Without My Art Journal

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my art journal is a bit of a safety net for me. I feel SAFE taking risks on it. It’s fluid and playful and scribbling and messy and yet I get a chance to be a bit daring and then I can close the book and no one has to look at it.
I’ve known for a long time that the freedom I feel from ‘playing’ as I call it, in my art journal NEEDS to come out on actual pieces. If I want to show anything ever, I would like to be more comfortable with myself so that I can just make something without the journal. Something that has the same playful, effortless feel as working in that book.

It’s starting to get easier.

Lately I’ve been in the middle of a lot of little things OUTSIDE of the art journal. Yessss. This one I started out a bit cautiously. I could feel the apprehension building in my hands and arms as I worked. But when I have my art journal open close by, I’m reminded that I can create, I am an artist, and I just need to trust and relax. The more I worked, the more I began listening to those little intuitive hits that always bubble up when I’m working in the journal. I began relaxing into it. It felt so amazing to conquer that! I can feel easy and light no matter what or how I am creating. I can feel confident about myself and what I am doing. Ahhhh!
Ah! So so so appreciative of all the ideas that are spilling over in my brain. I am loving experiencing each and every one of them!

Sending you all love and joy on your creative journey!

Leandro Erlich

I’ve always had a thing for large art installations that only work in expensive museums because who are we kidding, no one is going to purchase one for their house.
But how incredibly amazing!

I just discovered this guy, and love that his work defies gravity and introduces illusions on a large scale. Woa. I love his work! It questions reality right away.

http://www.leandroerlich.com.ar/

https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/jealous-curator-1130239/leandro-erlich-again-already-2455708565

 

 

Answers are Sometimes Hidden Gems

I’m sitting here on a Tuesday earlish afternoon and thinking about trust. It’s so funny how when things are going great or even well, trust isn’t much to really think about. But what about when things are rocky? That’s the real test.

You know when you’re in the right place at the right time but you aren’t sure of all the logistics? When you don’t see how the pieces are going to possibly fit together?

Most people freak out.

Ahhh! I don’t have all the answers! Ahhh! I’m not in control. I can’t do this!

This is:
scary or
hard or
daunting or
NEW and I want to run away!

I think where I am definitely seeing this show up the most right now is trusting that there is

ALWAYS A SOLUTION.

Always. I’ve struggled in the past with thinking in black and white, it’s either all this or all that,…etc. And yet the older (and hopefully wiser) I get, I am realizing more and more that

LIFE ISN’T LIKE THAT.

I think life, in all situations has solutions that are these hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we may need to step away and take care of our basic needs before we can see them. But they are always there, lingering in the shadows ready to be revealed if we are open to jumping and trusting.

I’m being tested a lot regarding many new mom responsibilities with my step kids and cray cray stuff coming up  in regards to my husband’s ex-wife. Lately I feel like I’m barely coming up for air. It’s scary and a lot of work and I have a lot of feelings to work through , oh and by the way, where has my own time gone??

But I really do believe there are a lot of hidden gems along the way for me to experience as well.

I’m expecting to become better at trusting the universe, but also:

time management,
patience,
being present,
remembering the purpose,
remembering my purpose,
making sure that taking care of me is most important,
feeling my feelings, and
knowing that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed because I know I know I know that there will be solutions right around the corner.

Supa Fine Canvases, Finally!

Years ago I thought about having a surface where I could do my tiny little drawings on as well as some acrylic painting. I don’t like painting on canvas without gessoing the hell out of it, because lots of canvas texture just isn’t my thing. I thought about it, and maybe did a little thinking, but I wasn’t prepared to figure it out.

Anyway, this time I decided to figure it out only now I am much more patient and curious. I decided to glue a pretty thick mixed media paper to the canvas. After lots of trial and error, and starting over 5-6 times, but I got it to work seamlessly! Ha!!! It’s stuck to the canvas with no bubbles, and the edges have been covered in white texture paste to hide the paper seam. Though it’s not quite finished, it’s only taken a couple of hours and will be done in no time. Ahhhhhhh!

