will also be donated to this very worthy cause.

I will make sure to have “Essential Birthday Wishes” on display!

If you’re looking for inspiration any other day of the week, do what I did: head over to Curtis Memorial Library!