Thursday, August 30, 2007

My last day at the Wild Rumpus.

Today was my last day at the bookstore and, although I was expecting to feel sad and sentimental and the whole nine yards...I, instead, feel a tremendous sense of gratitude, relief, and celebration.

Vinny came home with flowers and then took me out to this restaurant for dinner where I generally reveled over my new found freedom and feelings of possibility.

Today I am celebrating the room I've made for art making and the step I've taken towards mySelf.

Hopefully I can write more about this tomorrow, but the Kama Sutra Mama I had with dinner (a cocktail, that is) seems to have gone to my head.
mmmm....

yummmmm...!

Here's to wild new beginnings!!!

my friend's a whore....

...a blog traffic whore, that is.

Check her out here. She's having a contest, but be forewarned: there is no better chicken name. :)-

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Obsession?

Ok, I admit it. I'm obsessed with painting the cup shape form. I love the way it curves and catches light. I love the way I am, each time, inspired by whatever cup I happen to be drinking from. When I started this painting-a-day project, I that thought for sure I would be working alla prima, but it turns out that I am having much more fun working on 2 or 3 or even 4 paintings at a time. While one painting is drying I'll start working on another. If I start getting fatigued by the details of one, I'll shift my focus to another and, in this way, my mind stays fresh and engaged for much longer. Actually, it makes it hard to stop! I think V. might even be getting used to going to bed without me.

It amazes me that I am no where near getting tired of this subject matter. Coffee and tea cups are like shoes--they reflect something about the person that drinks from them. Speaking of shoes...hmmm, maybe my next subject?? :)- Oh, I love how one thing leads to the next, leads to the next, leads to the next.

I feel more alive than I have in quite some time.

"Sunny Blue Bird Cup"
6x6 Original Acrylic
on Gallery Stretched Canvas


* * *

"Stanley for Girls"
6x6 Original Acrylic
on Gallery Stretched Canvas

* * *

"Grunge Mug"
6x6 Original Acrylic
on Gallery Stretched Canvas

* * *
These paintings, among others, are for sale in my Etsy store at Patch of Sky. And there are more in my studio waiting to be photographed--they're coming soon! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

random and overdue thoughts to dear fiends,

I've been trying to write a post about the lists and journaling I've been doing for the past couple of weeks. However, I've been so busy actually doing, that I haven't had the time to sit down and write about it here.

Hmmm...where to start? Well, at one point I wrote a post in response to a comment that Melba left. A couple days later I read a post by Jamie about Jack Canfield's "rule of 5."

Shortly after reading Melba's and Jamie's words, I decided to take both their ideas and combine them. Melba's advice to ask the Universe for help really made a difference in that it made it easier for me to get things done in a more positive and holistic way. I felt that Jamie's lists of fives would help me to break down my ambitions into something a little bit more manageable.

I'm on the third week of making these lists and am realizing that it not only works incredibly well, but that it is also a learning process....a learning process in which I am learning about myself, that is. These past couple weeks I've been more productive than I have been in months. I owe a lot of this productivity to these lists. But list-making can become dangerous if not kept in check (for ridiculously overachieving nutcases like myself anyway)--and so even my lists have been evolving in ways to become more balanced. The part that seems to be helping me out the most is the self-understanding I'm arriving at that I am doing my best and the rest, well, I am handing it over to the universe.

But wait....there are so many other things I want to talk about too. This must be why it's taken me so long to write this post--my thoughts are starting to bottleneck with the restriction of language. Perhaps it's impossible for me to be able to tell you everything. But I want to try anyway, because these things have been so incredibly helpful for me. I want to extend these thoughts as far out into the universe as possible so that they might help the next person too.

But already I see that I need to back up even further and that it will be hereby impossible to get all of it into one post.

While on a long over-due vacation earlier in the summer, I read a book called The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo. It is a fictional biography of a woman, written from "the divergent recollections and reflections of the people who knew--or thought they knew--her best." It is the story of a woman named Athena--a woman who lived from the center of her heart and taught others, through example, how to do the same. The story spoke to me in a powerful way because it reminded me of someone. My former self? An old friend? Well, actually, it was both of those people. But that doesn't matter so much as the fact that reading this book reawakened something in me that had grown sleepy and sadly complacent.

