Saturday, March 30, 2013

Questioning Joy

Sometimes I start a painting with an intention. It can be just a feeling. Or a thought. Sometimes I even paint the word or phrase on the canvas before I get started. And by the end of the first session that intention is already buried deep under several layers of paint. Many times I don't even remember what the intention was, unless I happen to remember to take a photo of it.

But my latest painting? I don't know where this word came from. I was having a particularly hard day. Well, to be honest, a hard week. Swimming in victim mode, wondering why "life" wasn't easier.

Slippery territory.

So you can imagine my surprise when this word appeared on my canvas:

It felt a bit like I was being mocked. Or challenged is perhaps a better word. I was being dared to find the joy in my life.

I wasn't really buying it.

But I kept painting.

And what happened next is what really surprised me. The word stayed front and center the whole time I worked. It stayed there over several days worth of painting. I was sure that eventually I would get to the point where it was time to start covering it up. For some reason having such a literal image on the canvas didn't seem right.

Yet it stayed.

And stayed.

I stepped away from the painting for several days wondering what that was all about. Well, and that I've been pretty busy and so didn't have TIME to paint, also helped.

I've mentioned "the voices" before, the ones that tend to guide me at key points recently (if I shut up long enough to LISTEN).

Well there they were again, saying, "Leave it." YOU need this message. And someone else for SURE needs it. Just let it be.

So this weekend, since I will be April's Featured Artist of the Month, I've been contemplating which paintings to add to the ones already at the gallery . 

(What? I didn't mention that here yet? Well.... I AM!!!! Wahooo!!!! Come out and celebrate with me Saturday, April 6th, during April's Art Trek, 4:00-7:00pm, I'll be at the Sutter Creek Gallery!)

Anyway. Ahem. (heeee!)

In trying to decide which paintings to pack up, I wasn't so sure the Joy painting was one that was done. That it was ready to go. You know, maybe just maybe, it still needed more layers, and possibly covering up that word. 

The voices, LOUD and CLEAR, "Someone else besides YOU also needs to have this in their life - it goes with - no questions."

I'm all about listening these days.

So here it is, Joy, and it'll be front and center at the gallery all month. Hopefully MANY people will see it, and it will seep into their life some way, subliminally, if not directly.

Hope joy is finding you these days, even when you're resisting it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

BIG News! Dreams Coming True!

I've had several reminders already this year that the best path ~ for me anyway ~ is to stop being busy with doing, and to start paying attention. To LISTEN for a change. And that means listening to my soul, to my heart. Noticing the details that are carrying me forward towards what I love.

It may sound sparkly and woo woo, but in fact, I am starting to feel that this approach is actually working!

Especially in regards to my ART.

Late last year and at the beginning of this new one, I kept running into someone I know in my community that is a successful and established artist. I'd see her name some place. I'd pass her on the highway. Someone would bring up her name in a conversation. A group email in my inbox had her name a few times. I'd meet her on the way into a store, she on her way out. This after not really thinking of her or seeing her for quite some time.

And the whole time, this little voice kept saying, "Why don't you call her?" I wanted to start off the year with really moving my art out into the world. I had a vague action plan. A list of To-Do's was starting to form. The intent behind all of it was to SHARE my art with the WORLD. (Or at least start somewhere...) Hanging out and chatting with her about how she first got started in the art world was something that made sense to do.

Of course I got awfully sick there for a while too. The nasty nasty that so many people I know near and far had - the one that knocked them down for a couple weeks minimum. But during that time, on the couch not able to DO anything ... THAT voice? It was so very clearly saying "STOP the madness! No more to do lists, no more action plans. Just BE. Relax. Have fun. Just PAINT for crying out loud."

Oh. Well fine.

I'm learning to listen to that inner voice. ("She hears voices... cuckoo...!" Sure, say what you will, whatever, it's working!)

So I heeded the call and I spent a lovely morning drinking green tea with my artist friend. It was wonderful to catch up and to absorb the magnificent creativity oozing out of every inch of her studio. From our conversation, and on a lark, she walked me down the street to a relatively new co-operative gallery and we had a look around.

Yet it was hardly my first time there. A good friend of my mom's already had her work there. Someone I've known since I was about four years old! And she happened to be there that very day.

As we walked around the gallery, my artist friend was urging me to be part of it. 

"What? Me? Here? Ha."

So here is where I freeze. Fear grips my throat. I am literally stuttering to get out my question. "Are you accepting other artists into the co-op?"

Well, guess what?

They were!

And guess what else?


I am now an official member of the Sutter Creek Gallery!

And I will be there this Sunday.

35 Main Street, Sutter Creek

Come by and say hello!

So I'm going to keep on listening. 

It seems to be leading me to where my lists would never have gone on their own!