The other day I was working in my studio and as I was painting beads, my mind began to wander. I thought about some upcoming projects I’d be working on, some personal things, some of my goals for the rest of the year and to-do’s for the week. For some reason, my thought process felt clearer than ever. I was able to work through my thoughts in a calm and clear way while I was painting, more so than I can when I am sitting with pen and paper, intentionally trying to make a list.
This winter, my husband and I took a trip to Ann Arbor, MI because we wanted to check out the much heard about Zingermans everything. They have a deli, a coffee shop, candy store, bakery and a few restaurants as well. It’s kind of crazy, and I definitely got a sense that these people know what they are doing. In particular the co-founder, Ari Weinzweig. Each of the different shops was filled with delicious foods, quality products, knowledgable staff, quirky artwork, extra space for classes, workshops and other happenings. It was certainly a well-oiled machine and a grand experience for their customers.
What is the one thing that we all want? More money? A bigger house? Better health? Perhaps this is the desire of some, but I would argue that the thing most of us want more of deep down is… Freedom. Freedom to do the things we love, freedom to take our time, to learn new things and to explore. To not be tied down to schedules, money restraints or obligations. Because when we are free, we have the ability to make decisions for ourselves.
Life is hard as we grow up. There is so much to do and manage, we couldn’t possibly have time to do something fun like jumping in puddles or painting a canvas, right?!
Well what if we shifted our thinking a bit and made more time to play and be creative? It’s becoming more and more apparent that, even as adults, making time to do something for ourselves decreases stress, promotes wellness and just makes us happier.
As we grow up, we lose our sense of child-like wonder and begin to naturally harden to life’s circumstances. We realize the responsibilities, the societal norms and the obligations of adulthood and just become a bit rigid. Life takes a toll on us and over time and we sadly lose our luster. But what if there was something we could do to break the cycle and start having fun again? What if we could use our imagination, run around, be messy and just play? If we could be fearless like our children?
This New Year I felt a little less pressure to make a set of resolutions. I didn’t feel like I had to write down goals or have all the stars align by the 1st of the year. I just wanted to gently bring in the new year, knowing good things were coming ahead.
As my header on my home page says, “Making and Meandering through a Artful Life,” I am a bit of a meanderer. I think all of us artists are. We tinker and play and bounce around a bit. We love to experiment and try new things.
What if we just stayed still for a while? Even when we're seeing everyone around us moving forward, doing amazing things, reaching their goals? What if we chose to just let that happen, while we took time to be quiet and still and content?
Life has an interesting way of keeping us on our toes. From our high moments, to our lows, it's never an easy journey, especially when we are trying to stand up for ourselves, our family, our goals and our dreams.
I'm sitting inside, wearing a cozy sweater, listening to my afternoon acoustic mix and sipping coffee while looking out the window at the falling snow. It's beautiful. It's moments like this that we always crave...being cozy inside with all our comforts, no place to go, just looking outside with peace.
A New Year is so exciting, isn't it? A fresh start, so many possibilities, hopes and resolutions. We say goodbye to the last year with a grateful "see ya later," and move on to the next 365 days feeling optimistic and enthusiastic...
Connecting with other artists is one of my favorite things! I love hearing their stories, their struggles, successes and what they've learned along the way. Being able to connect and encourage one another is so wonderful!
For years, I’ve been making art: painting, lettering, line drawings and other dabbles here and there. I sold several pieces, created a website and posted consistently on my Instagram account. Still, I never confidently declared myself an artist. I shyly would mention it here and there to friends and family, but never did feel confident in saying it. Why?
Ever since I can remember, I have loved to write. Pen, paper and thoughts, all working together to in an effort to capture the things in my head and on my heart. Whether it be with my messy, loose writing from my journal pages, or my quirky, more controlled, fluid writing I use in my coloring book and some of my doodles. All hand-writing is beautiful in its own way, isn't it?
Over the weekend I pulled out some of my old journals. I do this every now and then just to check in and revisit some of those good ole' days. But it's usually a bit of an emotional roller coaster, paging through the past, thinking about what was and what could have been. But also confirming that where I am now was meant to be and I am so grateful for the rocky road I took.
I need simple so I can spend less time making decisions, less time cleaning up and organizing, less time being distracted and less time trying so hard to "keep it all together." I need simple so I can see more clearly the life I want to live and actually live it. So I can have more moments of listening to my daughter laugh, walking our dog, spending time with my husband and cooking from scratch. I want to savor these times more, rather than multitasking my way through them.
Don't you hate when something you see sparks your creativity, but you can't seem to capture it because you're on the move? You try your best to remember it later, but it gets lost among your sea of thoughts. We all go about our business, day in and day out. Creativity is right there with us, but sometimes it's hard to capture those morsels of inspiration when we have other things going on.
I'm learning that trying to maintain a simple lifestyle with a young child can be very difficult. She's growing up so quickly and week by week she's needing bigger clothes, new foods to try and different toys to keep her attention.
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucius
Lists, piles, papers. Thoughts bouncing here and there, ideas, things to remember all swirly around in my head. Projects, artwork, books to read and things to put away. Post-holiday clutter, e-mails, photos, clothes, groceries. Stuff to buy, stuff to organize, stuff to clean and stuff to manage.
Well, I'm officially a mom! Our little girl, Eleanor, was born late July and we are so in love with her. A bit sleep deprived, but doing okay. I will be honest and say that the first few weeks were very difficult as we were adjusting to this little one, and we were caught a bit off guard at just how much our lives would change. Thank goodness that she figured out how to smile and laugh early on, which made everything so much better.
"When we continue to deny who we truly are and suppress our ability to create, we become crippled and shut down. Our minds grow narrower as we shut out anything unexpected that doesn't fit with how we've told ourselves the world truly is…
I'm due to have a baby in just a few days. And before I do, I wanted to capture my last few thoughts on life before becoming a mother. I know I've been carrying this little girl in my belly for nearly 40 weeks now, so technically I'm already a mama. But she's still safe and sound inside, so I have a little more time until she's out in this world and in my arms.
I've been in a bit of a lull lately. With a cross-country move and 30 weeks of pregnancy under my belt (or in my belly), there's no denying a bit of a shift in my ability to focus and maintain my usual routine. I havn't created new artwork for the last few weeks and that bothers me a bit. However, I have come to realize that these times of inactivity and change, are a big part of the process.
So the word is out...I'm pregnant! 24 weeks and going strong! It's been quite an interesting experience so far. I'm amazed that there is actually a human growing inside me right now. The last few weeks have especially been fun because I can feel her kicking and dancing inside and I officially have a baby bump! Luckily, I got through the first trimester with no morning sickness and just a few random food aversions. Other than being fatigued, this little girl has been treating me quite well and I am so thankful!