100 Days

100 Days

I just finished up participating in my first 100 Days Project. It was a course by Daring Discoveries called 100 Days of Building Creativity, facilitated by LeeAnn Hilbrich.

I committed to spending a minimum of 10 minutes a day in my art studio creating and producing art. For I while, I have felt the imbalance of being a viewer/consumer of art more than a participant/producer and I needed more than that. Broken down simply, creating helps keep me sane. It’s how I process my world. It helps me stay true to myself.

I kept my goals very small so that I could approach my daily practice with the minimal amount of obstacles and intimidation (created 99% of the time from my own headspace). I told myself that my practice could be in any medium and that nothing had to be completed or finished…ever. I even called the work that I did daily ‘my sketches’ instead of ‘my paintings’. I kept my setup simple: Arches paper + acrylics for the most part. I did use a few canvases during the process but returned very quickly to paper. No easel. No painters tape to mask off the edges of the paper (consequences be damned). I told myself that I wanted to play + experiment. When I felt a rule or a sense of cautious protectiveness coming up from my gut, I deliberately did exactly what I was telling myself not to do. I dove into the concept of creating layers so that it would build a richness and interest in the sketch but also to give myself the freedom to paint right over something, even if I kind of liked it and even if I ended up losing what I liked about the previous layer. Nothing is wasted.

Participation in the group was done online and I opted to post most of my daily practices on my Instagram account. Coming out the other side of the 100 days was amazing. I think I was surprised the most by the tenderness and confidence. The group of people that participated were so kind and encouraging with one another. No one just played nice in our group, they actually were that kind and sincere. I also felt a tenderness growing in how I talked to and treated myself. I became less critical of myself during this process, more nurturing and supportive of myself. Out of that came more confidence. Confidence in knowing that the well was not running dry. Confidence that I can keep coming back no matter what happened the day before and good things will come. They just will.

I’ve heard the quote about how it’s more about the journey, not the destination, blah, blah, blah. That one has become worn out and trite for me. Except that it gained new life  during these 100 days. LeeAnn said it in a revised version that I like much better, “I hope you truly congratulate yourself on preparing a firm and steady foundation for your ever continuing soul growth and journey. When we practice, when we take time daily to invest in ourselves and in cultivating the habits and rituals that will bring more joy and beauty into our lives, we unlock and release new levels.”

Beautiful, right?

 

 

behind the critic

behind the critic

“If you find yourself criticizing other people, you’re probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own. Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others. If they speak at all, it is to offer encouragement. Watch yourself. Of all the manifestations of Resistance, most only harm ourselves. Criticism and cruelty harm others as well.”

— Steven Pressfield, War of Art via swissmiss

making choices

making choices

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”
→ Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime & Punishment

When I take in this thought and explore it, it feels like a door to freedom. It feels like a tool to help extricate myself from the comparison trap (one of my all time favorite excuses).

I heard it on a podcast by Random Badassery, Episode 12: Memoirs of a Habitual Door Closer. Lots of good for the soul, get off your butt content in it. I recommend a listen.

thank you

thank you

Wow. Opening night at Vino and Vinyl was awesome. Six of my best are hanging proudly on their walls and it was so much fun sharing them in public with my friends. I’ve already had really great feedback, including how much better everything looks in person than on my website. (All art is so amazing in person, of course. But I am brainstorming about how I can improve the way my art appears on my website.)

I really enjoyed the evening. It was a true celebration. Hopefully we didn’t scare off any VV Friday night regulars with the crowd. Being the introvert, part of me was terrified to work the room but all the friendly faces made it easier than I thought. I actually ended up wishing for more time with each person when conversations got cut short.

The opening was on Friday and it’s now Thursday afternoon. It has taken me a while to recover and bounce back from the emotional and physical demands of this type of event. I was wiped out but hope to pick up a brush very soon. I’ve missed it; missed the process and the way I think when I’m painting.

A dear musician friend of mine who encouraged me to pursue big dreams passed today. She loved that I painted abstracts. I talked to her Friday morning before the opening and told her all about it. She couldn’t come that night. She was not well enough. Lana would have loved it. She threw amazing parties and was a pro at entertaining the room. This night was something that we were both dreaming of and hoping for. So I’m dedicating opening night to her.

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it’s really happening!

I am incredibly excited to announce that my art will be on display at Vino & Vinyl for the month of March! This will be a first for me and on a personal level is such a big deal!

vinovinyl-logo

Come and enjoy opening night with me!
Friday, March 3, 2017, 6:00-8:00 pm
3340 FM 1092, Suite 150
Missouri City, TX 77459

For the last two years, I have been picking up my paints and brushes again with a new intensity. I wanted to pursue my craft so that it would become a way of how I live my daily life. When I began to take deliberate actions toward my goal, I felt such a shift. The years of creative energy that had been percolating away on my back-burner now had a place to go. It was like watching a slow lava flow; not really fast, sometimes dark and ugly but there was definitely a lot of fire under there. I felt more real, more true to myself. It’s been such a good and healing experience for me.

I would love it if you could celebrate with me on this special night as I take a big step and put my latest artwork out there. Vino & Vinyl (Missouri City location) is a wine bar/lounge and record store that supports local art.

If you can’t make it to opening night, my work will be on display for the whole month of March.
Regular business hours for Vino & Vinyl:
Tuesday through Thursdays 4-11 pm
Friday and Saturdays 4pm – midnight
Closed Sundays and Mondays