Courage

My husband gave me a wonderful gift this Christmas. He gave me the gift of two nights alone in a hotel room. And while I was there he sent me flowers, and I had a spa treatment and went to tea.

It was all lovely. Exactly what I needed to recharge, refocus, and reorient my life. You see, it being the end of one year and the beginning of another one, I had done some reflecting and realized that while nothing was exactly wrong with my life, that it was a bit out of whack.

It needed to be reoriented. I needed to reset and find my true North again. The time away gave me just the time needed to do that. I drank a lot of water and did a lot of yoga and read and slept (glorious sleep!) and prayed and journaled and basically, went back to the priorities I had pre-kids.

I remembered what it was like to matter and to do things I want to do when I want to do them. Sacrificing for others is wonderful and it is noble and motherhood, like most callings, requires oodles of it. But sometimes you just need to refresh by unplugging completely.

I came home restored and refreshed and back in love with my life. My husband and I both agree to make these get aways happen a little more frequently.

Reorienting included making time to paint, so . . . . Here’s the latest.

It is a shameless embrace of Kelly Rae’s style, but in order to learn as much technique as possible, it was necessary. It is the result of the second lesson in her angel series found here.

Happy New Year!

Capture. Reproduce. Share.

Sounds scandalous as a title. But this morning I was eating breakfast out and a painting caught my attention. It did so because I knew I’d been there. To that physical place. Or very near.

It was clearly near Abiquiu, with the red hills rising in the background and the river running in the fore. A beautiful place, to be sure.

But this artist loved it so much that he wanted to capture it. To reproduce it and share it with others.

Who knows, but that he lugged some paints and a canvas and an easel through the southwestern weather to find just that spot. I hope he brought a sun hat. And plenty of water. And he may have even visited on multiple occasions.

He sacrificed because the beauty of the place captured him.

I want to love Jesus that way. I want to be so inspired by the beauty of his love and his life that I am compelled to capture it; to reproduce it in my own life so that I can share it with others.

I think maybe that’s what Jesus wanted us to do when he said “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Own Heart

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“Follow your own heart. Mine brought me to the mountains.”

It’s easy to forget, as moms, who we are. Or to slow down long enough to listen to our own hearts.

And it’s noble and it’s good and it’s right that we put others before ourselves sometimes.

Even most of the time.

But I’m learning that it’s important to still be who God created you to be. Not just an automaton getting things done. But ALL you.

Complex. Multifaceted. Someone your kids might want to know.

The little years are hard, so take a few deep breaths and they will be over. There won’t be much time for what I’m talking about here. But that’s ok. It’s a season.

And when that season has passed. . . Follow your OWN heart. Where it leads might just surprise you. Or more likely, remind you.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Home.

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A finished piece

So, so much has happened since I last wrote.

  1. my husband accepted a new position with his company. (Which included a move HOME to New Mexico!)
  2. I did a serious happy dance (ok, maybe several happy dances)And I called everyone I know to share the great news.
  3. We put our house in Colorado on the market. Which included cleaning, storing all personal decorative items plus about half of all of our other stuff)
  4. We started shopping for houses in New Mexico (which included several 16 hour round trips in the car with three littles – and one without)
  5. Our house in Colorado was shown multiple times (which meant quick clean ups and rushing 3 littles out of the house)
  6. Our house in Colorado sold! Yippee!
  7. We put an offer on a house in New Mexico. It was accepted.
  8. We WAITED. (For what seemed forever- but was really more like 3 weeks)
  9. We MOVED!

So, as you can imagine, that left little time for art.

But I had already finished two pieces.

And THIS one, like me is totally comfortable in its new home.

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Now, keep in mind, I had NO idea we were moving back when I painted this, let alone what color the new living room or mantel would be!

I LOVE that it seems made for this place. Can’t wait to get a terrific frame for it.

. . . . . and I LOVE being HOME!

 

 

2 Steps Back

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Having a focus (referred to as an intention in the class) has been the way each painting lesson has started. Either written on a note, or on ourselves, to encourage us to remember what we are trying to accomplish.

After struggling last time, with not liking the end result, I watched the next lesson hoping for some huge change in direction.

There was a bit of a change in direction, creating cohesion, but I was still struggling with where my pieces were going, working and re-working them in my mind

It’s been a busy week around here, leaving me to sit with that struggle and think about it all for MANY days since I didn’t have the time to work it out on the canvas.

Finally, I came to a conclusion.

I don’t like the direction my paintings were going. I just don’t really like the way my collage-y canvases were shaping up.

The painting part was pure joy. The layering and papering bits, not so much.

So, I made an executive decision. I decided to “do” me.

Thats why all but one of these looks unrecognizable.

Because I painted over them. Mostly.

I’m happy again. And enjoying the process again. And I don’t feel pressure to go in a direction I just don’t like.

I returned to the joy. And I don’t feel bad about the “wasted” layers or time. Because learning what I love, what I enjoy and am drawn to, can never be a waste of time. 

So even though it may seem like taking two steps backward, for me it’s one giant leap forward.

That’s ART baby! And life too, it seems.

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

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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!

Ugly.

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. 

and

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.