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New Projects!

A new book project is in the works!!! I partnered today with the writers of a Wonderful new book! 

Written by a Hospice Chaplain with 30yrs experience in family counseling, this book will be a manual for professionals and parents, to use as they work with children and young people experiencing grief. To support those adults in helping the young ones to find their words, express their feelings and allow themselves to be supported thru their grief. The book features a lovely young elephant as its main character. I am very excited about illustrating this book for many reasons, not the least of which being that I am and have always been, an elephant lover!! She first talked to me about this idea over a year ago!! 

The Reset continues it seems. A month of life change, and health resets in a search for Balance, followed by September, a month that I intentionally scheduled slow and short in program billings. A month with down time, time off, time for art, time for sleep and home and most of all, time to put effort towards choosing my own direction as opposed to just scampering along, keeping up with all the wonderful opportunities that continue to present themselves!! My monetary shortfall for September got covered + with today's illustration agreement!!

I have been blessed 1000x over by a stream of neverending opportunities, and possible journeys, that the universe has for years, dropped in my lap.  More importantly, I have also been gifted by that same universe with the necessary stamina, intellect, creativity and unwillingness to say "die!" that has made it possible for me to take advantage of so many of those opportunities!!! And they have absolutely Rocked!!! (Despite the exhaustion and bruises and permanent scarring they have occasionally caused!!) 

But there is also a downside that must be acknowledged in this neverending stream of adventures. If a person is ALWAYS setting out to conquer the next peak, learn the next lesson, or find the next Best thing (or the next adrenaline rush, or the next brainstorming session because they are not fans of the daily followthrough phase, or the next partner, or...you get it I'm sure, insert here your own preferred escape disguised as an amazing opportunity)...then they are likely missing the opportunity to sit and be still, focus and experience the daily challenge and sense of accomplishment that comes from putting everything you've got into the one thing that makes your heart sing louder than everything else combined. And maybe, just maybe, taking an opportunity all the way not just from start to finish, but instead from imaginings to magnificence. 

For as long as I can remember, back at least to age two, I have wanted to be simply an Artist. I did not ever define that anymore specifically than that (artist ya know, like to keep those doors open!), just simply an Artist with a capital A. Illustrating, and writing and illustrating, more children's books is on my bucket list. Collecting and bringing forth in word and image, the stories of our Elders is next in line. Beginning the journey to the manifestation of this lifelong dream with a book teaching our older, how to help our younger to survive through grief by acknowledging their pain and accepting support and love from the world around them to do so, seems like a most auspicious beginning. 

My horoscope (still havent decided if I believe those things or not), said to move most quietly thru this week beginning on Tuesday, and on Friday something begun in the past would return again.  

Tuesday I added a good measure of silence and retreat to my life by stepping back from FB. Today the past came forward. (So they got me believing this week!!! lol) 

Blessings of the Harvest Moon, and the coming beauty of Autumn, the fullness of the Harvest, Equinox Balance, and most importantly, Blessings of Wisdom to know the difference between opportunity and escape when the universe again presents the choice. 

 

A perfect pic reference for our main character!! 

A perfect pic reference for our main character!! 

Reset

A very busy August filled with some pretty crazy highs and lows of experience, and scary health challenges for those I love, which I rode allll the way Up! And alllll the way back down again!   Remember the old adage of staying within the center so ya dont get spun about on the edge? Yeah, well, I forgot.  See, I have this life now that isnt an incoming drama fest all the time, so I actually can choose my responses to things. Staying calm amidst chaos is possible, riding from my center thru the storm is welcome and doable, but I forgot. Too many years of doing the other. Habits. Hard things to break.  

Good talks with partner, friends and son reminded me of allll this and so August ended very well and enlightening. It ended with a great talk in the park with my son and a very successful painting session with the largest group of Memorycare seniors I have ever had at one time. 

September arrived in quiet beauty. The absolute beauty of the beginnings of Autumn, my favorite season.  I had planned well and set time for me up at the beginning too. Time to be still, paint, plan, think, create. 