Next I read Dog Years by Mark Doty and that book reawakened an inner poetry that had also grown sleepy. It was a book about loss, but more importantly, it was a book about life and love and hope.

These days I'm reading a combination of books, but the one I'm most excited about is Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I came to this book through Melba's reviews and, I'll admit, the first time I picked it up I decided to pass on it because it looked a bit too self-helpy and hokey for my taste. But I kept thinking about it--I mean, it just wouldn't leave my mind. Thoughts about the book just wouldn't leave me alone. I'll tell you, I'm glad that Melba introduced it to me and that Mardougrrl pushed me closer to buying the book, and that the book itself worked its way deep enough into my head to get me, in the end, to bring home a copy of my own.

Also, I've started a vision board. What I mean by that, if you're not familiar with the term, is that I went to Target, bought a cheap (but attractive) corkboard, and have started filling it with images of what I desire my life to look like. I expected it to fill it with all sorts of different things, but there seems to be only two topics I'm interested in right now: 1) Painting and 2) Houses. The corkboard is now filling up with postcards announcing canvas sales (because they have such great photos of studios on them) and an art school (dreaming of continuing ed. classes), homes, and peaceful hangouts. The board also includes words like "rooted" and "believe."

I decided a few weeks ago that it was imperative that I find a "real" job so that we can afford a house. However, at about the same time, I also started doing a painting a day. Don't ask me what possessed me to do the painting-a-day, but I surprised myself and started anyway. And now I'm on my third week and have already sold several of those paintings. I started to feel doubtful about the whole thing and then I sold two more.

My journals from this past year are filled with intentions. And each time I state my intentions, it always seems to include the notion that I want to earn an income (enough to support our desire to own a house) through creative pursuits. Selling my paintings on a regular basis? It seems too good to be true...but is it starting to happen? *a smile creeps across my face at the mere thought of it.*

Last week I decided to take the leap of faith and not only purchase a case of canvases, but to quit my job at the bookstore. Did I really do that? I mean, the job part? Yes, I did. My last day is on Thursday and, although I'll miss it there a lot, I feel downright wonderful about finally acting on something that I've known I needed to do for a long time. The best part? I feel like I have just taken a major step in creating space for whatever it is that's about to happen next.

Today, V. took another small leap of faith and bought me a pen tablet. I've been wanting one for web design for some time now (and, omg, they are so cool!!). It's money that we certainly could have used for something else, but having recently started our own web design business (sidenote: our web site is still in progress), there have already been plenty of times that it would have come in useful. Anyway, we were sitting at the kitchen table about to open the box up--feeling a mixture of excitement and guilt and hopefulness--when we took a quick break to crack open a shared fortune cookie (the restaurant only gave us one and so we decided we'd share the fortune) and the fortune read:

"You are headed in the right direction. Trust your instincts."

Of course, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg; I'm finding it impossible to report to you the entire series of thoughts and events that have led me to these words. Last week, from Ask and It Is Given, I underlined:
"You ask through your attention, through your wanting, through your desire--that is the asking (whether you desire it to happen, or if you desire it not to happen, you are asking...). You do not have to use your words. You just have to feel it in your being: I desire this. I adore this. I appreciate this, and so on. That desire is the beginning of all action."
And so I've started to take action in the best way I know possible: by doing my best to follow my heart, by showing up in my studio every day, by keeping my heart open to the possibilities, by breathing deeply, by making the effort to maintain confidence in myself, by putting myself out into the world in a way that moves me closer to the things I desire.

When I am doing the things I love, I can feel myself literally shine and I feel the genuineness in the way people respond to this feeling of well being. After all, aren't we all attracted to people who are in a balanced, healthy state of mind?

I wish I had the words to write about these thoughts more clearly--but, right now, it seems that I'm simply busy living the change that is taking place inside of me. This isn't anything that has happened over night. It has been actively building upon itself ever since I moved to the city a year ago. It has been building and there is no end to the journey, no final goal or destination--rather, it is a process towards..........Me.

And, you know... I just want to say thank you to those of you who inspire me in more ways than you could possibly realize. You change my world for the better every day. ;)

With love,
Jessie

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Etsy Shop Now Open!!

GRAND OPENING!!!

Hello everyone!! I am excited to announce that my new Etsy shop, Patch Of Sky, is now OPEN! I hope you'll stop by and check it out. I'll be posting new items on a regular basis so, please, come back again and again and again!

