Thursday, July 29, 2010

What do you do when you have a day off? I spend mine with some of my best friends . . .paintbrushes, color, and family

I worked on a special chair for some people that we met last year at the Sandy Mt. Festival. Through their shopping expeditions this year they found this great antique chair. They brought it to me and asked for it to be transformed. This chair was solid while full of small cracks and weathering from the years. You could almost hear the stories it had to tell.
I also finished up this painting. I had read the quote in a book recently and it jumped out at me. So full of truth. I hope you can spend some time this week looking for the "extraordinary" in your world.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank Goodness for my Studio

Life lately, has been . . .shall we say . . .a bit stressful. Some of it is good stress and some of it not so good. There have been days lately where I stand in the middle of a room and ask God, the universe and whoever may be listening questions like, "Are you serious? How much more can I be expected to handle in a day?"

I know that I am not the only one going through things. In fact - much of the stress I am dealing with is not "mine", but that of loved ones. Being an adult in this world at this time in history is hard!!! Being a teenager at this time is even harder. In the last year, we have experienced births, illnesses, unemployment, financial struggles, watched those close to us have their marriages break apart, watched our children question their place in the world and on and on and on. Our home is bursting at the seams with people all navigating the craziness. Some nights sleep is not even an option.

Yet during these hard times, I am grateful. I am grateful for family, friends, love, and the many blessings and gifts I have. I am grateful for my talents and the peace that my art brings me. As I paint, I hope that my pieces reflect the overwhelming hope that I feel each and every day. As I add uplifting words, I find that I write what my spirit needs to hear. In many ways - my work is the way God speaks to me. I find questions answered through my art. I am reminded to slow down and enjoy the little things, to keep dreaming, to keep pursuing my dreams and to live a full and joyful life. My hope and prayer today is that those near and dear to me (you know who you are) continue to do the same - even in these incredibly trying times.
I think often of Randy Pausch who wrote the book "The Last Lecture". He talks about the roadblocks that are put before us. The bigger the roadblocks, the more we need to prove exactly how much we want that "thing" - what ever it is. And when we overcome those roadblocks, the rewards are always worth the effort.

Thank goodness for my studio - it truly offers me the sanctuary that I need from the struggles of the day to day. And while I escape into my world of color - although my outer appearance may look disshelveled, covered in paint and all messy - my inner spirit finds peace and leaps for joy. How do you find peace amidst all of the craziness?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summertime, and the Living is Easy?

Here we go - summer art fair season. I look to this time of year with equal parts excitement and dread. Three years ago, before I returned to a full-time day job, these were an exciting break from the day to day routine. And let's face it, the extra money was really nice. Now that I am employed full time - besides being fun and exciting - it is very tiring.

Shortly after returning to the full time working world, my hubby was laid off from a job he had performed for almost 20 years. That can really rock a persons world, to say the least. The job market in Oregon is still pretty sketchy, so we continue to "make do". Thank heavens for Laurie Miller Designs - it has made all the difference to our family. I am grateful for the opportunity to do my art and be able to allow it to help bring in an income. Recently, after finishing a wonderful online class with Kelly Rae, I have been consumed and overwhelmed with marketing ideas. As grateful as I am for my day job (health insurance is a very good thing) - I wish that I could spend all day, every day creating art. It is hard to balance. How do other people do it? I would love to hear ideas.

And as for my summer? Oh how I miss those lazy days of laying on the banks of one the many rivers in our area when the temperatures heat up. Or watching the kids play with their friends while their mom and I played art. Now I have to make sure and schedule time to slow down and enjoy the long summer days. Maybe that's a good thing - I sometimes forgot to enjoy them when they were the "norm". So let's all raise a tall glass of cold diet pepsi (my drink of choice) and salute summer. It'll be gone before we know it.

In the meantime - here are a few new pieces . . .I will have these at my upcoming shows. The first is the Sandy Mt. Festival in Sandy, Oregon this weekend. If you are in the area - be sure and come play for the day. This is a fun one!

And seriously - how do you balance work, art (or whatever your thing is) and life. . .? Suggestions are highly encouraged!