Thursday, January 17, 2013

Books, Books and Less Books

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Once upon a time, when I was a young girl, I had a lot of dreams and visions about how my life would be when I was an adult.  In every single one of them I had A LOT of books.  These books would of course be stored in my specially designed library (I made diagrams) which took up an entire wing of the castle where I would someday live happily ever after with whichever member of The Rolling Stones eventually won me over.

As I got older I began to realize that the whole castle thing was perhaps a tad unrealistic and I made the compassionate choice to live without both Mick and Keith rather than break either one of their hearts.  And yet I never did quite let go of the A LOT of books idea.

My messy library before I did the unthinkable.

Fast forward about thirty years and what I had was a classic case of "Too many books, not enough shelves".  So in 2012 I did two things I never, ever, not even in my wildest dreams, thought I would do:  I got rid of some books (gasps of shock and awe) and I got a Kindle (stunned silence).

My Library with less books.

Of course I still love actual books and will still buy them, keep them, look at them, touch them, smell them and yes, even read them.    However, the first time I held my Kindle, a magical thing happened; I realized it was possible for a woman who lives in a cabbage to have a castle sized library. 

And she read happily ever after.

"My Favorite Love Story Is Ours" Valentine's Day Greeting Card
"My Favorite Love Story Is Ours" Valentine's Day Greeting Card by time2see
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Colors Of Courage

"It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create."
- Joseph Mallord William Turner

Art is where I have courage.  I started my latest painting with those words because courage is something I have been reading about and thinking about a lot lately.  Specifically, I was remembering a conversation I had several years ago where someone pointed out to me how carefree I was when I was making art and how different that was from how I approached many other areas of my life.  That was an "Aha! moment" for me.  It got me thinking about how I could apply the lessons art teaches me to create a more carefree life.  I'd like to think that since then I've learned to loosen up a little, stop second guessing myself so much and take a few more risks but I have to admit that I still find that easier to do on the canvas than anywhere else.

"I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never
let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do."
- Georgia O’Keeffe

Anyway, I don't always start my paintings out with words but sometimes I do.  Sometimes the paintings that start out that way wind up reflecting or expanding on the words (like when "Shut Up And Paint" became "Just Listen") and sometimes they don't.  Either way the words are usually obscured by layers of paint long before the work is finished.  In this case, however, the word "Courage" kept lingering and popping out at me, so I eventually made it part of the painting.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
- Brené Brown

No, this isn't a painting of some ass kicking, weapon wielding, super hero.  However, I do think it is a  portrait of someone who has known heartache and is brave enough to keep on loving; someone who has experienced hurt and betrayal and dares to continue acting with kindness and integrity; someone who has felt the sting of rejection and disappointment but remains determined to keep  moving in the direction of their hopes and dreams; someone who, like many people I meet on my canvas, is a lot like me.