My latest obsessions have been coffee cups, skyscapes, and the odd beauties that I unexpectedly stumble upon in my daily experiences of the world. These days, I'm feeling like I could paint forever.

I chose the name "Patch Of Sky" for my etsy because a couple of years ago, during a particularly difficult time in my life, I started looking towards the sky for healing and inspiration. I would always try to memorize its details--but, of course, it was impossible. The sky is an ever-changing thing. Perhaps this is part of its beauty. The sky contains space. It contains breath. It contains peace. Looking upward is a habit that stuck with me. To me, painting is another form of sky-gazing--and it causes me to fall in love with this world of color over and over and over. Color is endless.

I hope you enjoy what you see and that
you'll stop by to visit often! :)


You can find my shop at:
www.patchofsky.etsy.com
Lots of love,
Jessie

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two totally different topics...

ACTION SHOTS!
It's been raining for 3 days straight. The four-leggeds are getting restless.
Rain and dogs...oh, what a muddy mixture!

My wolfie, Anu, and little Louis are quite the natural pair.
Caution: serious action shots ahead!

Oooh, look at my *ahem* beautiful wolfie...fangs and all!








"Wait a minute...I need a rest."

"ok...GO!"

OOOh!



Peacefully zonkered once again.
* * * * * * *

And on a completely different note...

I spent the afternoon at a salon getting my hair and eyebrows tended to.
Check it out! I'm a new person!!!

BEFORE

AFTER
***
I'm naturally blond and have had the
horrible-growing-my-hair-out-disaster look
for waaay too long. This is so hard to get used to, but I am soooo liking the change! :) And to prove it, here's another "before" and "after." ha! Is that really me?

BEFORE

AFTER

I've always wanted a bob cut and dark hair; I've even considered treating myself to an oh-so-cool wig. Incognito. Hmmm...maybe I'll change my name too. Something dark and sexy like VĂ©ronique or Athena or Indigo or.... any suggestions? ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

a painting a day: week 1

Ok...here's a long overdo preview of the paintings I've been working on this past week. The quality of these photos lack severely, but once I get some better photos taken they'll be added to my new Etsy shop. A link will be posted soon! :) These days I am compulsively attracted to the beauty in everyday objects (hence, the subject matter of my recent paintings). My world has been transformed. Nothing is safe from examination. Everything is to be appreciated. The simpler the object, the better. I am in search of everything that is normally overlooked. Good god, there'll be no end!


"Urban Nature"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas


"Corporate Junkie"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas


"Drink Me"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas


"Untitled...but Espresso Tastes Best In This One"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas

"Restaurant Mug"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas


"Firefly"
6"x12"
Acrylic on Canvas


"Sacred Morning"
6"x6"
Acrylic on Canvas

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

sleeping dog love medicine.

I'm happy to report that by some strange twist of luck I didn't have to be to work until noon. What did I do with all my extra time? I SLEPT. And slept. And slept. Louis, the pup, must have been tired too, because he was zonkered out next to me the whole morning (although this photo is of him zonkered out on the floor next to me right now as I type this). Louis has grown a lot these days. He's 5 months old and a solid 50-60 pounds--lanky legs and all. I swear, he grows more every day. Anyway, we've worked out a system of sleeping together that results in an interesting tangle of legs. I especially love it when his leg is thrown up into the air over mine, blissfully unaware of everything except absolute comfort. He's such a snuggler, I can't help but be completely in love with him--even if he does take up more room on the couch than me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

color theory:

I've started working on my fifth painting in four days and, I must say, it feels incredible. I feel like a part of me has returned to myself. I know I've mentioned this before, but this past year I haven't really "allowed" myself to get too far involved with painting for fear that I wouldn't accomplish anything else. Don't get me wrong, I've done plenty of artwork, but always for someone else (for work or commission). Luckily, I came to my senses and (finally) said screw it to my self-imposed ban on painting.

My newly established rebellion includes working on little 6"x6" canvases. They're manageable. I can complete a painting in an hour or two, the only problem being that I don't want to stop! I take the dogs for a walk or drive to the store or walk across the kitchen and am overcome with "oh! I could paint that! and that! and that!..." I love it. I love it when I am able to fall far enough into the creative chasms of my mind, whether it be through writing or painting, that absolutely everything and anything becomes potential material. I especially love it when , even when I close my eyes, all I see is a shifting world of color. In this way, I think my brain has a tendency to get saturated. My brain is starting to feel absolutely soppy with color. Feels good.

