To Be Collection

“To Be Bright in a Dark World”
by Artist, Jess Tinsley

48x48 oil on wood panel. 1" profile.



In a world where everyone seems to have an opinion and other people want to tell you how to live your life, my natural inclination is to hide. Sometimes it has been to stay home – away from people who could hurt me. Sometimes it has been to hide behind a façade of happiness when I felt sad and hurt. Sometimes it has been to hide my talents so that other people aren’t intimidated or hurt. Yet as I’ve learned my own true value, I have learned that to hide myself is to separate myself from potential relationships and love. Being my true self does lead to hurt when others don’t approve of me, but I can heal from that type of pain. What I can no longer do is to lie to and reject myself. Instead, I am working to appreciate and be my true self regardless of how others perceive my intentions. I can be bright, even when others aren’t happy with that – and in the process, I hope my brightness lights up the world for someone else. If you have ever struggled with feeling the need to hide, perhaps this is the perfect reminder that it is okay for you “To Be Bright in a Dark World.”


My work is about the tensions in life – about the difficulties and struggles we face – and how we respond to them. My hope is that when you are faced with your own struggle, my work will encourage you to have hope and joy. The figures in the pieces may feel sad, but they also dance. They may have limitations in their surroundings, still they push through. The plants and flowers are symbolic of growth and persistence. The change that plants experience – from seed to bud to beautiful bloom – is an example of how change can make us beautiful – if we allow it. To me, the most important things in life are the people around us and the decisions we make in response to what life throws at us.


You may see in my paintings the hardness of life – the grief, sadness, anger, and hurt – while also offering the idea that there is hope for healing and growth through the struggle. It is intended to inspire you to live at peace with the complexity of a world full of storms and sunshine - while we mourn the deep loss we each experience, we still seek reasons for hope and joy.

To Be Bright in a Dark World

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