There is a wonderful ‘book sharing’ going on at my local train station- part of a book sharing scheme for London’s tube and train stations. So I have been taking, re-placing and giving my books. In January this year, I found a small desk calendar. Having no calendar for the year, I took it. It had paintings on it but I did not give them much thought, thinking some of them a bit amateurish, only glancing at the calendar from time to time to check dates. One day I started noticing the lovely colours of the paintings and realised for the first time that all these paintings had been made by foot and mouth artists. I was so humbled instantly. I started researching these artists and that has been such a journey of inspiration, joy and love.
Today, I bring to you the astounding work of Keith Jansz which is featured for this month- you can google him to look at more of his work online. Keith Jansz was a successful freelance financial advisor, stockbroker and physically, a very active person. In 1995, after a car accident in which he broke his lower vertebra, he was left wheelchair bound, unable to use his arms and legs. Two years after he left the hospital he met the mouth painter Trevor C. Wells who encouraged him to paint with his mouth and Keith began a painting course at the “Open College of Art”.
That small desk calendar has made such a big impact on my life- a huge thank you to the unknown person who left it there to inspire me on my journey of following my heart. I now realise that following our hearts is not easy and sometimes, as we learn from Keith, a huge jolt to our reality gives us the opportunity to live our lives more creatively. I also realise once we shed our arrogance, we can look at things in a different light and truly appreciate each gift that life brings us, even a calendar. Buddhism says, “The heart is a skilled painter.”
These inspiring words come from Keith’s website- “Before 1995, when life forever more changed in a split second, I don’t think that I really saw the world around me…Now I revel in these simple pleasurable sights but at the same time try to keep them in my memory until I can use them in my painting….Of course, not everything inspires me but as my experience develops I find that it no longer has to be a perfect sunny day to motivate me to paint – there is as much pleasure in capturing the rest of nature’s moods. Real enthusiasm comes from the heart…I hope that my enthusiasm for life and my art is conveyed to you through my work.”
(PS- The title of this post comes from Keith’s website)