Sunday, March 12, 2017

sharing - even when life gets in the way

hello Munchkins!
I'm back after being away
for more than a month!
I may be back at a slower pace,
but it feels good to get back into
something that feels familiar. 
The past month+ has been a bit crazy.
Dad moved to an assisted living home,
which means we spent the past month+
sorting through things at his apartment,
cleaning & clearing out the apartment,
selling stuff,
moving things to his new place,
bringing boxes of stuff to our place,
and adopting his little dog Fluffy. :)

It broke his heart to leave her,
but because we live only 2 minutes 
from his new home,
he gets to see her practically every day.

The perils of Parkinson's disease.
After a few falls and hospital visits,
he was finding it more & more difficult to live alone
and he must have been ready for the big move
because everyone (including Fluffy!)
is adjusting so well.

I've had very little time for art
over the past month or so,
and the bit of time available to me
was of no use, because I was not in the mood.

It's strange isn't it?

I do yoga less often
when I seem to need it the most.
I make art less often
when I need it the most.

My thinking was this:

I feel totally stressed out right now
and I know painting would help
but I feel too stressed (or tired) to paint.
(sound familiar?)
So slowly...

v e r y  s l o w l y...

I sketched a few things on those nights
where I felt a little less tired or stressed.
And when dad was finally moved
and the world didn't come crashing down,
and he was eating well and sleeping well
and meeting new people
and I knew he would be ok...
I started to find more time
for the things that make me happy.




Walks outside (even if it's bitter cold!)
Just when I felt like I needed to get back
to a somewhat regular art practice again
I found a "body part" art challenge
by Connie Solera (Dirty Footprints)
that helped get me back on track.

I would have painted on my own eventually,
but sometimes,
just having something to paint
without needing to think too much about anything
is exactly what we need.
Sometimes, we know what we need,
but life gets in the way
and it becomes more difficult
to do those things.

There's a time for everything
and when the dust settles
and life begins to feel normal again,
we eventually find our own way home.
This whole Trump fiasco is 
weighing heavy on my heart, still,
as it is with so many others around the globe.

But I remind myself
that there is more love than hatred in this world
(even if some would have us believe otherwise)
and that the important thing is
for all of us to
keep telling our stories
and sharing our voices.
Especially women.

So I'm slowly getting back to feeling like myself.
A new & improved,
sometimes lost,
sometimes found,
sometimes awakened, angry self,
...but MYSELF.

A few of the good books I'm reading.
One can never read too many books. :)

Thanks for hanging out here.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

is it dark in here or is it just me?

Hello loves.
It's been a rough few weeks, hasn't it?
It's been almost a month 
since I last posted something here.

I was at a loss for words (still am).

But I'll share something I wrote
a few days ago,
along with some of the art
I've managed to make
over the past few weeks -
despite the craziness happening
all over the world.
(Much of it BECAUSE of the craziness)

I hope you've all been well
and getting the hugs you need these days.
My heart is sick
and has been for weeks now.
They say:
“don’t let yourself
get carried away
with all the hatred”
and so I try
to surround myself
with joy and peace
and do the things
that make my heart sing,
but then the wave comes
and carries me away again,
when i hear about another
ridiculous executive order
and the muslim ban
and Cheeto demanding
that women should dress like women
and the burning mosques
and the murder of 6 muslims in Canada
or the new laws taking place
in some US States
where a rapist now has the right
to sue his victim 
if she chooses to abort the foetus.

The one that was created in violence.
It is very difficult these days
NOT to care.
(and we should never not care.)

And with social media and TV
and radio and conversations
at the local coffee shop -
it is also very difficult to "tune out".

Oh, but it is SO important that we do so
now and then. For the sake of sanity.

They say:
“but it’s politics!
And it’s happening in the US,
not here in Canada!”
and I want to scream,

The rants and the tweets and the protests
and the families being divided
by a ban that fell on US citizens
like a bomb.

And now, on the rest of the world.
There are those on social media who say:
“I want Facebook to be fun again
with pictures of dancing cats
and funny memes that have
nothing to do with politics”
and I shake my head
at the idea that so many
still choose ignorance.

As if the craziness won't happen
if you don’t know about it.

