Archives for category: art and the artist

I pause from my studio time to have another coffee, consider the day, and the work so far, and just to take a needed break. Tables everywhere, a desk, a large easel – and I still often find myself working on the floor. lol It’s not as easy as it once was. Breaks are a good practice. πŸ™‚ I shifted, at some point, from stretching my legs to pacing. I didn’t really notice the change, my thoughts were still in the studio.

I contentedly note that although I’ve spent considerable time in the studio, this weekend, and very satisfyingly so; I don’t have much “to show for it”. It hasn’t been a frenzy of hastily conceived and completed work (one of the ways I commonly work is bursts of inspiration resulting in a dozen or so new pieces over a weekend, then… nothing for months. lol). In fact, this weekend has been a slower, deeper creative spell. I spent time tidying and organizing the studio, lost in creative thought. I spent time sorting through previously prepared backgrounds of various sorts, looking at them with new eyes, and new inspiration. I spent time contemplating a couple major works, still in progress, half-surprised that the slow pace has not frustrated me at all, making notes about next steps, and assembling materials. I spent time working out technical challenges involved in some new work I want to do – some ideas come to life more easily than others. What have I not done? I haven’t actually painted much. Nonetheless, a deeply satisfying creative weekend, savored moment-by-moment, rich with inspiration, and an awaking-from-within, as vague notions become detailed plans, sketches, and notes.

I needed this time spent with and on self. I sit contentedly with an afternoon coffee, reluctant to pass up the luxury of it, even knowing tomorrow is a work day. (I made a good choice, and made decaf. πŸ™‚ )

There is much to be learned from moments, and the day is not yet over. There’s more that I want to do – practical things, like laundry, cleaning paint brushes, and showering. It’s been a busy weekend, and I find myself reluctantly recognizing that I’m nearing the end of my physical resources, for the time being. Maybe for the day, and certainly for now. I allow the acknowledgement of fatigue to become encouragement to take time to savor the experiences of the weekend, at leisure. Breathe. Relax. Consider some detail or another. Feeling the contentment. The satisfaction, and feeling of wholeness. I continue, breath by breath, recollection by recollection. I feel my smile. I feel the comfortable relaxed posture I am in. I take note that I am not in any noteworthy pain at present, only a bit tired. I look around the studio at what I’ve gotten done this weekend. Tube after enticing tube of paint, and dozens of jars of glitter, sparkling bits and pieces, threads, chains, and shards of glass, draw my eye around the room hungrily. It does feel like a sort of hunger – to touch, to arrange, to feel the textures of paint and canvas, to see a thought become a vision – but I am sated already, and too tired, now.

…There will be other weekends…

In the meantime, there are practices to practice, and self-care to manage. For now, that’s enough. πŸ™‚

Once you “find your joy”, don’t forget to enjoy it. To explore it. To lavish yourself with the experience of it. Work toward it with purpose – fearless, guiltless, and without shame.

For me, it’s time to blur the line between art and self-reflection, and spend some time creatively, and in my own head (and heart).

This weekend I’ll be in the studio. Maybe I write, maybe I don’t. I’m feeling inspired by love, and deeply appreciative of a mature partnership that allows me to choose me, to choose us, to choose him; no wrong answers. We consider each other. We reciprocate. I feel more loved, and valued, than I’ve experienced in other intimate relationships, with the exception of a few rare very deep connected friendships of long-standing, and I want to celebrate this experience of being deeply loved. Love hasn’t always been my inspiration – I found love later in life.

Inspiration deserves action, and I certainly deserve to treat the woman in the mirror well, and nurture her creative side. πŸ™‚ Choices.

I’ll see you right here, in a few days. There’s a canvas on my easel, and I earnestly need to begin again. πŸ™‚

Sipping my coffee this morning, after an interrupted but generally decent night’s sleep, noticing my anxiety coming and going. Thinking about the practices that have been most effective, specifically, for my anxiety: meditation, long walks (another form of meditation, in a practical sense), consistent self-care, good nutrition, adequate rest… All effective, and taken together the result is often very nearly no anxiety at all. Except… well… this means my wellness, particularly my emotional wellness, relies on a handful of verbs.

Verbs.

Verbs, people. Verbs.

I’m sitting here sipping my coffee, feeling my anxiety surge and recede, again and again, amorphous and not specifically associated with anything obvious. But… what about my practices? My self-care? All the things?? Why am I still anxious??

β€œAnxiety” 10β€³ x 14β€³ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic 2011

It could be that I’m anxious because verbs have little power on the printed page, and only evoke their real power once put into action. Seriously. I have not yet put my ass down on my meditation cushion, this morning. Nor have I taken a walk. I haven’t actually taken even one step toward putting a verb properly into motion, quite yet. I’m sitting around in a t-shirt and yoga pants drinking coffee and scrolling through feeds. So. Anxiety? Sure. It’s a thing. I still deal with it. Verbs are only useful when they are actually in use. “Action words” sort of presume that there will be some action. lol

I have some thoughts about what to do with the day. I’m anxious about those notions. I have a “to do list” waiting for my attention. I’m anxious about that, too. Money? Anxiety. Health and fitness concerns? Anxiety. Work? Anxiety. Leisure? Anxiety. Fucking hell. I definitely needs some relevant verbs this morning, and just writing sentences that use them is not going to be particularly helpful. πŸ˜‰

Looks like I need to begin again, with some verbs. Action words – and actual actions. πŸ™‚ I know what works, but knowledge alone is not going to get the job done (and this is, generally, true in life). Is knowledge truly power? I suppose it depends on what I do with it.

Beautiful momentum.

Time for some verbs. Time to begin again.

