Posts Tagged ‘artistic’

New Beginnings Painting

“New Beginnings” – Acrylic painting to be auctioned at the Charleston Art Walk April 17 to raise funds for the WV Children’s Advocacy Network

Last year at this time I was insistently resisting the label “artist” (See: I’m not THAT!). This year when I received the “Call to Artists” email, asking for donations of art to be auctioned at a fundraiser for a West Virginia non-profit, I excitedly began thinking about making a contribution. Yesterday I awoke at 4 a.m. having just finished the painting in my dreams.

I picked my way through the dark woods to the cottage and happily assembled my supplies, all the while trying to recall the details of the dream painting. I sketched it out quickly on the back of a things-to-do list, made a few notes, and then started painting. This morning I declared it finished because it brought a smile to my face.

Last year’s agony of creation is gone; today I was so absorbed in the joy of painting, I completely forgot to drink my coffee! Now, that’s seriously absorbed!

In this moment, I’m feeling happy and proud of myself. This past year, I’ve willingly worked through a lot of painful memories and purposefully healed those wounds. I’ve butted up against some major barriers, including “I don’t know what I’m doing!” and “I’m not good enough.” Patience, kindness and self-compassion have gradually reduced the size of the barriers. Although, still big enough to be recognizable, they have gradually become small enough to step over. Finally I find myself in a valley of contentment with feelings of satisfaction, freedom, delight, and whimsy. There is a sacred flow that happens now when I paint. It has become a time of communion with my higher self–a peaceful meditation. Lost in time and space, I become childlike, curious and delighted with the colors and shapes. It isn’t about getting certain results, it’s just about the fun of dabbling.

I long to more regularly feel that sense of freedom that comes from releasing attachment to outcome. I wonder what it would be like to approach every task in my life with playful curiosity and delight. When I think about where I was artistically just five years ago (couldn’t even draw a stick man) to where I am today, it makes me believe anything is possible. Yes, it does require a conscious desire to create something new as well as focused effort, but if it results in more connection, freedom, and joy, then count me in!

Read Full Post »

A couple of weeks ago I received an email requesting artwork for a silent auction fundraiser for a local non-profit agency. The subject line began “Call to Artists ….”

My first reaction: “I am NOT an artist!” I deleted the email.

Within a few minutes, I searched my trash and undeleted the email so I could send it to some local artist friends. Afterward, I deleted it.

The next day, I was back rummaging through my trash. Clearly I was disturbed by this email! I began thinking, “Maybe … just MAYBE … I’ll contribute something.”

And then: “Oh, no! I can’t.” I decidedly punched DELETE.

At my art lesson, I told my teacher about the email, emphatic about my decision not to participate.

“Why not?” she asked. “You could do something. You’re ready.”

“Oh, no!” I blurted. “I’m not an artist! I can’t paint on command. I’m just playing around. I’m just learning. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing!”

I was so adamant, so sure. My heels were dug in, and I wasn’t moving!

My art teacher (who is also a talented art therapist) gently encouraged me to look a little deeper at what was going on. Before my lesson-turned-session was over, I began recognizing the extent of my resistance.

For the next 24 hours I was deep in process, but I couldn’t quite figure out the emotions of it all.

Then I watched Session 1 of an online webinar: “The Power of Vulnerability,” by Brené Brown.

As Brené talked about people trying their hardest to fit in, to be accepted, to be liked, I began to understand. She said that when we try our hardest and then fail to be accepted, the result is shame. We think, “I did everything I knew how to do! There must be something wrong with me!”

I realized there was some part of me that needed to try her hardest to create a painting that people would like. Deep inside I knew that if no one bought it, I would probably never allow myself to paint again. I had tapped into something that shamed me when I was six years old (and I didn’t paint again for 50 years!)

When I saw it, I was free to make an enlightened, self-honoring choice.

