Wednesday, April 29, 2009

nothing but random wednesday morning thoughts...

Get up early. Make a cup of coffee. Shoo Visoca, my ever-loving cat, off of my keyboard about a 100 times. Watch the sun disappear under a layer of clouds. Catch up on emails. Be happy for newly forming friendships.

I returned from my retreat late Monday night. I wasn't supposed to come home until Tuesday morning, but I already had too many wet paintings to precariously fit in an overfilled car with a big dog. I was thrown into Tuesday like a hurricane and questioned the sanity of my life. I mean, really, it is ridiculous. And yet...I think I thrive off of it just a little. Even so, I wish I could find something more of a happy medium. As an artist, how to make enough money that you don't have to work yourself inside out? This is the question.

I didn't have any major epiphanies while I was away, but I DID read a really good book. I DID feel a few lingering issues begin to lay themselves to rest. I DID pull a tarot card before embarking on my journey home and was told that peace, joy, and happiness would be mine and that my creative dreams would be successful. I DID drive a full 4 hours with just my radio, no internet, no phone--and it was blissful.

And now I am back in the middle of my life. I'm about to launch my next major project at a big event on Saturday. I'm finishing up commissioned work that has been on a waiting list for a long, long time. I'm preparing letters to sell in 2 boutiques. I'm putting together the material for a 2nd major project that I will be doing simultaneously with the first (this is where insanity steps in). AND I'm preparing for a big art fair in the first week of June, for which I have not even started getting ready for yet.

Yesterday I picked up dog poo, raked the yard, did the dishes, vacuumed, dusted and mopped the house, took a shower, sent emails, unloaded half of my studio out of my car, and walked the dogs...all before breakfast! Of course, these things weren't even on my list of things to do.

But wait a minute...I don't mean to write a post about how busy I am. Boring. I also am not interested in being told that I need to take a break--which, despite the retreat, I'm sure I still need (but it's hard to do with a stack of bills staring you in the face). My real thought is this: what does an artist need to do in order to do better than struggle to get by? If I read another Etsy Success Story about how someone works from the moment they get up until the wee hours of the night, I think I will cry. Well, ok, not really. And, of course, Etsy is only one of the things my creative business entails. But my point is this: there has to be a more sustainable way of living.

I am on a mission to find out how.

Namaste and good day to all of you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Images from my week:

My Latest Obsession:
The beauty of broken down tennis balls.

My Latest Painting:
"Lola" :: 10"x20" :: Oil on Canvas

Our Middle Child:
Oh, my Louie. There has never been a more special dog.

And My Biggest Temptation to Take a Cat Nap:
Ella, the babe of our house.

Life is beautiful.
I am savoring the things that surround me.


night time thoughts.

It's nearly 1 am and I'm working on a painting of a dachshund running with a toy shoe in its mouth. My pup is asleep, curled in an "O," snuggled deep in the sleeping bag I keep on the studio floor for late nights like this--not for me, but for the dogs. I'm never without the company of at least one.

I could work all night if it weren't for my back getting tired. Night time. I was reminded of its beauties while preparing for March's big exhibition. And earlier today I was reminded of the beauties of afternoon napping. I was weary and weepy and, after a fundraising luncheon for rescued service dogs, a bit overly emotional, too. The south sun created a warm glow in the living room, despite closed blinds. A cocoon. I laid down on one end of the couch, a dog on the other. Then the second dog jumped up and snuggled in close to the curve of my leg...which is when sleepiness took hold. The third dog was asleep in a warm puddle of sunshine at the side door. Comfort won out over the guilt of not working and, finally, I felt a necessary part of me relax.

Needing to tie up a few linguring details, I've delayed my painting retreat until Thursday--and am looking forward to it profusely. I'm happy for my decision to wait a day so that I might have a more relaxed start. If only I could bring the couch and the sun and all three dogs. But instead I will only take one dog, a lot of painting supplies, and a pile of blankets. Perhaps my journal and a book as well.

Today I dreamed that I went on a long journey... which is when I realized that I'm hungry for something...something that food does not fill...something that I will eventually find, given a bit of self-care and time.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

10 stories.

A new blog post would feel good. The last one was written too long ago. But what to say? How do I put language to my thoughts?

Last night I had a dream that I fell 10 stories down an elevator shaft. Upon being released from the broken wreck, my nose was deeply swollen, but other than that I guess you could say I was fine. It was in a nice hotel and I was on my way to a reception of sorts. I was with my mom and grandma. They made it out as if nothing even happened. And, now that I think about it, I realize that the last I had a dream that felt like this (about a bear), they were with me then also. At the party I wandered around miserable and sad partly because of my nose, but mostly for reasons much larger than I was even able to make sense of.

The night before last I dreamed that Vinny, myself, and an orphaned baby were swept down the currents of a muddy river in a distant country. After finding our way out of the river, I spent the rest of the night being pursued by whoever it was that was chasing us.

These days I feel a bit stressed and rootless. I also feel a lot inspiration and doubt, happiness and sadness. You know, the whole gammot. I like to think of this time in my life as a that I just need to allow myself to travel through. But where to begin writing? I pull the strings of thought and realize that each one is attached to much more than I am capable of taking on. Sometimes I suppose we just have to allow ourselves to sit and write nothing at all. Sometimes that is the only way back in.

  1. I am lost in a 12"x22" painting of an old dog looking longingly through the glass door of an ice cream shop. I am obsessed with all the beautiful little details.
  2. Today I'm joining a tele-group that offers business/financial support for creative types like moi (I'm nervous, but ready to give it a try).
  3. Warm weather has finally arrived. I go outside to stand in the backyard many times during the day.
  4. My wolfie girl, Anu, has started giving me more kisses than usual.
  5. I am learning to ignore my weeds. That is, those thought tendrils that do nothing but bring me down. (thank you, Connie, for introducing me to this idea.)
  6. Thinking about re-launching the Be Brave Project in June.
  7. Getting ready to launch my next big art exhibition/animal rescue project in two weeks.
  8. Attempting to learn the fine art of surrender.
  9. Planning on taking a painting/work retreat in the northern woods of Minnesota this coming week. 5 days of just me, my wolfie, and a car-load of canvases.
  10. Waiting for hope. It seems to come and go these days.