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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.

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SLOW down, a bit!

Currently I’m telling myself to slow down as I rush around taking kids to appointments and commitments, helping organize and attend art events, get work ready to sell and continue to work on my goal of 100 pieces of art.  (I think I am in the ballpark of 75 now!)  Tuesday night amidst a Menard’s run, my husband and I attempted to take some much needed down time; while he is also busy cultivating the expansion of his business.  Hopefully we will get some tonight, as well.  Drive time seems to give us the best opportunity to discuss current life events and work out future plans.

I recently discovered a wonderful training resource for artists to help them grow emotionally, and although I’ve been following along with others’ creations, I’ve yet to finish any of the creative lessons to completion.  (See paragraph above)  It certainly has set my mind in motion as to a direction that I wish to pursue for the studio space.  (HINT: it will involve mixed media and creating art from memorabilia-good, bad or otherwise!)  My desire to help others as they deal with grief and raw emotion in a positive way, I believe is getting a foothold.  Each time I give myself quiet reflective time, the vision becomes more clear of what it is I need to do.

I continue to pursue avenues for selling my original art and getting my work out into this great big world.  It is taking up more time currently than I have time for, lol.  All good things come to those who wait, they say.  Slowly these opportunities are coming at me, now I need to navigate which are the best choices for audience and personal lifestyle!!

This brings me to an update on the studio situation.  It continues to be a project that is getting very little of my current time.  I am fixated on an opening date of Spring 2019!  I’ll be more diligent about posting updates between this blogsite and my Facebook page, TJF ART studio.  Live updates, and short studio time videos are happening more often; I’m just figuring out how to use all of this social media most effectively!

I look forward to being at the “Ladies Day” event at the Edge Pub and Eatery on November 17th from 11-4 with some new paintings and prints of some of my popular ones!

Thanks for stopping by and

Happy fall, y’all!!!

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Inspire

INSPIRE was the word that showed up today while meditating and reflecting along with the color yellow.  (If you know anything about chakras that refers to the solar plexus, the emotional connection of our being, aka soul, where everything combines together) Being quiet and listening to that inner voice speaking kind of caught me off guard, sort of like being bungee’d straight into the sky and losing your breath along the way.  What does it all mean?

Journeys can change at any given moment.   Each day is a new chapter in that journey.  I wake up and my course has been preset, even though the schedule may say something else completely.  Be ready for detours; they come in all shapes, sizes, challenges and surprises!  I’m learning to have a goal, but perhaps not an ‘exact’ way to achieve it and let the universe guide me.

So far, each decision I’ve made on my path of great self discovery, has delivered stepping stones for my future.  I’ve been able to renew relationships from the past.  It’s brought new people into my life from seemingly out of nowhere.   I’ve given all up to “Faith”  and am able to lean on “Hope” for the future (I know these are my daughter’s names, but there was another reason we chose those names many years ago).   My past was also necessary on this journey and I’m made more aware of that each day, as well.

I know that in time, my creativity will be used to inspire others, but it is important for me to be in a good place mentally and spiritually in order to help them on their journey using creativity to foster self acceptance, move beyond fear of failure and even heal from previous hurts.

I’ve been consistently creating, joined the Valley Art Association, got over my fear of hanging my work to display for more than ‘just’ family and friends.  I feel like I can trust my creative thoughts a little more after hearing comments from others about my work and how they perceived it as I envisioned the work to be viewed.   That being said, I had a creative light bulb also surface today shortly after meditation and I cannot wait to share what I’m thinking about trying in 2019, I shared this vision with my girls tonight, and they thought it was great.   You probably will be seeing some yellow in my work for a little while, and with it some emotion also.

I told my husband and several others that it is difficult to reign in all that has happened and how fast it is hurling this direction.  It’s important to recognize that when you truly follow your destiny; you may have obstacles to overcome but nothing can stand in your way!!!

 

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Creating, almost daily

All originals that I’ve completed the last several weeks.  I’m working on completing 100  pieces of original work, and am slowly getting there.  Face and flower studies in various mediums, although these are all acrylic, either on stretched canvas or canvas board in varying sizes.  Thrilled to be creating again!

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Spring into action

Well, its been awhile and I think its time to update.  Spring arrived late as ‘sprinter’ and we now seem to have fast forwarded to summer weather in May.  I’m thrilled to be out in my yard planting flowers; making my place of grounding and solitude even more beautiful to look at!  So much joy in prepping the earth every year for beautiful and good things to grow.  This year I didn’t ‘kill’ the dandelions popping up in the grass; the bee population is waning and these can be some of the first flowers to pollinate in the spring; I need those bees to pollinate all the beautiful things I planted!  Birds are chirping and I’ve seen the two Cardinal pairs back in the yard, hopefully nesting somewhere.  The lake is breathtaking and one of the reasons we live where we do!  Our kayaks have been out already and we are close to getting the dock and boats in for the complete summer experience.

I finally purchased my first ‘real’ TREK bicycle and have been enjoying perusing the neighborhoods via pedal power!  It hasn’t been an easy thing to get active and keep active since my back situation several years ago, but I am making progress.  Golf season also started, but I haven’t yet.  Some may know that I purchased my first set of clubs last year when my 16 yr old started Chi Hi girl’s golf.  She has been chomping at the bit to get to the course and encouraging me to do the same.  I will admit I can swing a club but have little control yet as to where the ball ends up!  I have a feeling the driving range and I will become good friends this year.  Only one place to go from the bottom, lol.

I am still enjoying the break that I took from the salon environment.  It has allowed me time to re purpose my dreams from my youth and I’ve been able to set some short and long term goals regarding the outcome I desperately desire.  So far I’m staying close to ‘on task’ and periodically get distracted for small periods of time from my painting, studying, sketching and research.  My planner is helping me, so long as I update it regularly and NOT forget to enter important appointments and dates in it. (sorry if you were on the back end of that, SQUIRREL!)  Those who are close to me know what my current goals are and how close I am to achieving them.  I’d like to thank them all for being my cheerleaders in this grand adventure of life.  I would also like to thank my family for putting up with me being a total art geek about subject matter and my girls for allowing me to do their portraits.  (A totally scary adventure, but I was thrilled with the outcome, Faith’s isn’t quite finished yet.  Turns out not using my skills for years did NOT mean that I lost my ability to read and discern images!  I just need to keep practicing the physical skill of drawing and painting.   SHWEW!!!)

I am hoping Chippewa Falls has room for one more passionate and quirky artist.  I’m looking forward to attending some of the local events to mingle with other artists and artisans as the confluence in EC gets closer to completion and summer festivals pop up everywhere.  I came as close to submitting artwork in the Heyde Center for the Arts Spring Art Show as printing off the forms; I chickened out last minute and decided next year there is no question about doing it, it will be done.  There will be a gallery show in my future, I just keep telling myself baby steps.  Sounds like there will be a similar gallery venue as Artisan Forge of EC located right here in Chippewa Falls near the river.  That is encouraging to all of us creative folk.  I feel as if we are physically together, exposure is magnified!!

Determination is as beautiful as it is scary and has been a staple lately in my daily affirmations.  I have my down times when I revert back to that old self who doubted her abilities; as a perfectionist and a recovering pessimist (we like to refer to it as realism) I struggle daily to move past walls that were devised to cope with negativity, disappointment, pain and hurt.  We are human and struggles are the stuff victories are made of.  SOOOooo, onward I go; marching into my middle years pursuing dreams and building a new and improved me.  I’m not holding anything back.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  No apologies for becoming who I was created to be, and I sure hope my girls learn to do the same.

Poursuivre la joie de la vie!!!