Simple Pleasures

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Last year made me think about these three things, a lot. What I was doing? Who I was doing it for? Did the outcome make me happy? My answers. Managing, not creating. Everyone else but me. If stress, frustration and counting the days until the New Year only made me happy it would have been perfect, um no! A big change was needed. Do you ever feel that way? Like you are mindlessly going through the motions, surviving but not really living. Well, that is exactly what my life felt like. Constantly doing but doing all the wrong things. I knew it would take drastic measures, huge gumption, courage and a different mindset but I vowed 2017 was going to be a year of simple pleasures. My goals: get off the road, create more just because, monthly challenges to make me step out of the box and take classes that really took me out of my comfort zone. I approach each day walking into my studio with an open mind, excited to be inspired by what today will bring and simply put, enjoy having a paintbrush in my hand again. Last year I created 23 new pieces in 365 days. It is so sad to see that little number, my heart breaks knowing it, having written it for the world to see. But, that was last year, a new year is upon us. I am so grateful to have put that in the past and to only look forward from here on out. I will do better. I will do art. I will find my simple pleasures. I will find myself again. I will, I must! I am so glad that ideas have not left me after being neglected for a full year, they still present themselves in a whisper and percolate until I am ready. I have already created 15 pieces of art in the last 28 days, I have been uncovered…

Clarity

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After 20 years of being in business for myself as an artist, I am searching, opening up and realizing what I want for the next 20 years. It has taken me a long while to get to this space, listening to my inner voice, the one that makes me vulnerable. It has been pushed down for a long time, but I am finally ready to unleash its power, clarity!

Have you ever questioned yourself about wants, needs, purpose, destination, journey?
I do all the time but this year I decided to actually work on each of these, one by one. My purpose is finally defined, I want to be in the business of inspiration. To inspire, encourage, support others while offering artful classes that help explore creativity. In some, this is hidden waiting for the right moment and motivation to come out and play. For others, it is that inner voice of wanting more. More explanation, more depth, more understanding of being able to create what is inside. Either journey is personal, very personal and I want to offer you inspiration here and now. It is okay to be at the stage you are in, honestly we all start somewhere. It is okay to want something for yourself in this extremely demanding world. It is okay to try and fail, it means you are learning. It is okay to explore what you like, develop a style that speaks to you, even if it is different from everyone else. It is okay to be you! I want you to tap into the inner joy it will bring to create and honor it to shine. We have one life on earth, I am inviting you to spread your artistic wings and soar. I’m here for you, I won’t let you fall. Are you ready? I am….

Word for 2017 – Trust

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I have picked a word for the last 5 years and they have served me well because I figure out what I need to focus on and let it guide me throughout the year. So, what do you need this year? What direction are you heading? Where do you need help and guidance? Where do you want to be when 2018 rolls around? These are all questions I ask myself when leading up to a new year. It helps define my word for me and gives me a place for guidance.

I had three words that I was contemplating – faith, leap and trust. They are all very similar but in some ways very different to me. Faith – belief and trust in God; allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; a system of religious beliefs. Leap – to spring free from a surface or over an obstacle; jump. Trust – assured reliance on the character, strength or truth of someone or something; a basis of reliance, faith or hope; to place confidence; to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgivings. As you can see, they complement each other but I had to pick just one. Trust wrapped them all into one as hope, belief and strength.

What will “trust” do for me this year? I need to…
Trust myself and create what I want without worrying about the money it will bring in. Trust that they universe has lead me down this path for a reason. Trust that the right creative students will find me, be inspired by me and would love to create with me. Trust that this path is much larger than I can even dream. As you can see, Trust and I have a very big year planned. I hope your word gives you this kind of direction into the new year and makes it creatively successful, however that looks for you!

Reflections

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Why is it that the holidays just pass in a whirlwind of a blur? I mean, we start decorating our homes the day after Thanksgiving. Wreaths, stockings, family heirloom ornaments, trees, lights, everything we need to transform our ordinary everyday living into something magical and festive. Christmas shopping, sending cards, meal planning, invitations and continuous baking soon follow. The hustle and bustle never ends until all is done. The salutations of family, friends and treasured moments come in the form of holidays cards with wishes, photos and promises to get together more often. This time is something to ponder about each and every year. How thankful you are to share your life with so many! What a blessed life you are living! It can be easily forgotten in these times. And when the time comes to get together, open presents, eat and share our stories, I always sit and marvel at the people around the table in conversation. They are part of me, who I am, who I am made of. The reflection of being so small sometimes is just that. Because when you open your eyes and really think about what YOU encompass, it is always something more. More beautiful. More special. More simple than you really understand. Take the time to just BE today. Be you. Be beautiful. Be special. Be simply who you are – you!

The Path of an Artist

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My artistic path started as a young girl exploring cloud shapes, crayola crayons and a neighborhood of games that let your imagination run wild. It developed through middle and high school and eventually lead me to art school in Chicago. I worked steadily in Advertising firms and found myself doing craft shows on the weekends just to keep painting. This lead me to the world of decorative painting, designing, exhibiting, and teaching locally and throughout the United States. It has been 20 years in this industry and change is in the air. The pull of online teaching, reaching students worldwide and creating courses that allow the student to find their own voice is what 2017 has in store for me. And, it is with nervous energy that I leave the comfort of the art world that I have grown up in. It is a wonderful thing to pursue growth, challenge yourself and push the limits on everything you do. It has become my “norm” if you will. The idea that boundaries are made to be broken, stepped into and forseen as what is next. It is scary but I am so looking forward to what creative delight the next decade will bring forth. Finding courage, taking a leap of faith and hoping a new audience as well as my present one will once again join me on this inspired journey into the next phase of my artful life. I can promise you this, it will be anything but normal. After all, I am at the helm and you never know what is going on in my ever thinking, no limitations, endless possibilities, creative brain. Are you ready for the journey into 2017? I know I am – onward!