One of my favorite times of childhood was when I got to go to the local Dairy Queen for an ice cream sundae. For those who are unfamiliar, DQ is a chain of soft serve ice cream and fast food restaurants. And one of my favorite menu items was a strawberry sundae, though it was really impossible to choose just one. This consisted of some soft serve vanilla ice cream and a delicious bit of strawberry topping. No nuts, whipped cream or other things to complicate the offering, just a simple bit of sundae. You could, of course, add those things, but like most desserts I adore, the simple version was the most satisfying for me. That little loop or curly cue at the top is a DQ signature look that still exists today. Even now, the unique flavor of this ice cream makes it one that I’ll still seek out from time to time. It’s super yummy!
It’s been a rather eventful week and so I’m happy to be heading into a weekend. There’s been a lot of activity on social media based on the recent election, but I’m secretly thrilled that for my part the last couple of days, I was able to encourage people to add cupcakes and sundaes into the mix. In between all the news items, tweets, and other things that felt frightening or depressing, little bits of sweet desserts kept popping up in my feed. Happy little images illustrating the simple joys of everyday life. This is why I find art such a powerful medium of communication and therapy. We can come together in the most abstract of ways, during even the most uncertain of times, by simply painting the same little thing. Some lovely little bit of happiness and a memory of something special that we all share. Showing what we all share in common, rather than that which divides us.
So tonight, this dessert feels particularly sweet. Sometimes, when things seem tense or confusing a little spot of painting can make everything suddenly fall sharply into focus. Life is essentially good. People, as a whole, are as well. Thanks to all of you who create beautiful things with your art. The world needs you to do that now more than ever. Grab your brush and tell a counter story. In the midst of fear and ugliness, you can tell a story of hope and send images of beauty. This is your gift. Make the most of it. Show this little green planet what matters most in the images you create. Simple things like ice cream sundaes and love and decency that can never be shaken. Whenever you find yourself in doubt, rest easy knowing that the answer is sitting right in front of you. Simply smile, and paint the world!