Over the next several days, I created a painting that I liked. I matted it. I framed it. I’m going to donate it. If no one bids on it, it doesn’t matter because the painting is authentically ME. I created it to please ME. I had fun doing it, and I like it. That’s all that matters.

And the idea of calling myself an artist is actually growing on me. I think I’m ready to try on “Beginner Artist.” After all, I obviously have the “temperamental” part down pat!

My painting will be on display April 18, 2013 during Charleston’s ArtWalk from 5-8 PM at Romano & Associates, 230 Capitol Street, Suite 200, Charleston, WV.

My painting will be on display April 18, 2013 during Charleston’s ArtWalk from 5-8 PM at Romano & Associates, 230 Capitol Street, Suite 200, Charleston, WV.

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine left her car in my care while she accepted an extended overseas work assignment. I promised to drive it at least once a week to keep it from doing whatever it is cars do when they sit for long periods of time without being driven.

As you can see from the slide show, this is no ordinary car. And driving it has been no ordinary experience. I’ve discovered that everyone has an opinion about it. Generally, the car finds favor with those who are young (everyone under 10 loves it), easy-going, and female, not that it doesn’t have plenty of male admirers. The most disapproving stares have come from middle-aged men and young rednecks, complete with exaggerated frowns and wagging heads.

At first, I thought it was me. While on the go, I would totally forget WHAT I was driving and just notice that people were pointing, laughing, waving, or frowning. Once, while waiting at a stop sign, a mature gentleman crouched down and stared a hole right through me. I said aloud (although not so he could hear), “What are you lookin’ at, Buddy!?” Even before I finished, I remembered, Oh, yea, you’re lookin’ at the car.

What I realize is that what people think about the car tells me a lot more about THEM than it does about the car. But isn’t that the way it is about everything? Some people like us; some people don’t. Some people smile; some people frown. Each person simply gives a hint about his or her preferences and true nature.

I would do well to remember: “It’s NOT about the car!”

And as much as my ego hates to admit it, it’s probably not about ME either!

Read Full Post »


What a Deal!

I love the Annual Loading Dock Clearance Sale at Wells Furniture. I can ALWAYS find a bargain there. This year I told my husband I wasn’t going. After all, there was nothing more I needed. It would be a waste of time.

But then I found myself driving right by Wells on the way to the grocery store. The sale had only been going for 15 minutes. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to stop and take a peek. And I wouldn’t want to miss entering the “$12,000 in prizes” giveaway, right? (I won a $250 gift certificate one year!)

When I saw this tag on a sweet little end table, my heart skipped a beat. What a Deal! I had to have it. Were they kidding? It was originally $498? Who would pay $498 for THAT? Obviously no one. But they found this bargain hunter’s price: $38. MINE!

The Table

What does it match?!?

I quickly grabbed a salesman and staked my claim. I could tell he didn’t like the table because the nicest thing he could find to say about it was, “Hey, that’s cheaper than a shipping crate at UPS!” Hmmm. I wondered what my husband would have to say about it.

New Design

A Table Frame

I texted him quickly and assured him that if he didn’t like it, I would not put it in the living room. I suppose you can guess from the picture that it didn’t match anything in the living room. Or anything in any other room of our house. Or anything I would ever consider owning (that wasn’t on sale, that is). BUT . . . it was such a GREAT DEAL!

Desperate for a happy ending, I allowed my imagination to begin working. The table is topped with glass. Surely I could find something more appealing than THAT pattern to gaze at. What about one of my pieces of art? Hey, that will work! I ran out and bought some colored poster board, cut it to size, then slipped it and the picture under the glass.

New Table

Look! Dual-Purpose Furniture

Voilà! An addition to the living room that meets the family’s approval. And it’s especially nice to have a multi-function frame for my art. I’m all about bargains AND multi-tasking. When I get tired of this piece, there’s plenty more. (I also bought poster board in blue, yellow, and green and cut them to size. They are conveniently stored under the glass.) I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: