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Sonder: Only Painting Completed in 2020

Updated: Sep 15, 2021


I don't even know where to begin with 2020. Finished my swimming career, graduated university, accepted to college, moved back home, and I have a job. A lot has happened, and a lot has happened to the rest of the world at the same time. The most difficult time of my life was 2020, more specifically between March-June. Something I won't get into great detail about, but Sonder is the only painting other than commission projects that I completed in 2020. Ever since I finished swimming, school, and getting a job, I never touched my art for months until I started this painting on July 30th. I know this because I took a picture of my progress, and after that, I didn't touch it till December 26th and completed it December 31st. I made sure to finish this painting in 2020 to give myself some peace of mind that I completed a painting that year.

I chose to paint a single wave because it symbolizes a lot of things for me, each wave is a moment, a day, a week. Each wave has a process similar to our lives, such as ups and downs. Those ups and downs can happen during any moment, and it happens one at a time, one moment at a time, so on and so forth, and that's what got me through the year. Not only did I chose to do a single wave but a sunset with gold leaves in it. Sunsets are breathtaking, they make me speechless, appreciative, and grateful, and I did my best to represent that.

Above all, from the meaning of a wave and sunsets, the experience is where the title comes from. The feeling of sonder is something that I feel when I'm watching the sunset, or watching waves roll by. If you don't know what sonder means it is "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own".

During the year I find I get lost in my world, thinking what to do next, what's going to happen next etc... and for a brief moment, I think about what other people are doing. I think to myself that people are going through similar situations, feelings, experiences but we each have a different life that's all very complex in its own way.

The reason why this painting is called sonder is that I experience this feeling when I'm in the water, or watching sunsets, I don't know why but I do. Looking at the sunset, I wonder how many other people are looking at the same one, or who isn't, why wouldn't they want to see it, or what's stopping them. When I go swimming in a lake and put my head underwater, it's quiet, and I always think to myself that the fish in the lake are out there living a completely different life but still as vivid as our own, then I think of other species and then us. Each of us goes through complex and real experiences, such that something might affect one person more than another, or even that I experience sonder more than others. When you look at city lights, and each light is an office, a living room, an apartment, a house, where someone works, and there are people present in those rooms living a completely different life than you are, but maybe have similar thoughts and feelings as you.

This feeling I experience is something that happens quite a bit, especially during the pandemic. What helped me get through some difficult times during the year was reading poetry, and reading poetry gives me a sense that I'm not alone experiencing this by myself. Hence, experiencing sonder. It's something that we all experience without knowing, and I couldn't pick a better title for this single painting that I completed in 2020.

I also want to say THANK YOU, for reading this, supporting me, encouraging me, it means the world, and I'm so thankful for everything I went through, the good and the bad because I wouldn't be here today without it.


P.S. This will be available to purchase soon, keep an eye out in "SHOP"


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