Slimy Pigment and Flimsy Bristles

I believe in the saving power of creating art. It was through a painful move from Utah to Colorado that I realized art could fill the emptiness that had taken over and revive me back to life. When I stepped off the airplane to observe the new surroundings, my eyes widened. I came from a place of brilliant color and grandeur mountains to a landscape devoid of objects and color. I felt alive in Utah. Mount Timpanogos was at my doorstep and the beauty of the ivory snow that contrasted the black stone shined a light into my soul. Broomfield, Colorado was engulfed in a sea of dull, yellow grass stretching for miles. The hope I had for enjoying life outside of Utah rapidly faded as I looked further over the plains and the person I used to be was left behind.

After days of painful feelings of loneliness in this city populated by strands of grass, it was time to start my freshman year of high school. The day was already planned out and involved nothing more than behaving like a walking zombie. Unfortunately, my art teacher had a different plan for me, an assignment. Baffled by the absurdity of an assignment on the first day of class, I became even more apathetic. The teacher explained that our job was to pick up a paint brush, dip it in the color we felt fit our current mood, and paint our name in various ways on the taunting paper sitting in front of us. With a complete lack of interest, I placed the black glob on the white paper, pushed hard, and let the brush slip across the page. My eyebrows rose, pupils dilated, and I believe for the first time since I left Utah, a smile crept across my face.

Two o'clock became my favorite hour of the day. For sixty minutes I allowed the sloppy paint to fill in the spaces that seemed to have been neglected. A brush armed with the characteristic slimy paint became my own personal therapist that I could consult by gliding the paint and bristles along a blank canvas. Emotions began to spill out onto the page where they were left to dry, never again to mingle in my brain. Throughout the semester bits of my old liveliness were returned to me and the perception I had of my new home transformed into love. My new found passion for art taught my closed mind to open up to the unfamiliar world of Colorado and face my challenges head on, knowing that even if things don't go as planned, I still have a blank canvas waiting for me. Without the hardships that accompanied moving away from Utah I would have never discovered art as a tool to my happiness.

By making a challenging move across state lines art became my healthy way of coping when things didn't go my way and because of this, I believe in the saving power of slimy pigment and flimsy bristles gliding across a plane.

-Christina Manzi

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