Now I can work on canvases of all shapes and sized with soft deliciously fine paper over the top! Yesssssssssssssss!

The Power of Being Seen

I told my stepson this summer that I was going to start giving him more attention for things he does that we APPRECIATE. Now, when you read that you may think that we must be a couple of strict, picky, parents. We’re not. But especially with two separate households, the kids can pick up on a lot of habits that wouldn’t be my choice. ahah I’m laughing to myself as I read this. No doubt in my mind that I’ve viewed ‘my choices’ for their lives as the ‘best choice.’

Anyway, I noticed over the summer that he was used to getting more attention for being disruptive, impatient, zoning out, and not following through. I think it sort of became a habit for us to notice and point out those things, so of course it only kept him bringing those attributes on even stronger. I suddenly saw it all for the first time, and made a promise that from now on we were going to notice all the wonderful loving things he does instead.

I may have already written about this, I don’t remember. I haven’t read back on my past blog posts. If I did, bear with me, this leads into where I’m actually headed. ahhah

Back to the story: He was surprised, and could hardly make eye contact when I started complimenting him so often. And I gotta admit, it wasn’t easy at first. I found little things and mentioned them to him. I said things like, ‘Wow, I appreciate that you moved out of the way when that person was walking right in front of you. That shows how aware you are…’ or ‘I’m grateful that you let me see what you’re working on. I love that you want to share things that are important to you.’

After about a day of this, he started to change. A little at a time he began showing up differently. He started using the manners I had asked him to use, he began putting his napkin on his lap in a restaurant, he even brought us kind little gifts that showed he was thinking of us.

He is one week away from starting at his new school, and has already began his computer programming classes, and he has transformed. I feel like I’m getting to know this precious being for the first time. For the past week, as we are putting him to bed, he looks up at me and says, ‘So what was your favorite part of the day for you?’ and ‘What are you most looking forward to?’ He’s courteous and playful and silly and happy and sharing his feelings. Last night I sat on the couch wrapped in my robe with his little head resting on my shoulder. He kept reaching for my hand to hold. I had no idea this little guy was so loving, so kind, so generous and thoughtful.

Isn’t it funny? We always assume that when a kid is ‘acting out,’ they need to learn to be BETTER to be DIFFERENT. But what if we just need to see them more clearly? Because when he’s getting his needs met, he WANTS to be kind, and helpful, and even patient.

Even beyond him, I’m loving the transformation with me. He’s only responding to the changes I’ve decided to make, and it’s completely transforming the way he sees the world and the way I see him.

Ahhhh! Love this parenting thingy.

My Life as a Bonus Mom

This all used to be really hard. In my head, these two little beings already had a mom and a dad and I was this new person swimming somewhere in the middle of everything. I didn’t know what I was doing and constantly felt like I didn’t have a place.

For so long I did not see myself as a mother. I felt like more like an imposter, a projected image of what I thought I should be and yet having no clue at all. I also felt that they would never love me as much as their ‘real parents.’

I was embarrassed that ‘real’ parents would see me as a fake mom or that I just couldn’t possibly understand what it means to be someone’s mother.

But I held on.
I breathed.
I asked for help.
I believed deep inside that this must be for a reason. I must be here for a reason.

And then, fast forward 5+ years and here I sit a completely changed woman.

Without a doubt, I have become a mother.

I have rocked both of them when they have been in tears.
I tell them no, respectfully.
We have worked through some really really tough situations together.
Sometimes I have to remember to be kind.
They roll their eyes when I sing 80’s ballads at the top of my lungs.
There are moments when they are upset and needing to hear something that will help. I open my mouth and pray that I will show up.
I fiercely stand up for them.
I am learning to be more patient.
I hold their hands and remind them I will always love them no matter what.
I teach them consciously but they teach me unconsciously far, far more.
My intention is to truly see them as best as I can. And when I’ve done that, I will learn how to see them even better.

