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.


  1. I need this! I'm always inviting more Joy into my life but then when it shows up I have a hard time letting it in. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful painting and the process behind it! Congrats again on the gallery! I wish I could come see it!!

  2. one can never have too much joy, methinks...

    love, love, LOVE :)


    ps. DESPERATELY needed to see this right now....xo