Just Like You, I Had No Clue Where Life Would Take Me
As a small child, we fantasize about what we want to be when we grow up. It appears that as we grow toward our teenage years, we are more influenced by our environment. That environment usually is a confining restrictive environment. We are taught what is real and what is not. And, this is where we begin our journey into adulthood. We now have limiting beliefs and restrictions.
I, however, only received this type of influence in public school and church. My influence at home from my parents and my extended family was that I could be or do whatever I set my mind to. I am an only child. I have come to believe this is the best way to raise your children; It is important to use your imagination and have free thinking. This is how we learn to solve problems, learn to soothe ourselves, and become a positive influence for good in our communities.
One of my earliest memories of my Mother was watching her sketching with ink and water. My Father painted cars for a living. He was one of the best auto-body painters I’ve ever seen! They definitely encouraged my creative artistic side.
I got married at the age of 20, and a little more than a year later, I also became a Mother. These are serious responsibilities for a young person. I will forever see my role as a Mother as The Most Important Accomplishment in my life.
Early into my marriage, I found I had an affinity for real estate. Thus began my career for the next thirty-something years, wherein each and every aspect of real estate was explored. I was very successful.
During this long period of time from my twenties to my early fifties, I lost my husband, the Love of my life and Father of my children, my Mother, and various beloved pets. Grief takes you places you never expect. It can take you lower than you ever thought possible. But then, if you use the experiences as catalysts to grow, it can help you appreciate Life, Love, and True Joy and take you to heights you could never reach before as well. It is indeed bittersweet.
As I reflect back on my career, the highlights were making my clients happy, helping them reach their financial goals, and making new lasting friendships. Next to making others happy, I personally enjoyed marketing, graphic design, and color analysis. I found that learning the psychological effect of color for our appearance, both in person and video (dress, posture, influence, and mannerisms), as well as online like website design, and marketing, was simply fascinating.
As a Violet Virgo, I found that my domestic duties and serving my busy family as well as being a CEO of several successful companies, all left me tired and drained creatively. It only took my happiness level to a certain point. To put it plain and simple, I wanted more! This painting by Josephine Wall reminds me of my spirit journey and helps keep me focused.
Beginning Of A New Journey
My 2,400-mile move from Florida to Sun City West, Arizona, gave me a lot of time to think about the future. By the time we climbed into the moving truck, I had already done the research on real estate-related services in Arizona. Along the way, I made a firm decision to end my real estate career. This shocked many of my friends and associates. You have to understand, I had written a book about business credit, I had been assisting real estate investors successfully all over the country for over 10 years, I had been a mortgage broker, lender, and realtor. Everyone thought I had lost my senses! However, if you know me at all, this was just another new beginning!
At first, I was really curious about what I would do next. I always pray about things and the path or solution always appears, so I tried to be patient.
One day, while I was relaxing and watching TV, a commercial came on. It was an Eliquis commercial featuring a photographer named Sofia. Here is the exact video below:
Now, I had seen this commercial before, but I had a feeling go all through my body. I had an impression in my mind like someone was trying to tell me, ” Pay Attention! This is very important.” So I watched the video with real focus. The first thing that I noticed, was how the woman was dressed — very casually and comfortably. I was used to going out into the corporate world and putting on makeup, picking just the right clothes, the right complimentary shoes, and accessories, you know, business attire.
Seeing her outdoors and so comfortable, reminded me of when I was a child and I would go exploring in nature. This woman couldn’t care less how she was dressed, she was enjoying herself, hiking and exploring. There was such a perceived freedom. I had always put others and my services first. But, this commercial reminded me of the time of life I was entering. A time to slow it down, and enjoy the small miracles around me once more.
I suddenly reflected back to when I was in school. One of the classes I truly enjoyed was journalism. This included photography. My journalism teacher, Mrs. Oakleaf, told me that I had a certain way of looking at things. I never forgot this.
By the time the commercial finished, it was as if my body had been electrified. I had goose bumps upon goose bumps! I knew then and there, that I was to seriously pursue photography only. Since I had sold our condo in Florida, I had the cash to get all of my equipment for photography. I purchased a high-end amateur Nikon DSLR camera and all the goodies to go with it. I grew adjusted to my new equipment and felt ready to start selling my photos.
Well, God and the Universe weren’t through with me yet! Just as I got settled into Fine Art Photography, I experienced several very unusual events, I knew that I was to reenter the art world not only with photography, but with painting as well!”
As a matter of fact, one Thursday, I clearly heard the thought form in my mind, “Go to Michael’s, get your painting supplies and canvases, do it right away.” Well, you don’t have to tell me twice, so that’s what I did! Tempera paints were what I was used to previously, so I did some research and chose acrylic paints as they were very similar. They have no fumes (in the summertime it gets up around 110° to 115°), so I didn’t want fumes trapped in my home. I have two rescued sister cats named Onyx and Leesha, a 25-year-old ring-necked Dove named Jacob, and two aquariums. Fumes are not an option! Also, acrylics are easy to work with, dry quickly (so I can keep moving with my project) and are just soap and water clean up.
It did not take me very long to adjust to painting again. As a matter of fact, I found it so enjoyable and relaxing, I started to have all kinds of creative ideas come to mind. With fine art photography, your subject in your photo and your results mostly depend upon where you are located, weather, time of day, lighting and so on. It can be limiting. We can take hours to set up just the right circumstance in order to get a particular shot.
Right now, my husband works long hours and I’m home more than I have been since in my early twenties. I cannot travel about the state and go where I want to on a moments whim. With photography, there is a lot you cannot control. With painting, I could use my imagination and go anywhere I liked. (Even places that don’t really exist except in my mind!). I realize I could also do digital photography, but I hate Photoshop and the whole idea just doesn’t appeal to me at all.
You may have noticed my name. On social media, I use my married name, Ten Brink. But, as an artist, in honor of my Mother and Father, I go back to my roots and use my maiden name of Curtis.
My whole life has been a search for truth, a spiritual journey, and seeking wisdom. Today, I focus on Fine Art Painting and Photography. My subjects are wildlife, nature, landscapes, and florals. I focus on LOVE as it is the most powerful force in the Universe.
My Unique Services For You
While painting, graphic design, and photographing what I love, I rediscovered the joy of reconnecting with people in an important and meaningful way. I provide Private Commission projects to help you create unique works of art to express your Love. Contact me today for a free private consultation. You won’t be disappointed!
Some Private Commission Project ideas are:
- Love of a Pet
- Love of a Child
- Love of a Significant Partner
- Love of Life
- Love of a Deceased Family Member of Friend
- Love of a Particular Passion or Hobby
- Love of Nature
- Love of Culture
You and I together will create something totally unique and special that represents this special LOVE so you can have it near you to remember the experience.
May peace and prosperity always be yours,