I had no idea I had what it took to be a mother and yet here I am. And you know what? It doesn’t matter at all anymore that they already have a mom. Who says one mother is enough anyway?

Every single day, hard days or easy, I thank the Universe and God for this family. My ‘place’ had been waiting for me all along, and there is no ‘place’ in the world I would rather be.

Doodle Ideas

I’ve been leafing through my art journal for inspiration for painting this gaga pit. Here are a couple of ideas that I’m going to springboard off of for the project. I love to draw with tiny black pens, but I’ll be PAINTING instead. Not just painting, but LARGE AND IN CHARGE PAINTING. Can I do it? Hmmmm Actually having some ideas helps me wrap my head around the project.

Yes, I can do this. Breathe Jackie.

Gaga Pit Galore!

My attempt to write in this blog every single day hasn’t quite been working out. ahahhah But I think the minute that I get hard on myself, I need to remember that I haven’t quite taken all the other things on my list into consideration. And! On top of that, I can adjust my goals at anytime. If they aren’t reachable at this exact moment, that’s okay, lets tweak them.

Something really exciting happened over the last couple of weeks. I know a woman that founded a private school. I don’t know her well, but she came to my first Creative Women workshop and I connected with her a little bit. She told me that she’s got a gaga pit at the school that the kids love, and she’d like to HAVE IT PAINTED.

Whhhhhhhhat.

Normally I would have listened to that sadly familiar, mean little voice inside that said things like, “You’re not good enough for this project…’ or ‘You never finish things, how could you possibly commit to this,…’ or ‘You’ve never done anything this big, there’s no way you can do it well.’

But I decided not to.

It’s not that I didn’t HEAR the voice, I most certainly did. But I didn’t hear it as the truth, I heard it for what it was.

It was fear.

It was the voice of a frightened little Jackie trying her best to protect me. That’s how my fear generally looks to me, when I really give it a chance to be seen.

Why is our fear there anyway? Is it always to protect us? For me I would say usually, yes. It knows situations I’ve been in over the years that were risky and she’s gunna show up again and again to warn me to STAY SAFE.

Now if I remember that that is all she’s doing, I can be loving towards the voice. I can listen for a minute, and really feel her inside of me. The angst, the anxiety, the fear,.. but then it’s up to me what I do next. Lately I’ve been sending her love and thanking her for protecting me, but that I’m not going to let her call the shots. And then I go out and take a risk.

Back to the story. Normally I would have put off calling this person to discuss the gaga pit because the voices would have been too loud telling me not too. Reminding me I’m not the person she wants. But this time I called her right away and arranged a date to meet. After I saw the project I knew it was for me. It was so wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone and yet there was this funny little glimmer of joy that kept creeping up.

What if I’m ready? 

The gaga pit is an 8 sided octagon that is 15 feet across. It’s used for a game where an entire class can fit inside the walls of the pit. Each side (panel) is about 4 feet x 3 1/2 feet. Now I have never painted on something so large in my life, but I wanna try. I believe I can.

The funniest part of this is that I would do this for FREE. No matter how many hours I may spend sitting on a little stool tediously painting each panel, I would do it for nothing. Ha! In fact I’m honored that someone is allowing me to ‘play’ with the pit. ahahha It doesn’t seem fair for someone to pay me for doing something that I will just devour with joy.

Anyway! This is the next project! Can you believe it? I can’t wait to get started, and even though I have moments of fear still seeping in from time to time, I am trusting that I. Can. Do. This. And then I will. 🙂

 

Tanya Schultz

I was checking out Pinterest the other day, and came across this wild little lady. Woa. Check out her work! Ah! It’s so bright and silly and playful. I love it when people don’t need to take themselves so seriously. Brings back all kinds of Willy Wonka and Candy Land memories….

http://www.boredpanda.com/candy-floor-installation-pin-and-pop-tanya-schultz/

http://firstwefeast.com/eat/2015/03/artist-tanya-schultz-creates-psychedelic-candy-art-installations

http://www.ufunk.net/en/artistes/pip-and-pop-tanya-schultz/

 

 

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