The artist in all of us

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." ~ Pablo Picasso

Truth be told, we could ALL learn something from the great Picasso, not just artists. We all have a talent or something we're good at doing, and we tend to concentrate on that, which is to be expected. But it's important to leave our comfort zone every once in awhile and try something we're not very good at. It takes a lot of courage to be bold and have no fear to try something new or daunting. I've learned this in stepping out in my art business; I'm trying new techniques, but mostly in finding a public venue to exhibit my work. I'm an introvert; I don't like the spotlight or any kind of attention solely on myself, but I realized that the only way I would get really good exposure for my art is to exhibit it in a public place, which I'll be doing in May. That means meeting and greeting people, and mingling. It's not that I hate to interact with people, and I'm actually very friendly one-on-one, but it's just not in my comfort zone. What do you have that could be improved by being bold and stepping out?

Life is a roller coaster

"As for the future, I'll go on believing there is one -- maybe even a happy one...Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure -- this adventure is not over."  ~ Lauren Bacall

There is a rhythm to this thing called life -- a sort of roller coaster effect. And all of it taken together adds up to one grand adventure. ~ from Positive Quotes for Every Day, by Patricia Lorenz

Short and sweet today. Embrace the precious hours, minutes, and seconds and hang on for the ride. Life is too short for anything else.

"La Place Clichy" ~ Pierre Bonnard, 1912

Laugh 'til your sides ache

"Trouble came knocking, but hearing laughter hurried away."

When was the last time you had a good laugh? I'm lucky; I take after my dad, who had a wonderful sense of humor and a playful, mischievous side, and I love a good bellyaching laugh. Last week, I went through an ordeal with my cat; he was gravely ill and we almost lost him, but he miraculously recovered. Needless to say, it was a grim week for our family and there wasn't a lot of laughter, or even smiles for that matter. That's why when, a cousin posted a bad lip reading video on Facebook the other night, I laughed until I cried. True, our cat was almost back to normal and the laughter came more easily, but it had still been too long since I'd laughed like that. I'm a sports lover, especially football, and the video featured these big, burly pro football players saying these hilarious things and having ridiculous conversations in different voices. And the more I watch it, the funnier it gets. Today, why not focus on the positive and find laughter, even if you have to go looking for it. It releases those feel-good chemicals and will improve your day, I guarantee it.

In honor of my little fighter, today I'm posting a pic of Stormy instead of a piece of artwork. Here's to laughter!

Sticking to it

"Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality."  ~ George Hopkins

Commitments run the gamut--from a commitment to ourselves (perhaps in the form of a New Year's resolution) to a commitment to another person (perhaps in the form of a wedding ring). Commitments can be hard, and they often involve sacrifice on our part. But the only way to achieve anything significant is to commit ourselves to it. If we never make any commitments, we never do anything significant. Commitments are beautiful because they are proof of a full life.  ~ from Positive Quotes for Every Day by Patricia Lorenz

What are you committed to? For me, for the last two years, I've been committed to finding my voice, my signature style. There are so many art styles that I love, that it's hard to choose one to focus on. I've always been fascinated by abstract art, but I've never been very good at it, so my focus for the last two years has been learning about abstract styles and trying them on for size to see which ones I love doing. My commitment to abstract painting has led me to more intuitive painting, to see where the colors, forms, and shape take me in a painting, and I've had a blast. Below is my first really intuitive painting, and one I'm keeping as a reminder of my commitment to my art. I encourage you to think about your commitments; your relationships, your passions, your commitment to yourself to grow. Please feel free to comment and tell me what you're committed to!

 

"All Mixed Up," mixed media on canvas. Private collection of the artist.

"All Mixed Up," mixed media on canvas. Private collection of the artist.

Technicolor world

"It's all a matter of keeping my eyes open."Annie Dillard

Artists and other creative types are trained to look around. As a matter of fact, I credit my passion for art with my love of nature, and vice versa.  I've always been very grateful that I do take notice of the world around me; the skies and oceans fascinate me, and the mountains call me. Every month has its beauty: the stark simplicity of winter and snow; the new life abounding in color in the spring; the lush greens of summer; and the rich tones of autumn. All are unique, and if we look we will find amazing things. I've gotten in the habit of having my cell phone with me always, so I can capture a perfect moment in nature and, eventually, convert it to a painting.

So challenge yourself to get in the habit of looking around you and engaging all of your senses. You never know where it might lead you creatively; go paint or write about a sunset; smell the salt air at the beach and try to capture it on paper or canvas. Your life will be the richer for it.

 

"Poppies, Isle of Shoals"   ~ Childe Hassam, American Impressionist

"Poppies, Isle of Shoals"  ~ Childe Hassam, American Impressionist

Fulfillment

"That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." Willa Cather

"Artists tend to lose themselves in their work. The lucky ones are those whose work makes them melt into their projects so completely that the rest of the world disappears. That is happiness and fulfillment." from Positive Quotes for Every Day, by Patricia Lorenz

Today, think about the things you love to do; your hobbies, your passions, even your job, and whether or not you ever lose yourself in your work. If you don't, do something your future self will thank you for and embark on something that really moves you, that fulfills you like nothing else. My art career gives me this happiness, and that in turn increases my gratitude towards the universe, that I can make for myself a more fulfilling existence doing what I love. How about it? What will you change today, to guide you to a more fulfilling life?

"Becoming Myself" Mixed media collage on vintage book cover