The Awkward, the Ugly, and the Not So Graceful.

Neat and tidy, just the way I like it. 

While this could be the title to a movie about my teenage years, (yep, I was a triple threat!) it’s really about my latest painting lesson.

KRR titled it a bit differently – something about using paint and collage to create more layers.

She warned that every painting goes through an ugly phase and that’s where our paintings would be at the end of this lesson.  And boy was she right!


This was a tough one for me. I felt like I was covering up all I have been working on, and loving, so far.

It actually made me so uncomfortable, that I wanted to rush ahead to the next lesson, where we get to create some cohesion, rather than to stay put with where things are.

In fact, I had the next video all cued up, when I decided to clean all the tools I had used before the paint and gel medium dried on them.

That gave me time to take a deep breath and realize that:

A) I should trust the professional. This ain’t her first rodeo. She knows what’s she’s doing here. 


B) I needed to remember that chaos and ugly was the GOAL! I had actually done exactly what I set out to do. Yay me!

KRR told us to look closely at our messy canvases, because, just like in our messy lives, there is a lot of beauty if we are willing to look closely.

So, with fresh eyes I saw:

some great leaves, a deep green and vibrant blue, a white and turquoise heart, a cool chevron print, and of course, New Mexico!


Beauty after all.

Corny, maybe but the next time I’m frustrated in the middle of my messy life, I’m going to look with new eyes for the beauty.

Letting Go of Expectations

Yay for CREATE days!

I love being inspired as much as the next person. But I’m finding I love creating even more!

Today’s lesson was about stamping, stenciling, and using spray inks to create more layers on the canvas.



Whew, do I need to do that in real life too. Just let what’s developing develop without trying to control the outcome.

Do you notice a theme here?

KRR said that for her, letting go of expectations for the piece, allows her to work from a place of FREEDOM.

Yep, freedom. And who doesn’t want more of that?

p.s. The Creative Director was hanging around today.



New Uses for Old Things

My favorite discovery of the day

Today’s lesson was all about repurposing common household items to paint with. It was pretty fun to guess what their marks were going to look like and then work with the results.

My favorite was the drawer liner. But I used an old cork, fork, credit card, milk cap and even a toy truck!

Funny thing about that toy truck, though. I picked it because it had nice, fat wheels that I thought would make a good tread mark. And it did, sort of, but . . . . . . . . what I didn’t realize is that it’s the kind of toy that when you roll it backwards, the wheels are spring-loaded and automatically shoot the toy forward when you release it.



Paint splatters all around!

I had a good laugh, and it wasn’t too much trouble to clean up. I think next time I’ll pick a different wheeled vehicle though. Or maybe just a bigger canvas. 🙂

It’s nice to think about using common things in an unusual way. And to play.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Control . . . or the Lack Thereof



Releasing Control
So, as I mentioned in my last post, (here) I was reminded again, during my recent illness that I am NOT in control.

And I’m learning that through painting as well.


It’s like riding a horse, for me. You can NOT choose where the horse puts his feet, but you can choose the general direction in which he will go. As your skill improves, and your horse’s skill improves and the level of connection/communication between the two of you grows, you can be more accurate together.

I have NO skill as an artist. And thus, NO control!

But it’s fun to just watch it go, and experiment, and play and see what will happen with the results.

I like learning techniques, and when I like the results I’m seeing, I give it its head, so to speak and let it go forward as fast as it wants to go!

But when I don’t like what I see, I rein it in a bit, and redirect it onto a different course.

I can’t choose exactly what’s going to happen, or how it will turn out, but I can nudge it in the general direction I want it to go.


And learning that even when I don’t have very much control, I can love the results, is amazing.  In fact, learning that if I HAD controlled it, I wouldn’t have liked the results as much, may be life changing!

And good for a big ol’ control freak like me.

Loving this, and loving learning.

Happy days!

I’m Baaaaack!

And I’ve begun! Finally!

I know it’s only been a couple of weeks, but it’s seemed like a loooong time on my end of things. I have been battling an illness, which taught me many things.

  1. I am completely dependent upon God. He is in control and I am SOOOOOOO not!
  2. I can count on my husband. Utterly, totally. That man loves me and took charge , not only of doing all of his work and mine, but also of taking care of me while I recuperate.
  3. My kids are AWESOME! They have pitched in and helped out. They’ve stepped up to more responsibility without complaint, prayed for my recovery, comforted and loved me, and helped with the baby.
  4. My friends are great. They text messaged me to check up on me and prayed for me and encouraged me. One even kept our kids so my husband could take me to urgent care.
  5. I refuse to take good health for granted. I will be grateful each day I have the energy to get out of bed and make breakfast for my family moving forward.

So, while being ill was miserable, and I’m still not back to myself (I lost about 15 lbs that I didn’t have to lose, so I’m a little weak and weary) I’m well on the road to recovery.

And that means ART is HAPPENING!

I just finished my first full-on messy art class with KRR and I loved it! So much fun.

My Creative Director enjoying a snack.