Ancient - 12x15, watercolor on 300lb Arches paper

is the result of August. Life will present you with many doorways, it is always up to you which one you choose to walk through. 

Ancient  -  12x15 watercolor on 300lb Arches paper

Ancient  -  12x15 watercolor on 300lb Arches paper

Emotional and purpose review day, no one ever plans these.

I spent yesterday painting with folks. Midday I volunteered my time for an organization that holds monthly gatherings to encourage positive parenting. There were about 25 young parents there, including 3 dads, and lots of children, most under the age of 5. They had been told no kids, but none had childcare, because the entire group is homeless.  They were all under the age of 30, a number were siblings or cousins and all their kids. The kids all got a good snack and playtime, the adults got just a little bit of downtime. This was my first time working with this group, and owing to the excitement about the painting, it was the biggest group they had ever had. Had I known about all the kids I could easily have brought tempera paints and maybe my wonderful artist goddaughter and we could have kept the little ones busy for longer so their exhausted parents could have a longer rest. I am at another session next week with another of their groups, so the tempera paints are getting packed. I cant imagine having tried to raise my son while being homeless. 

 

Last night I was the Painting instructor for The Women of the New Zion Church in Hammond, IN. This is the third event I have done for ladies church groups, each one a referral from the last. We did a painting focused on the image of the Virtuous Woman, a new series of classes they are beginning. The painting combined the image of the cross merged with the ancient symbols for womens power and the colors black, red and white for the triple aspects of the Ancient Female Archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone. These womens church groups have become one of my favorite events to do. They have so much fun! There is so much laughter and joy and community connection! They are all ages and everyone works so well together focused on amd sharing their common spiritual focus. Most have never painted and it is so wonderful to see the joy in their faces when they realize their painting is beautiful and they did it!  

 

And today, I am home. There is a huge list of things I need to do for work, (I realized the other day I cannot remember ever being fully caught up and having nothing on the "should do" list) my studio is a wasteland strewn with partially empty paint bottles (I did realize today however when I really looked, that the stack of paintings I have completed in the last year is truly monumental! No wonder I have noticed an improvement in my painting skills) and my weekend with nothing to do truly is that. I have work to do. Nothing more. All of my friends are out there busy doing things, and I am not part of any of it. They are running marathons, going riding, moving to new summer adventures, getting together and having fun. 

 

It has been a thing for a long time for me. I provide something that is valued. My art, my efforts, but it is what I provide, not me, that is valued. The majority of phone calls I recieve are work related or bill reminders. Calls from friends just to say Hi are not a part of my reality. I make them, I rarely recieve them.  

 

Having a community that is mostly a state away and a small business that takes all my efforts has been challenging. I truly love what I do, but I wish for stimulating conversations and hangout time, and that is rare.  

 

In less than a month, psg will come and while my community will be gathered, I will be focused upon my duties there and partake, again, of almost none of the connection and community part of things.  

 

I am not complaining, just comsidering. For my entire life I have known what I wanted to do, what fed my mind and heart and spirit. How to be, and feel healthy and alive.  How I wanted to love and live and who I wanted to be, but life has always somehow moved all my efforts (or just my objective) just slightly off mark and despite a herculean will to overcome the obstacles and disappointments, and an unwillingness to ever give up, I find myself today to be tired and lonely and thoroughly unsure how to proceed. 

 

In the last week, I have seen 4 different items on caretaking openings for remote farms, living off grid and raising sheep, giving it all up and heading out on the road, and a small ad for a little 12ft sailboat. They all have wakened in me again the gypsy desire to just escape into an adventure and just this once, if the universe's plan for me is to never have mind, body, spirit and soul connected and fed simultaneously, to just bend to that and at the very least, have adventure if nothing else.

 

So, I am going to hangout with my son, finish my Greenman painting and do my work because that it what I need to do.

 

As for this blog post? LOL I feel comfortable posting this here because I know no one reads it.  

 

Tomorrow of course will be a better day.  

The ladies and their painting

The ladies and their painting

The week-end chaos

The week-end chaos

A year of class material

A year of class material

A reminder of who I once was

A reminder of who I once was