From January 2015


Showing Up

Since October I’ve not been able to spend much time in the studio.    But I’m baaaaack!   This week, I was able to spend two full days in the studio.

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No matter how long I’m away from the easel, it’s always the same  – I have resistance, doubt, struggle.  It’s sometimes hard to silence the inner critic, but I’ve learned to let it rage and paint anyway.  Eventually the critic quiets down and something new emerges on canvas.  The trick really is to show up.

Right now, I have a conversation going on in my head about what to paint . . . the subject matter.  I’m primarily an intuitive painter – typically slapping paint on canvas in a messy way then finding images to pull forth and refine.  In other words, I normally don’t compose my paintings in any way.

However, I do long to paint certain images – tribal and ethnic themes being my greatest interest.  This conversation in my head can cause me to move into perfectionism, making me stiff with the paint brush, when I desire looseness and freedom.

So this season in the studio, I’m letting myself play and experiment.  I’m changing things up . . . using giant brushes and new color combinations . . . painting flat instead of vertically on an easel.  I may paint while seated on the floor next week – like I did before I had the space of a warehouse studio.  Whatever it takes to loosen up and let it flow, I’m showing up.




After having sat with two other words for a time, I have found my my “guiding word for the year”.  It’s PEACE.  For me, PEACE means feeling centered, more conscious and deliberate in my choices.  It means surrender, releasing the outcomes – the way I would have it.  It means carrying only what is mine to carry.   Continuing to do so causes way more stress than I want.  PEACE means practicing faith.  It feels light and trusting.  I figure I’ll be pretty bad at it!

I do tend towards controlling an outcome – I have a deeply held belief that I know best.  There I admit it!  I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s true . . . ha!  The thought of living with more peace, surrender and faith – brings such relief, such a sense of joy and spaciousness, that I must try!  My body visibly relaxes.  All tension and stiffness fades.  Ahhhhhhh.

PEACE is my practice for the year (hopefully beyond).  As I’m prone to forgetting such heady things, I will ask those closest to me to remind me of my PEACE-FULL intention when I get angsty.  I’ll set frequent email alerts if necessary!  I’ll make art around it!

This deliberate way of being extends into every facet of my life.  From a desire to shed some possessions, to how I spend my time, to what I put into my mouth and most especially the words that come from my mouth . . . it’s an energy I long to feel and to put forth.

I want to live into each moment, each choice and conversation this year.  I want to taste my life, to see people more deeply and have them see me too.  So if I linger a bit longer, take a deeper breath or am slower to decide – well that’s me practicing PEACE . . . a BIG task.  One that will inevitably teach me much.  Wish me luck!