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Contemplating Success

This statement is bouncing around in my head today as I prepare for my first ever load in of an individual showing at a local business. I feel very blessed and thankful in regards to having this opportunity. I also recognize that the opportunity didn’t just present itself, I sought it.

Taking the proper steps in any business requires a certain air of discomfort and uncertainty. Stepping out on your own to pursue possibilities for “success” is a bit unnerving. How will I be received? Will they like my work? What will others think of where my work is placed? Will I sell anything? Questions and overthinking are normal for me. I often spend more time than necessary mulling over every possible question and an equally possible solution. Getting over myself is the largest obstacle when it comes to my personal and professional “success.”

So the short and sweet of it…get over yourself and worry less. Explore options and search for ways to be successful. When one or more opportunities fail, know that there are multiple ways to achieve “success” in your art journey and always have your eyes, ears and mind open!!

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Taking it all in

The best part of living on a lake in the summer is having a park in my own back yard. The beauty that surrounds me as an artist is ever inspiring. I’m relaxing on my back deck watching the sailboats and recreational boat traffic, kayakers and fishermen. It truly doesn’t get any better, in my opinion.

Any chance I get to invite others over to enjoy this is an added bonus. What others don’t get to see is the endless hours of maintenance and labor it takes to keep up a lake home and entertain. I was warned by others that it would get old at some time, but not yet.

My kids’ friends are here. A lot. It’s a blessing to know the company they keep and the experiences and memories they make. It seems to draw those of us back who spent summers at cabins, lake camping or shared lake homes. It is certainly teaching my children about the work involved and that working hard is rewarded by playing hard.

Today, I may not be creating in my studio but rest assured these moments are what fill my creative tank in order to inspire new work. If you are reading this, please take a moment to like my website, comment and visit my Facebook Art page and do the same. Share it with others, you never know who you may reach to inspire through no real work of your own but they will be inspired by words or pieces here.

I am hoping “the ART studio” open house will happen this summer amidst the showings at Vino Cappuccino (Elk Mound, WI) in July and Mabel Tainter Theater (Menomonie, WI) in August. I’ll announce artist receptions for both where you can join me for a beverage (wine) and conversation!

Ahhhhhh, Sweet, sweet summer!

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With my oldest daughter graduating high school and choosing her courses for her first year of college, I’m reminded at how open minded and hopeful we are in our youth. I find myself trying to go back to that feeling and continue to live as though our dreams still guide our decisions. Life experiences take us on some twists and unexpected turns and that doesn’t have to keep us from continuing to pursue new dreams and goals.

Today is a day to live your best life in pursuit of happiness and inspire others to do the same!!

I’d also like to add that I’m still over the moon about moving forward with my dream to inspire others creatively and have hosted a couple classes in my studio. I will keep exploring ways to bring others together with art and celebrating successes along the way! Speaking of which, here is one of mine!!

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Studio Truths

First, let me say, I’m blessed to be able to pursue what I love.  Second, know that life gets in the way of our pursuit and it’s okay to pause.  Passion will bring you back.

My studio is overflowing with pieces in various degrees of completion.  I will finish them over time (who knows exactly when, some of them I tinker with for months).  The reality of so much in progress would have caused anxiety in years past.  It could be overwhelming and daunting to think about what to do first or prioritizing tasks.  Mostly, I think, because of societal conditioning to follow through with what you start in a timely manner.  I’ve talked about perspective before, how you view your circumstances, etc.  In altering perspective I opened myself up to growth and I was amazed by the result.

Because I was a regimented, scheduled soul for so many years (like 20+) the concept of not working on an individual piece to completion was foreign.  What I have noticed in changing perspective is one project often sets forth another idea, sets forth another, etc, etc.  They commence within and without addressing that inner voice, it could be lost or forgotten.  Now, when that inner voice nags at me to explore something, I listen.  In doing so, my anxiety was reduced and I am able to literally ‘create’ stress away!  What a great concept!!  It is completely refreshing to explore, experiment and choose a piece to work on based on inner voice instead of exterior deadlines.  Profound concept, I know.

One step further; this applies to most everything we do in life.  As human beings we start out as an idea, if you will, hardwired with a basic design.  Given our individual circumstances, that design is slowly developed by family, faith, friends and community.  We have a basic understanding of what we may want our finished outcome to be and then exterior influences beyond our community make an impact on our being and we morph/change.  In my 42 years here, I’ve experienced this numerous times.  Changing and improving with each phase of our ‘life project.’

Viewing my art in this manner allowed me freedom of choice  When I step into my studio and often before I allow myself the guilty pleasure of quieting my soul to hear what is being said.  I know which pieces will need attention or detail, which ones aren’t developed enough and which ones are ready to impact somebody else on their journey.  As humans, we aren’t meant to be complete until our journey has ended and I would say the same of my work.  My art will live on in the viewer, it will change/morph and inspire someone else in a way uniquely personal to them.  For this reason, and the pure joy of creating, I choose to continue the pursuit.

Happy Art-ing all you Be-YOU-tiful peeps!


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Happy Holidays

It’s definitely the time of year where you see commercial after commercial for retail and service companies trying persuade you to spend your money with them.  We have made great strides in this wonderful country and also some significant recessions.

Growing up in small town America within a Christian community, it was easier to ignore the pressures of “commercialized Christmas.”  It has become increasingly more challenging to avoid these pressures of conforming to societal standards based on an overwhelming media presence.

The time of year when, generally a slowing down, or pause in life was relegated to family, reflection and personal improvement has become a time when it’s easy to be found rushing around getting to and from events while purchasing random ‘gifts’ for others in appreciation.  It is my personal belief that while it may be difficult for some to take time and spend it with others based on geographical location; this time of year is best spent with the ones you love, family and friends and ones self.

Focusing attention inward forces us to ponder and accept personal issues we may not want to address.  Letting go of past grievances and forgiving ones self may be the most difficult of all.  When I was able to forgive myself for my own undoings, real magic began.  Taking time in reflection and meditation opened up the line of communication that had been severed over the past decade and a half.  It’s hard to say just when it happened, because I think it was slow shift in thinking and a reliance on worldly ways.  It has been my mission in 2018 to let go and move past the past.  To focus on the ‘right now,’ and to look forward to a future of purpose.

Believing that changing myself by changing those around me was naive, I thought I knew better.  When pausing in reflections, it was abundantly clear that “I” was what needed to change.  Sharing bits of the journey, exploring my gift of sharing emotion through creating art has been life changing and incredibly freeing.

I know that I have been blessed beyond measure and given an opportunity not many have.  I intend to make the most of that and offer to others some emotional uplifting and creative expression opportunities in 2019 as I continue to gather the knowledge and tools for my studio space.  I am beyond thrilled that this new adventure has started and will continue into the future.  And I am so glad to be able to share this with all of you!!!

I am welcoming 2019 with wide open arms, an open mind and a healing heart.  Thank you, GOD, that you don’t give up on those who temporarily forget whose in charge!

Blessings to all of you and if you find yourself hurting this season, know that you are not alone and others will lift you up when you are not strong enough on your own.  Fear will not win if you choose Faith.