Ink and Paper and Detail, Oh My!

So I get really excited with newness. I love the replenishing wave of a fresh passion, it’s so invigorating. But I’ve realized through the years that I’ve had a tendency to NOT FINISH what I start because of this. I love the first bursts of creativity, but it tends to wane for some reason. I’ve realized that maybe it’s because I haven’t known how to end what I’m currently working on, or just dislike feeling stuck with any part of it. All valid reasons, but having a bunch of unfinished art work sitting around isn’t going to work for me anymore.

Lately when I get a burst of a new idea, I jot it down quickly in my art journal, relishing the moment I get to try it out, but not giving in to the temptation.

However. I could. Not. Stop. Thinking about this one. I was having these vivid daydreams of sitting on the floor surrounded with liquid ink and tiny black pens and just allowing whatever my fingers decided to create, to come forth.

So, I stopped what I was doing and started this. Sometimes you just have to follow the passion. Ah! Loving working on this!!

The only thing is that I was so excited to start that I didn’t properly prepare the watercolor paper. So the paper rippled, and now needs to have some books stacked on top to straighten it out. Next time I have gotta take a deep breath,..

and take my time!

Does anyone have any great suggestions for 140lbs. hot press watercolor paper? I’ve heard putting it in the bathtub for awhile works well…. Love some advice!

Jump Scared and Grow into Brave

For years I knew I wanted to do super awesome things and for some reason I thought they were literally going to be dropped on my porch. Like someone would maybe even stop me on the side of the road and say, “Excuse me, are you Jackie? We have an exciting life for you! Just follow me!”

Obviously that didn’t happen, but I spent a lot of time WAITING FOR IT.

I knew the things I sorta kinda wanted but my FEAR was way too great to do anything physical about it.

Slowly through the years I’ve realized a bit about getting what we want. Even if we have the best intentions for receiving the life we want, but we refuse to take any risks at all,.. WE WON’T GET IT. We won’t.

If we refuse to quit the job that is draining the life out of us, or say no way to standing up for ourselves, or taking a class to learn a new skill we have really been wanting,.. if we aren’t willing to RISK, and to be BRAVE,….

WE. WILL. NOT. CHANGE.

I’m totally in my element now, making art. Making art for me, isn’t a risk, it’s a necessity. But I am DEFINITELY making sure to take little risks everyday.

Here are the risks I’ve been taking lately:

  • Writing this blog – Puts my voice out there! My innermost feelings and joys and pains. It feels vulnerable and not always that comfortable.
  • Making a Facebook business page of my art – I literally cringed when I started inviting people to like it. Ah! I feel so exposed! ughaserk!
  • Posting Doodle-a-Day photos for Instagram – I’ve never never been one to show my work, it feels like I’m being a show off. And yet, art is my heart and soul, and I’m no longer going to hide.
  • Saying I’m an artist – There’s a part of me that feels uncomfortable saying I’m an artist, and yet I know that BEING AN ARTIST sings through my veins, and so I suck it up, and say it anyway.

With each of these circumstances, my heart starts racing, my palms get sweaty, I feel nauseous and fiercely anxious. None of them are easy for me. And yet,… I know that this is where I will grow. I think back to all the times that I thought I might take a jump and then quickly replaced that thought with this one:

‘That sounds really scary, I think I’ll wait until I’m braver.’

I realize now, that we don’t just become brave. Bravery doesn’t just appear so the jump is easier.

If we jump scared, then we grow into being brave.  

Schedule Emotional Drains?

Wow! What a weekend! This is the first one in a long time that actually FELT like a weekend. Know what I mean?

Sometimes we have these ridiculously stressful weeks and then convince ourselves that the weekend will be the time to finally really relax, and yet it becomes just another couple of days where we are running around stressed out chasing the feeling of relief.

This has been a huge part of my life lately. My hubby and I have had some pretty stressful, exhausting things going on with the kids and his ex-wife. So we have done what any concerned, aware, loving parents would do,..

we’ve talked about it obsessively.

I think in my head, I felt that if we aren’t talking about the issues over and over and over again until they are SOLVED, then we must be:

Living under a rock

Hiding

Avoiding

Afraid.

So,.. I pushed it. All the time, with no break. Anytime we saw each other we would start talking about these extremely heavy, exhausting PROBLEMS, ISSUES.

Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? 

But they didn’t get any better. I realized that I was so drained, emotionally, mentally and physically, but

THE ISSUES STILL REMAINED. 

I started to not feel particularly close to my hubby. I didn’t feel at all at peace. I didn’t feel full of energy, and I wasn’t noticing things I am grateful for.

Once we both discussed our feelings about all of this,

something magical happened.

We got a fuckin’ BRILLIANT idea. I think it’s the best we have had all year.