In other news, I'm quite positive that I'm going to die from pneumonia or whatever it is that seems to have taken over my body. Today I had a coughing fit so severe that I was sure my eyeballs might pop out or that I'd crack a rib. Luckily, neither happened. But, honestly, somethings gotta give. I've been under a lot of pressure lately to accomplish a whole lot all at once. I would love to visit a witch doctor or shaman or saddhu or someone wise who might tell me exactly what is wrong and why. My body has made every noble attempt possible to let me know that what I need most is SLEEP in order to get better. And what have I done? Well, I've ignored myself. I'm feeling a bit battered and bruised by life--well, my lungs do anyway. How is it that I always seem to get in the way of myself?

Anyway, getting back into painting is a good start. It is reminding me how to be a little bit kinder to myself. It smooths out the bumps and helps clarify my daily list of priorities. Maybe tonight sleep will be at the top of that list.

ps.
I'll post photos later in the week. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007

a commitment.

I'm waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. I have 12 minutes before I have to start getting ready for work.

Yesterday I came home from work and tore apart the house--well, half of it, that is. I needed a fresh start and took the brunt of my frustrations out on the living room and dining room. I completely emptied both rooms--completely! Then thoroughly cleaned and rearranged. The space feels so much more open and refreshing. I do this every once in awhile, not so much to clean the house, but to declutter my mind. Although, I admit, it ends up serving a duel purpose.

So anyway...on to the next chapter of my life.

I've, just now, decided to commit myself to doing a painting a day (starting today!) and I wanted to write it down here for public viewing so that I don't try to waffle out of it. So here it is:

I, Jessie, commit to doing a painting a day for the next 30 days. No excuses allowed. I am hereby giving myself at least one hour a day to make art. No excuses--none, zip, zero allowed. Amen.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

try this:

The other day I made a ridiculously long list of things that I would like to do. Then Melba left a comment saying:

"In Ask and It is Given there is this great exercise.
You take a piece of paper
On one side of the paper you write
My to do list:
and write down everything you will do that day.
Not a crazy long list. Just what you will really do.

On the other side of the list you write
What the Universe will do:
and you write down all the stuff you want the universe to take care of for you."

So I tried it out and guess what...
IT WORKED! :)

I will:
work for one hour on my thesis.
The Universe will: help me to finish this one essay more quickly than I anticipate.

I will: spend one hour researching and making notes for C.'s website.
The Universe will: help me to make good use of that information so that I can get the gears in motion.

I will: work for two hours on painting pieces for my Etsy.
The Universe will: provide good music, good coffee, and ample amounts of success.

Friday, August 03, 2007

thoughts on a thursday morning in august.

Is it just me, or does Minneapolis seem tired? Or maybe exhausted is a better word. Yesterday morning people moved with looks of concern on their faces. Every conversation began with things like: "Oh, it's good to see you, you're ok." "Is everyone you know ok?" "Are your people...? (and finishing the question with a simple hand gesture or look meaning: "Do you know anyone that was on the bridge?)"

Yes, Minneapolis is exhausted. Life is returning to normal but I think it is safe to say that this really shook people up. Mostly, I think, because everyone knows someone that might have been on the bridge. My sister's co-worker was in the water. My brother-in-law goes to church with someone whose sister is missing. In this way, the city becomes much smaller. It becomes more apparent just how connected we are--even if by thin threads of acquaintances.

Anyway, it is two days later. It is morning. I am sitting outside once again at my old wooden table and, in the direction of 35W I hear helicopters. The sound paired with a silent interstate is unnerving. Sirens, even more so. This week has brought with it a lot of emotional weight. It has also brought out a sense of caring and connectedness.

I have more that I want to write...but, for now it is time to go to work. We take a deep breath and life goes on. My thoughts go out to those who have been most affected by a moment so unexpected.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

The only sounds I hear are sirens and helicopters and small amounts of thunder. My stomach hurts and I am afraid for the people that were on or near the bridge. I've talked to my sister, brother, and husband. They are safe and, for that, I release a huge breath of relief.

Life is so fucking fragile. I wish that it didn't take things like this to remind us of that. I wish there was something I could do to help.