Life is like a landscape, and it would be a boring life if it were all flat. We can appreciate the flat because we know the hills and the valleys, just as we appreciate hot because we know cold, light because we know dark and happiness because we know depression.

Every day we can choose the colors we will paint the landscape of our lives, and we can also choose how much of the landscape we will paint. Some may choose dull colors and stop the painting with a minimum of strokes laid down, and others may cover their landscapes with colors and texture and depth. But in the end result, each of us paints a life landscape that is unlike anyone else's.

Some will look at their palettes and canvases and feel they have been short-changed. Still others look at the canvases and palettes and feel unsure what to paint. And some use their palettes and canvases up very quickly, as if the paint might dry before they get done. And still others take their time, contemplate every stroke, and make sure the design of life's canvas is well established before even attempting to paint. And finally, some put their brushes down and roll all over the canvas, embracing it, smearing the paint on the palette everywhere, even well off the canvases and onto the canvases of others.

And at the end of our lives, our friends and loved ones and perhaps others as well will come and we will get to have a one-woman or one-man show. Everyone will come to examine the landscapes we have created. Some of us will scarcely be remembered, for our landscapes might have lacked luster, while others will be remembered not only by this generation, but by the many generations to come because our paintings contained not only color and texture and depth, but something that touches our souls and leaves a permanent mark. What kind of painter will you choose to be?

Author's Bio: 

Anne Copeland was graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in archaeology and a minor in English. Following her graduation, she worked for several small newspapers, a small magazine, Freedom Today, and she served as a construction news reporter.

She met anthropologist Spencer Heath MacCallum in 1975 and they were married. Spencer had discovered some unknown potters in Mata Ortiz, Mexico, and Anne worked with Spencer for eight years, helping him with his work in Mexico and in the United States to promote the potters and arrange for traveling exhibits for them. Today Juan Quezada and the potters of Mata Ortiz are internationally famous, and the village has grown from 8 potters to more than 400 making their living in some form of Mexican art.

In 1984, Anne wrote and self published a pumpkin cookbook of more than 250 pages including history, folklore, growing hints, nutrition, and of course, recipes. The book was re-edited and self republished in 2009 as an E-book.

Anne became a certified appraiser of quilts in 1993, and in 1994, she and her appraisal partner, Beverly Dunivent, wrote a book and a research paper on the history of the kit quilt industry. The American Quilt Study Group accepted the paper in 1994, and the two ladies went to Birmingham, Alabama to present it. It was published in the AQSG's 1994 journal, Uncoverings. Although the book was read by a number of publishers, it was considered too specialized at that time, but is now in process of being re-edited and may be self published with many photos. Anne is widely published in many quilt magazines, and in the magazine Freedom Today (now out of print). She also lectures on various quilt-related and appraisal topics and gives workshops on quilt restoration and repair, and on putting together old tops and blocks. She has also written several children's stories that are in process.

She has had many successful careers: a graphic design and typesetting business, a quality assurance auditor and quality assurance manager consultant business, an open network, and a creativity coaching business. In 2003 she started a small nonprofit, Fiberarts Connection of Southern California, to provide professional development for physically challenged and emerging artists. In the first year of operation, Anne curated a traveling exhibit of some 127 pieces of fiber arts from all over the world. That exhibit had 10 live venues in California and throughout the U.S. The nonprofit continues to function today. Anne works as a paraeducator for special needs children and is a volunteer with Elder Wisdom Circle, an online nonprofit where elders offer advice for those seeking it. Anne is a practicing professional fiber artist and also works in mixed media, watercolors, and acrylics. She is active with a number of art organizations.