ON MY SHOULDER: The Culmination of Experiences that Make Us Who We Are 11

ON MY SHOULDER:  The Culmination of Experiences that Make Us Who We Are

Art seeing beyond what is seen copy“So where does your inspiration come from?”

I have had many people ask me that question through the years.

Working  many years as an Interior Designer, I often experienced a gift of looking at something, deciphering shapes and analyzing elements what were appealing to me. Then coming up with a design that was totally different. People were often  surprised if I revealed what inspired a certain window treatment or other design element in the room. I do not always follow protocol with a detailed catalogue and am fond of an element of surprise.

Likewise, I often find inspiration for my art from unexpected sources. 

With the onset of sites like Pinterest and Mr. Google himself, it is easier than ever to find images that inspire. I delight in traveling to places in my mind that I have not had the opportunity to see in real time.  As a beginning artist, there is sometimes a struggle not to  duplicate something that is seen…. but yet be inspired.

To Paint something that goes beyond what is seen.

Sometimes I will just paint freely, inspired by music or a prayer.

Other times, I find myself deeply entranced by the majesty of God’s canvas all around us.

Sometimes it may be a photograph that passes my way via good ole social media.

Such is the case with “On My Shoulder”. This art  was inspired by a nature photo someone posted on Facebook.   (Unfortunately, I do not know the original source of the photo as the only link back I could find was to this person’s site.)

My mind can work in mysterious ways sometimes. As I translated shapes in the picture below,  an evolution of experiences in my life started to come to the surface. Every shape started to take on some significance. The ebb and flow of all the joys and sorrows that make us who we are.

I started to play with those shapes and this art to the right is what evolved.

During the process, my thoughts started to drift off to the  phrase “chip on your shoulder”.  We all have a story. We all have fragments and “chips” of things that happen in life.

What is it that makes some overcome and emerge as stronger individuals?

And why do some seem to always have the string of a bow pulled back, always poised  to shoot an arrow at someone they think is the enemy?

In today’s world, with so many atrocities surrounding us, it is hard to understand what is going on. The battle is real. It is bigger than the horror of people beheading others and  mass killings.  There is a spiritual warfare going on.  And we are all targets for deception.  And sometimes it is more subtle and attractive.

I believe successful life is an art.
One must seek to see beyond what is seen.

On my shoulder side by side

So here is the inspiration picture that gave birth to my painting.

Who would have known?


on my shoulder crop








There is no doubt that there are energies beyond what we see. There is power in color and art. God made us in such a wonderful and mysterious way. He is the ultimate source of all energies that surround and flow through us.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I am surrounded daily by the lure of all kinds of views and philosophies of art and color and the relationship of these unseen energies.  Some beliefs are rooted in pagan gods.  Or some “claim”  to have no religious root and are open to embracing any God of your choosing. Although I absolutely align with some of the universal truths of energy, I am uncomfortable aligning myself with Eastern or tribal practices that do not recognize the Trinity of God. I do not think it is by accident that God has shown me repeatedly this year, down through history,  the danger of mixing pagan pratices with Christianity beliefs.  However, I do believe God reveals universal truths to man. Even to those who have turned away from Him and choose to worship those things created by Him.

I will be talking more about my view of color, the energies surrounding color, as well as the more useful appliations of color in my Interior Design blog through the month of April this coming year. (Yep, I have actually got a blog editorial calendar going which is a major milestone for me, lol. )  Color is a fasinating and complex subject. Admittedly, some of it I am still wrangling with and always learning.

I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and having an interest in my art journey along with  the stories that surround it.

I pray you may know the joy and hope found in  Christ Jesus today and always!

Merry Christmas!









11 thoughts on “ON MY SHOULDER: The Culmination of Experiences that Make Us Who We Are

  1. Reply Sari Jun 5,2017 1:57 pm

    This is just beautiful! I had to share it on facebook now….I couldn’t wait until the Christmas season comes around again.

  2. Reply Terri Davis May 27,2016 1:46 am

    We share a name in common and also a love of art. Your painting “On My Shoulder” is Brilliant. Our loving Lord and Savior has Blessed you with An Incredible Gift. Thank you for sharing your gift not only on canvas but through words. Your Love for our Lord and Savior is an inspiration to me and I know Countless others. God Bless You🌺

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign May 29,2016 5:55 pm

      Oh wow! Thank you for taking the time to comment! It warms my heart to know that through my art and blog the Lord can inspire others through me. You have given me confirmation that I am where God wants me to be.

  3. Reply Christina Rodriguez Dec 21,2015 1:41 pm

    I have always loved hearing the story and seeing the inspiration behind a piece of art

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign Jan 1,2016 6:29 pm

      Thank You Christina! I am enjoying sharing some of the stories behind my art. I enjoy hearing what stories others see in my art as well!

  4. Reply Kathy Gunthorpe Ashdown Dec 21,2015 12:28 am

    You are incredibly talented and I’m fascinated by the fact that I see so many different images within your paintings! It’s interesting to hear where you find your inspiration.

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign Dec 21,2015 12:38 am

      Thank You, Kathy! I love when people can see their own stories in my paintings. I am always fascinated by what they see. Our own life experiences shape how we see everything, especially with color and art.

  5. Reply Caroline Trinidad Dec 20,2015 1:45 pm

    I have always been inspired by you, Terri! Thank you for sharing your process. It’s amazing how one image or sound could be the root of such creativity!

  6. Reply Karen Dunn Dec 18,2015 1:35 pm

    Always interesting to discover how your inspiration comes – thank you for sharing, Terri! YOU inspire me!

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign Dec 18,2015 3:52 pm

      Thank You so much Karen for taking interest in the stories behind my art. It warms my heart that you find it inspiring. That is my hope!

  7. Pingback: Christmas Simply Designed ← Terri Davis Art & Design

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