If talking about certain things is exhausting, and yet to some extent we still need to do it, why not create a schedule where it’s okay to do it in?

So here’s the deal: We decided that Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5pm -6pm is our talk time about the difficult stuff.

NO MORE THAN THAT. 

Can I even tell you what this has done to our lives! We have only been doing it for 5 days, and all ready I feel like a completely different person. I am lighter and happier and more joyful and so so grateful! I feel like I have my wonderful relationship back to where it was.

And I realized something else.

Before, I felt like if I WASN’T talking about the difficult stuff 24/7, then I was avoiding. But now, since there is a PLAN, a SYSTEM, I don’t feel that way at all!

I feel in control of my life.

So this situation reminded me that I am in control. It’s MY happiness, it’s MY joy, it’s MY life. I can make choices on when and who I want to discuss personal stuff with. And so far, I must say our schedule is

LIFE CHANGING.

This weekend was unbelievably connecting and fun and playful and open and I am so in love. We gave ourselves a much needed EMOTIONAL BREAK! Yesssssssssssssss!!

Sooooo grateful for intuition!!

Happy Monday! xo

Doin’ It Yoga Style

I have this extreme love/hate relationship with this hardcore yoga class called yoga sculpt. The temperature is turned up so high your body begins dripping with sweat, and then along with some yoga moves, you are pumping iron

WITH WEIGHTS.

The first time I did it I ended up stopping in the middle, totally done, gasping for breath on the floor and thought I was going to die. Seriously. I have worked out my entire life and yet this is the absolute hardest class I have ever done.

Now this is where things get interesting. Sure the class is hard, sure it’s like a fucking nightmare, lez be honest. But it does end! The intervals end, the downward dogs end, the horrible squats, all end.

It was a habit of mine for most of the time I was in this class to STOP when it got horrible. My chest starts burning, and my limbs shake so hard I think they will fall off, and there is so much sweat on my face that my contacts are swimming. So I would stop.

I started to believe that I COULDN’T go on.

Stopping became a habit.

 

And then I realized something.

I’m stopping before the miracle even happens. I’m stopping when it gets tough, when I feel super uncomfortable,..

I was outta there.

This didn’t just happen in yoga for me, it was like my whole life was laid out on the mat.

I’VE DONE THIS BEFORE IN SO MANY AREAS OF MY LIFE.

Life gets horrible, or feels nearly impossible and I checked out.

So what if I start to do things differently in this yoga class? Maybe there’s a chance that I start to become more aware of it in my life. What I have also realized is that it’s okay to slow down. What if instead of STOPPING, I get really present and breathe in compassion and MOVE SLOWER,

BUT DON’T STOP?

I’m not always perfect about this little tweak. Sometimes I still get so mind bobblingly ill that I have to stop, and that is okay. But I would say in general I push myself more.

Isn’t this true about LIFE? All parts of LIFE? Creating art or having relationships or finding a great job or doing really anything? If we QUIT when it hurts or feels yucky, what happens? We miss out. The art won’t get looked at, we won’t get that great job, we won’t work out relationship issues,

NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

I’m focusing on slowing down if I need to, but NOT STOPPING. I can do this, I can get through life (and HORRIBLY AMAZING yoga). There is always an ebb and flow, and it always gets better. I can do this, and so can you. We can move through even when it’s hard.

 

 

It’s just a belief

 

Every New Years my hubby and I hide away in the mountains and do some intense inner work. One of the things we look at are our beliefs, since we know we can change them. One of the activities I did just a couple months ago during that time in the cabin, was to look at all of my beliefs surrounding the concept of….

THE STARVING ARTIST. dun dun dunnnnnnn!

I hadn’t realized it, but through the years, I’d picked up some pretty horrible lies about being an artist. I believed them FOR SO MANY YEARS. Now, it’s time to change them.

  1. I remember hearing in regards to making work that ‘EVERYTHING HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING NEW.’ This belief caused me to become doubtful of my intuition, to question my enthusiasm, and to replay over and over again the REASON for making what my heart wanted so badly to make.
  2.  I believed that the only way to ‘become a successful artist,’ is you need to BEAT THE PAVEMENT with your work. It’s our JOB to walk uphill both ways to galleries, to get our work shown. Ughalkjevo! I’m so drained even thinking about it. Ugh! That doesn’t sound fun, where’s the fun??
  3. I remember hearing (and then believing) that I would need an art degree to be an artist, but then I’d need to TEACH art to get by. I remember the exact moment when I realized this and knew……I NEVER WANT TO TEACH ART. I WANT TO MAKE IT.
  4. If someone would have asked me the characteristics ‘OF AN ARTIST’ even 4-5 years ago, I would have said things like: lazy, irresponsible, late, self-absorbed, unreliable, etc. etc. etc. All the things that I certainly don’t want to be (and actually don’t think I am). But the idea of even being considered AN ARTIST, would have meant that I would have automatically put myself into this category as well.

