2 Steps Back


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.

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.