And yet - I understand the need
to detach.
I understand the need
to run away and hide.
But hiding is not the answer.
It never was.
I am doing what I can
to care for myself 
more than usual these days,
to save myself from living
with an angry heart
the way Donald does.
Hatred breeds hatred,
and if I can keep just a tiny spark
of love alive
during this fucked up chaotic time,
i’ve done well.
I’ve been wanting to hug trees
and take long walks on the beach
and hot baths
and read good books
and make art.

But even these things have been unusually difficult...
My mind goes back to the Holocaust
and Nazi Germany
and how quickly an educated, intelligent nation
crumbled to the ground
when they were taught to hate.

When they were taught to live in fear.

When they were taught to become indifferent
to another persons’ pain.

It is the beginning of the end
when one becomes indifferent.

And yet - there is hope.
There is hope in the protests
and the coming together
of so many people 
who are willing to see their similarities
instead of their differences.
There is hope in people
who have found their voices
during the most tumultuous times
and who are using those voices
to make the world a place of peace
rather than a world of hatred and war.

There is hope in those
who stand with others
who have had their voices
along the way.

There is hope in children.

There is hope in the blade of grass.

There is hope in poetry and in music.

There is hope in words.

There is hope in the stars
and the moon
and the grand possibilities that are
within reach
for those of us who dare
to touch the sky.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

art and inspiration and "I feel an e-course coming on!"

The force that through the green fuse
drives the flower...
- Dylan Thomas
We got our first 'real' snowstorm here
just a few days ago (about 25cm)
so yes - winter is here.
Unless we have the kind of winter
where it's constantly snowing for months,
I don't mind winter at all.
As long as the roads are plowed
and I can get out once in a while,
I'm good.
Like most artists out there,
I love the hibernating part of winter. 
There's nothing like a snowstorm
on a Sunday morning,
when nature gives you permission
to stay in your PJs all day.
(of course, who really needs permission for that?!) :)
I also love the slowness of January...

Everyone seems to be in a better mood somehow.

Maybe it's because we're onto something new,
or we feel like it's a chance for a new beginning,
or we've looked at the past year
and realize we're gonna be ok after all.
Something about January feels 
hopeful to me.
And lord knows
we'll take all the hope we can get.
So I have a few things to share with you.
For a while now,
I've been thinking about teaching on-line.
I've taken several e-courses
and I've learned a lot from each one.
So I'm currently doing an e-course
on how to teach e-courses!
Yes, it's a brainteaser :)
I am loving every bit of it so far,
and if all goes well,
I'm hoping to have my own e-course
out in the world by April or May 2017.
I still haven't decided what I'll be teaching,
nor how I'll be teaching it,
but I do know I have something to offer
and I feel that there are people out there
ready to embrace my offerings.
It'll somehow be about art
and connection
and courage
and words
and having fun
and becoming more confident
about who we are
and where we are in life,
and carving small moments in the day
for something that makes us happy.
It'll be about listening
to our own voices
and exploring
and expressing
and discovering
and healing
and accepting
and truth
and there will be NO room
for perfection.
Sorry perfection, no room for you at the Inn. ;)
So I'm in the early stages of brainstorming ideas
about what I'd like to share and teach,
and how I'd like to do it in a way
that makes it fun and non threatening
and without the pressure of becoming
a "talented" artist.
So there are many unknowns right now,
but this is all so exciting.
And speaking of unknowns...

the bird painting earlier in this post (the orange and teal one)
was done in about an hour and a half last night.
I painted slowly and filled the circles with white
and took my time with the lines
and added orange and teal here and there.

And in the end, it was just ok.

So with the leftover paint,
(because you know it can't go to waste!)
I opened my small journal
and painted this one in about 5 minutes,
adding a yellow.

I knew it would be abstract
and I knew it would be quick,
because i basically just wanted
to use the leftover paint.

Then I added a few squiggly lines
with oil pastels...(inspired by Tara Leaver - thank you!)

And i loved it!

So the TIME you spend on art
is irrelevant to how you'll feel about it.

It's irrelevant to how it'll "move" you
or someone else.

1.5 hours = meh...
5 minutes = LOVE!!
Lesson of the day:
You don't need huge chunks of time to make art
or huge canvases
or an art studio
or expensive materials.

You just need to sit yourself down
and do something.
And who knows?
Maybe it'll make your heart
a little happier than it was
just moments before.