These are just some of the false beliefs that I learned from a variety of people and situations. They all sound so crazy now, and it’s not anyone’s fault that I picked them up along the way. But no wonder I stopped wanting to be an artist, right? I mean, if I really believed all of these (which I did), and continued to forge ahead with this ARTIST DREAM then I’d be creating a life I. DID. NOT. WANT.

Why does society have such a WRONG idea of what being an artist is, or could be? If I would have realized how much easier life is in general to JUST BE ME, I would have said FUCK YOU to those beliefs long ago.

But at least I can do that now. I can create new beliefs, such as these:

  1. I am here to create work
  2. I can choose my thoughts and create the life I want.
  3. Being an artist is what I do, I can choose my characteristics.
  4. I make money creating art.
  5. My life flows easily because I am being ME fully and completely

Now these feel a lot better!

What are some of your beliefs you’d like to change?

 

Have I? Have I? Have I?

No matter what I used to do with my time, I’d never feel like I did enough. Anyone ever experience that?

And it was so silly because even if I had a specific LIST of what I wanted to ACCOMPLISH and lets say I did everything on that list, at the end of the day, I still had this nagging feeling of not doing enough, not being enough, not.. ENOUGH.

It’s interesting, where did that start? Are we taught this? Are some of us taught that? All of us? Did society do this? Does it stem from a deeply rooted belief that we AREN’T ENOUGH? That our core isn’t okay? That our decisions with HOW we spend our time isn’t quite right?

And even that, where did it start? Is it not trusting our intuition with what we need when we need it, and constantly feeling like we need to check in with others to see if

WE ARE OKAY,

IF WE ARE ENOUGH?

As you can probably see, I like to dig for the answers. I want to KNOW.

Anyway, I may never know THE ANSWER,

but I’m starting to just take the pressure off myself a bit more everyday, and I think part of that is because I’m embracing

Who. I. Am.

FINALLY!!

I realized, that regardless of my LIST, if I can spend more time in the moment, whatever that looks like to me, at the end of the day I feel more FULFILLED and less anxious about not ACCOMPLISHING ENOUGH.

Thank Gawd for that. Because what’s the point of life anyway? I’d like to think it’s to be happy and have peace and joy and play and growth, and truly be able to RELISH all of it, eat it with a spoon, gulp it down, with tears rolling down my cheeks,

FEEL ALL OF IT.

LIVE ALL OF IT.

 

Kitten on a Leash

20170220_161556It’s just another Thursday, walking my cat down the street.

They said it couldn’t be done, but my desire for a small furry animal to walk with me (and then hopefully learn to jaunt), outweighed the obvious absurdity of even attempting such a task.

We’d practiced for months inside using a leash and now he’s a full blown front lawn explorer. Yesss!!!! We. Frickin’. Did it.

This is a pic of my bonus daughter taking Nova out and about. They are such a good team!

 

 

Marissa Quinn

So I was browsing through Instagram the other day and came across this amazing artist. She makes a lot of huge pen and ink drawings using images of animals and water. They are spiritually charged, intense, meditative, and emotive. Her detailed work is absolutely mind blowing.

Check her out!
http://www.marissaquinn-art.com/shop

Okay you do it, thank you!

Helloooooo Monday! Oh my gosh you should see the RAIN! It seriously won’t stop. I feel both amazing and a little like I’m over it. We usually get like 4 days a year of this kind of thing, but this year the rain HAS. NOT. STOPPED. It’s almost like we live in the Midwest or something. Sheesh!

Okay so I was in the studio this morning, after having made the decision to CUT into my humongous 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper. Yes, now is the time. It’s glorious thick paper, and I want to use it!

Anyway.  I was sitting out there on my hands and knees with my X-acto knife and my pencil and trying to measure this 6 foot paper with a t-square (which is a horrible idea on the ground, aka doesn’t work). And I realized something.

20170227_110310.jpg

I hate cutting.

I do. I mean I really hate it. I don’t ever get it straight. I hardly understand rulers to begin with.

I start sweating.

I get annoyed.

I just want it to be over. Ahhhahasdolrihaeksfv nalkdergn!!!!!!

This. Is. So. Stressful!!!!!!

 

Then I suddenly thought,’I WONDER IF SOMEONE CAN DO THIS FOR ME??’

Whhhhhat!!? It’s like the heavens opened up

I used to ALWAYS think I need to do everything on my own, but not anymore! If we are all geniuses at something, why not use other people’s genius to get us where we wanna be, right?

So here’s the deal, I’m taking my big ass role of expensive paper over to Fed EX, and THEY are cutting it for me!

Ha!! This is the best decision I’ve made this year.

Now I can get back to making art. Yesssss!

 

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