Nothing is either easy or difficult – only thinking it makes it so.
If you don’t believe me, ask, Geraldine Folan, a wonderful and established artist, who works full-time in her own studio based in Bearna, Galway.
On Friday afternoon, March 16th, I had the pleasure of meeting this professional artist at a network luncheon in town. Unassuming – inspiring – down-to-earth – passionate about her work, Geraldine Folan easily tells me that a few years ago she packed in her former and stable job as a pharmacist, to follow her core passion in life, as a full time artist for these past few years.
A risk despite the recession, yet this extremely creative woman knows where her real soul work resides.
Courageous and a confident move, and I always believe that when we truly follow our hearts calling, we not only weave a new path for ourselves, but we also set the course for others to follow by example. It epitomises unwavering belief that Geraldine Folan, and many others also – including myself – connect with all of that which we love in life and in particular that which we love to do, because that is where our real contribution to society lies.
Many may see it as a financial risk. After all, it may be seen to defy the unwritten rules of society. Yet the truth is that the path of our hearts and souls cannot be wrong. Listening to this inner voice is the best indicator of our real life purpose and, it is the greatest gift to our community. When we follow our hearts calling, the rest takes care of itself. Everyone benefits. It is the artists’ way.
Geraldine can confirm that, as an art tutor also, her classes are all booked out without the need for promotion or further advertising.
Her heart lies in painting – watercolours, oil paintings, inks and sketches – representing all seasons in her upcoming exhibition following almost three years of painting in Brigit’s Garden, Moycullen, Co. Galway.
I am always inspired meeting others such as Mrs Folan, driven to transfer her passion, vitality and aliveness into art. The connection with everything that is important in life, transferring feelings onto canvas, and also in Mrs Folan’s case, the stunning beauty of where the rugged Connemara landscape meets the shorelines of Galway bay.
Whether it through painting or indeed writing, in both cases, we connect with our core motivators and power sources. Moreover, it is about increased awareness and observation, and it is this expression which gives it such deep meaning for both the artist and the observer of art. We cannot escape the beauty and love of life in everything that surrounds us with such visual reminders.
George Bernard Shaw is noted to have said, and I quote, “that the man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.” This is so profoundly true for all art, most people are more visual. Pictures say it all. And I find it utmost inspiring that the artist takes the time, care and patience to display this to the rest of the world.
As a woman who encourages others to follow their own specific passions by setting the example herself, Geraldine Folan’s beautiful journey and samples of her work are found at www.geraldinefolan.com.
It is people like Geraldine Folan that shines light for others and gives hope to many when they feel themselves stuck in a rut. If she has the belief to follow her core passion despite any perceived restrictions in society, then so can anyone else.
Setting the example by being and doing is leadership. And fortunately, the world is moving away (albeit slowly) from the old methods of imposing rigid rules and dictating to those around us. After all, you can only drive sheep through a gap, you cannot drive people. Leading by example in being encourages initiative in others, inspires others, and provides the space to creatively design our own lives based on our hearts desires.
Following our goals and dreams are vital to life, and it is when we break away from the rules and orders set by others that we all individually become free.
Geraldine Folan is not only a beautiful artist. She has also set herself free.
Article by Mairéad Whyte, a published author and writer who lives in Galway; more information, reviews and acclaims of Mairéad’s work along with details of Mairéad’s creative writing classes may be found at www.maireadwhyte.com .
Mairéad Whyte also relinquished a lucrative career in 2007 as a director of an international software firm to follow her passion to write on a full-time basis, and coaches others to connect with their real passions also. She has written for much for her life, and now works on her third novel. She also gives creative writing classes in Galway, helping others transfer their aliveness, passion and vitality onto paper. For more information on her classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 083 0020280.