When I decided to change my career and really take my art seriously, life became a thousand times better. It was scary and difficult but in the end I can't picture my life any other way.
This week I started working on my first painting of my female archetype collection. A few long days of work later, I decided I didn’t like the way it was turning out. I took my largest paintbrush and white paint, hesitated for just a moment, and then proceeded to vigorously paint right over my work. I started over and created the artwork that you see above.
This is not something that I would have ever considered doing five years ago. I would have been scared that I would make it worse. I would have been thinking about all of the things that could go wrong; all of the “what-ifs”, if you will.
Now I realize that there is something so completely liberating about letting go and starting over, even when it’s something that you worked really hard on. While it can be a bit disheartening after that much effort, eventually that feeling goes away and this new sense of complete satisfaction and pride takes over.
I realize that starting a piece of art over is not quite as scary as starting major parts of your life over, however the basic principle is the same. If something is not going the way you had hoped and if everyday you wake up unhappy or indifferent, than welcome that change. If there is a strong foundation and it is fixable, if there is still some sort of hint of passion in it, whether it be a career or a relationship, it may be worth the time to work on it and make it better.
I can only speak from my own experience, but I will say with absolute certainty that both the life-changing choices and small ones have been worth any temporary sacrifices. So grab that paintbrush my friends, and paint a new picture right on top of that old canvas...it’s totally worth it!
As we approach one of the most celebrated holidays of all time, I’m graciously reminded of all of the people who have touched my life over the years. After all, Christmas is a time where you reflect on all of the good people and things in your life. Christmas is a time when you give back to those who mean the most to you.
Family means different things to different people. But I believe anyone who you deeply care about is in fact family. While we have some choice in the matter, most of the time fate takes over and we are drawn to certain kindred spirits. Soul mates are not only in a life partner, but also within your closest friends and family. I am lucky to have a few very special soul mates in my life, the kind who always understand my wonderful weirdness. I too understand them without any explanation. We just are...forever connected.
These are the relationships which I hold onto most, that give the most meaning. So on this day to all of my beautiful soul mates, I say thank you for being in my life.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and good health and fortune in the new year.
This week I’m taking a break from my female archetype collection to remember my Uncle Eddie. Lately I’ve been thinking about him alot, perhaps because the holidays are around the corner. We had a special bond and he was someone very dear to my heart. Unfortunately cancer got him a short while ago at a relatively young age. I think those are the most difficult kinds of deaths to get over. It was unexpected and quick. There was no time to process what had happened and there was nothing that could be done to help him accept to let him go.
He was one of those men who had such a large presence. When he walked into the room with his deep voice and a slight grin, you couldn’t help but smile back. He often wore those old funny hats that men wore back in the 1920s, and he looked great in them.
The memories that stand out the most are the times when I would watch him dance with my aunt. They danced the waltz like nobodies business and as I watched them, it was as if I was transported back in time into an old movie. He looked so cool and classy and she always had such a smile on her face, the kind that would light up a room. They moved around the dance floor as if they were floating on air.
I made this sketch a short time after he had passed to capture one of my favorite memories of him. It’s not much but I thought it was important to share. I always tell my students that behind every artwork is a story, and if you know the story the art holds that much more meaning.
Within all women lies this elegance, a sort of quiet grace that comes from within. It captivates those around us, most often when we don’t realize it. A Graceful Woman is the fourth sketch in a collection of artwork inspired by the multiple facets of a woman.
When I think of grace, I think about the way a woman carries herself. She holds her head up high even in the most difficult of times. She puts others before herself. Her laughter lights up a room, and she smiles as if she’s hiding a secret. She is subtly strong, using intelligence and words in place of brute to win her battles. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes The Warrior (Sketch 1) within us is needed, but most often grace will win over violence.
When a graceful woman walks into a room she has a presence that draws people in, yet she often keeps them at a distance. There is a mystery to her that is both adored and envied.
What is it about being graceful that I found it worthy enough to write about? I think it is often what separates our human side from our animal side. Grace takes civility, kindness, and a keen sense of understanding others. It requires us to think before we speak and act. While we are not always graceful, it is something that I strive to be as often as possible. After all, imagine what the world would be like without grace. Pretty scary, right?
Adding to my recent collection of artwork inspired by the complex facets of a woman, this week we are visiting our inner child. She is free spirited, offers us the purest kind of joy, and often reminds us of the simplest pleasures; those which often bring the most meaning to our lives.
I must admit that I lost her somewhere in my twenties; those were hard times. But now she comes out often. When I brought art back in my life I gradually transformed into my happiest self. Everything else after that sort of fell into place after that. It’s amazing how that happens!
I still love lying in the grass, riding my bike, jumping in puddles in my rain boots, feeling snowflakes on my face, exploring new ideas, and experiencing new adventures. I think that this part of a woman is essential to our happiness and well-being. When we lose our inner child the darkest part of ourselves takes over, and we project that darkness and sadness onto those around us; often times those who are closest to us are most affected.
If any of you women out there have lost your inner child (and we all do from time to time), surround yourself by the people and experiences that have brought you the most joy, and I guarantee that she will come out again.
And if by chance you have never felt your inner child as an adult, I might suggest the following: recreate a happy experience from your childhood, try one new experience every day (even if it’s as simple as trying a new type of food), travel, do something that scares you, and meet new people as often as you can.
She is there waiting for you to let her run free.
Stories about how art inspires and changes us.