The weekend was relaxed and I spent it mostly in a state of general contentment, hoping to get over the latest ick going around, before the few symptoms I was beginning to experience could fully develop. The focus on self-care may have been worthwhile; I’m feeling okay this morning. πŸ™‚ Definitely well-rested.

One last autumn rose in my garden

The foggy autumn mornings became sunny warm-ish afternoons, which then led to orange-glow sunsets that filled my living room with hints of gold. Twilights were chilly, in shades of mauve, deepening to night fairly slowly. Days are shorter. Sunrise comes later. Sunset surprises me by arriving so soon. Seasons change.

I spent the weekend reading. Taking care of myself. Getting enough rest. Bringing order to chaos. Even turning inward now and then, and reflecting on how best to become the woman I most want to be. It was a lovely weekend, well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I’m still glad I took the weekend for self-care instead of travel. πŸ™‚ Hilariously, I am already looking forward to next weekend; I’ll probably make the down/back round trip, then. πŸ˜€

I look around my studio. No spiders. That’s a relief, actually. lol I’m eager to get some things done, artistically. Feeling well-rested also finds me feeling inspired.

This feels like an easy morning to overlook the potential in a new beginning; I could coast on this now, right here, and be content. There’s more to do, though. More to learn. A better human to be than the one I was yesterday. It’s a journey, and as lovely as life is in this moment, right here, there is more living to do in the moments ahead.

It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

It’s time to pay the bill. Every fun thing in life, every journey, every dream ever pursued, involved a cost. An investment in time, will, money, effort – coasting through life is an option, of course, but I suggest taking a second very careful look at the lives of those you think may be “coasting” through life. It’s not likely that they actually are, however different their choices may be from your own. πŸ™‚

There’s a place I know, where the rules are different, and the world seems built of love.

I spent the weekend wrapped in love, in the company of friends and my loving Traveling Partner, in a space temporarily re-made for the purpose. DJs, artists, vendors, and fans gathered. Family. Friends. Artists. Musicians. Dreamers. Visionaries. Performers. A small festival of like-minded folk, gathered in the forest to camp, dance, play, and experience life re-made to an alternate purpose. We celebrated. Even in hard times, celebration is a worthy endeavor – perhaps most of all in hard times. πŸ™‚

Put as much effort into celebrating as you do into working – or bitching – the return on that investment is so worthwhile!

I bailed on the fun a bit early. Friday was amazing, if rainy. Saturday was just… wow. Sunshine, forest, good company (a great breakfast) a feeling of purpose… I felt elevated, uplifted, and if not enlightened, surely I felt “made of light”. It was quite lovely – until my arthritis finally reminded me of years and injuries, and my joints began to stiffen quite irresistibly. I grabbed my cane as soon as my mobility became actually impaired. I didn’t really sleep on Friday night, ever, the music went all night, so did the fun, and although I grabbed a couple naps, it wasn’t enough to keep me from becoming fatigued. By late afternoon Sunday, on top of my arthritis, my legs began to remind me of other issues, and my steps and gait became affected, by those, compounded by my fatigue. The cane wasn’t going to be enough to get me through the night. I checked in with my Traveling Partner about “calling it” early and heading home. We were having so much fun it was a hard choice to make, and I wasn’t up to it without a bit of reassurance that he’d also rather I take the best care of myself, versus forcing myself to stick it out, slowly becoming miserable and putting that delicious vibe at risk, or wrecking my own delightful experience of the weekend. We were having an amazing good time together! It was hard to walk away from that. He is ever the supportive partner, and agreed that if I was already feeling worn down or struggling with impaired movement, it made sense to call it good and head out – if I were up to the drive. He offered me his place if I wanted to just go get some sleep and hit the road in the morning. Something nagged at me that it was likely a better idea to make the drive that evening…

What the hell? I hate late evening driving; it becomes night driving, and my night vision is frankly not ideal. Shit. Really? Am I going to do this? Yep. Doing it. I drank more coffee and hit the road.

The drive was uneventful. I took regular breaks at pre-determined times and locations. At the one point that sleepiness started to blur my vision, I stopped, got a big bottle of cold water (once it was clear iced-coffee was not to be had, there) and got back on the road. Water for the win. I didn’t expect that – and now I know to keep it in mind. I was thirsty, more than sleepy, apparently. I made good time, and the drive was stress free. Win and good.

This morning I woke at 4:30 am. I went back to sleep, after bumbling to the bathroom and back rather awkwardly. The somewhat less than 4 hours of sleep I’d had weren’t going to be adequate rest. I woke again around 6 am. Again, I went back to sleep. I finally woke shortly after 9 am or so, and got up. I experienced a moment of immense gratitude as I stood. It was the right choice to have made the drive the night before; it took real effort to get out of bed. Pain. Stiffness. More effort to slowly go through the motions of a morning routine. I’m still moving terribly slowly, with much effort. Everything hurts. Everything is stiff. Nothing is easy. “Freedom of movement” feels like nothing more than an advertising slogan. I feel as if I were the unfortunate recipient of a serious beating I don’t recall getting. lol This morning, I add sore muscles to the arthritis pain. I nonetheless happily “pay the check” for a delightful weekend of music, dancing, and enjoying the company of friends out in the woods. Totally worth it. I knew it wasn’t going to be any sort of “freebie”, and I took the time off I needed to, to make the best possible recovery before work. (I’m off tomorrow, too. πŸ™‚ )

Painfully sore muscles. Aching joints that don’t move freely. Fatigue. A few hours of driving. A few dollars in gas money, meals, and gear. Time. Totally 100% worth the price spent to enjoy the time I did. I focus on that, and try to sort out which is the wiser choice right now; a nap (I’ve only been awake for 2 hours), or a nutritious meal (that it going to be painful to prepare, but I probably should have something…)? Time to get back to all the adulting. lol

I make another coffee, I start another “to do” list. I begin again.