The Corner

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Another neglected, unfinished canvas languishing in the corner of my studio has been finished.

What shall we title this?

How about:  “What if it doesn’t mean anything?”

Or…

“Connect the Dots”

The second suggests a theme developing from the canvas I finished earlier this week.

But, I’m not sure that I want to take myself so seriously.  I read an old art journal entry yesterday that led to these thoughts:

…not taking my art so seriously, and just creating for the sheer need and joy of it.  Creating because it’s who I am and what I must do to be alive.

…Not striving to create something that is significant and important, but just allowing the image(s) to emerge from whatever mysterious place within us that it originates.

…Staying out of the way of the art (stuff) that happens when I don’t overthink it or overanalyze it.

…I have a modicum of talent, a great love of making art (stuff) and a whole lot of self-doubt, fear, and restraint.  I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to creativity.

…What if I just let it happen?  …Paint the heart in the middle even if it’s cliché, add a big yellow blob, paint over it, let it sit…quit worrying so much.

Very few artists become “successful” in the eyes of the world.

But, what a sad place the world would be without the creativity of all!

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What happens when…

This is what happens when you wander into the studio at 11:32 on your way to bed – or what you thought was on your way to bed.

Canvas done (I think).

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I’m actually nervous about sharing this online with the world, but am bravely doing so anyway.  I’m not actively part of a local artist group and my artist friends are scattered about the world.  I’m going to consider you all a part of my creative community now.

Constructive criticism is most welcome.

I don’t normally include a note about what a piece means to me or what has inspired it…preferring people to be inspired by what a work means to them personally, but I’m going to make an exception in this case.

This week I have been in contact (directly and indirectly) with several folks who are traveling a difficult and challenging path.

This canvas evolved into their story.  Sometimes one can be so busy “running” that they lose track of whether they are running towards something or away from something.  The journey itself becomes all-consuming and their is no clear destination in sight.  This can result in an unnecessary struggle because with no goal or “end” hope can be difficult to hold onto.

It can be frustrating for those of us who are only peripherally a part of their journey to watch helplessly while they struggle and in some cases give up.  Our offers of support can seem inadequate.

When it comes right down to it, we each journey alone, even if we have a great support group – and so many don’t have that support or are unable to effectively connect to others.

So I did what artists do – I created it to the best of my ability.

…And am in awe that a canvas started many years ago developed into something that is relevant to the here and now.  I didn’t consciously set out to develop this theme.  It just sort of happened without plan or intention.

And such is my journey.

Great Things

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” -Van Gogh

Nothing big happening ’round here, but I did want to drop in and share that I have been steadily working towards my goals:  a simpler and more intentional life (among other things).

Just nothing great enough to share details or photos of. Except maybe this:

Before…

Before

And now…

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Not done yet, but…

Work is being done inside and out with the help of family. Little bits here and there to the donate pile.  Trash out to the curb.

Decisions made about prioritizing and planning projects.  Making lists of things to be done and checking off what has been done.

Endeavoring to balance work with fun.

Consciously living life to the best of my ability!

Three

Three things that I wanted to get done today other than “living in the needs of the day” (a.k.a. doing the stuff that needs to be done in order to live a relatively harmonious and chaos-free life).

1.

something/anything done on this canvas
work on this canvas a bit

2.

Put a coat of Kilz on the carpet-free living room floor
Put a coat of Kilz on the carpet-free living room floor

3.

Catch up on the laundry
Catch up on the laundry

Sigh.  Two out of three ain’t bad. The laundry will still be there tomorrow. Alas.

Elephants

I lost my cool today.  I lost sight of the progress and got drawn into the big world of what’s left to do.  Sometimes it just seems like there is so much to be done and that I can’t keep up.

“How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

This old saying is true, but it’s hard to be encouraged by it when there is more than one elephant to deal with.

My house seems to be a mess.  My yard is huge and an overgrown mess.  I’ve started some necessary home improvement projects.  I want to reduce the clutter.  The list goes on and on.  When I lose focus on the positive, I start adding to the list until it seems impossible to handle.

One bite at a time.  I must prioritize and be grateful for the small wins.  Find joy in the improvements and remember, most of all, that I am doing it all to live a more intentional, simple, and happy life.

That being said, the studio re-do is done!  This stuff is gone.

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My recipes are all sorted and organized.  From this

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To this

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Small, continual, intentional steps…

Monday on Tuesday

Today is Tuesday.  I haven’t really “accomplished” much (but I take hope in that the day is still relatively young).

Yesterday; however, was a good day.  A good day in many respects:  I was breathing, my family was all still breathing, the weather was beautiful, I still have my home and a running vehicle, there is food in the pantry and lights when I turn on the switch – I could go on and on and on about why yesterday was a good day.

But specifically – this is gone!  One more small step towards an intentional and simple life.

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And this –  I don’t know where it’s going.  I am deliberately and consciously trying to work in a style and with a method that is different.  When I would usually do “this”, I’m doing “that”.  I’m trying not to work on this canvas out of habit, but in a spirit of play.

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As Tolkien says, “Not all those who wander are lost.”  I would like to add, “Not all who are lost, wander”. I’m not sure if I’m lost today or not, or if this neglected canvas is lost and needs to be found.

I’m going to wander around with this piece for a while and see what happens!