Tuesday, July 31, 2012

why i make art and do yoga...realizations from a workshop

This month i went to a 2-day workshop at Allen Yoga Center. The workshop was  run by Jess of Brandthyself and it was about branding yourself as a yogi.

I was hesitant to go. (1) because money is tight (let's just be honest) (2) because the idea of branding myself in yoga just seems weird...i don't think of myself that way (3) money is tight...

But, when i got the email from Allen Yoga Center about this workshop, it came at just the right time....I was almost finished with my training for my 200RYT with Namah Shivaya International Yoga School...and in all honesty, i had no idea what i was going to do with that...Some people KNOW what they are there for...I was not one of those...

But, now....now i know what I am there for...and it is because of this workshop...I also finally truly understand why i love making art...and why i get grumpy when i can't make art...or get interrupted during the process...

As i sat  with teachers who are already teaching...(i was the only one who has not taught yoga out in the real world yet)....i THOUGHT i was there to figure out how to incorporate yoga and art as some sort of gimic to get people to come to my class...maybe offer it as a workshop-type situation...

but after doing a bit of work...as in...soul-searching...it came to light that my true joy, in studying yoga comes from my understanding of meditation....and how the moment i finally understood what meditation really is...my life completely changed....and with that, Jess suggested i teach meditation...

This idea completely threw me through a loop...
"me? teach meditation? I can't teach meditation? How can i get a job teaching meditation? how am i going to be able to feed my family by teaching meditation? I'm so screwed...."

 I went home that night feeling really out of sorts...i had a meltdown...i told my husband what was discovered and he said, " i think she's right"

and with that, i realized, yeah, she is right...

i hadn't signed up for the second day...beause...money is tight...but, with the breakthrough that happened on saturday the hubs and i decided that it would be best to invest in the second day as well and complete the work...

So, i scraped up the cash, and went...and i do mean SCRAPED...as in looking under cushions of the couch and under car floor mats...THAT kind of scraped....

And I'm GLAD I did!!..Because on the second day...this is when it all came together for me...

The one thing that hit me between the eyes was when Jess said, " you guys are all here because you love teaching....."

i didn't hear anything after that...because in my head i was screaming..."NO....NO...i don't love teaching at all..."(and if you are an educator or someone looking to hire me...keep reading before you click off and decide i have a bad attitude...you will understand what i am saying)

up to this point, i have avoided teaching a yoga class...something about it just sent me into the fetal position..The irony is...i taught in public school for seven years...so it's not like i can't do this...

But i realized that the reason i was feeling this way is BECAUSE i taught in public school..BECAUSE the pressure that comes with that is a huge weight that people don't seem to realize...and that pressure is NOT what i want yoga to be for me...

Having said that...i felt a great sense of relief...because i started thinking about all of the things i have done in my life up to this moment...

I taught for 7 years in public school...
I have my BFA and am trained to do just about any type of art process out there...
I have a certificate for cosmetology...
I made an artcar and traveled the country in it by myself....

what i love...is ....the journey...
what i love...is....learning...

That's why i'm studying yoga...because i wanted to know the history and philosophy behind yoga...not just the physical routines....

I said this stuff out loud in the workshop...and then i said..."i have no desire to be a guru...i have no desire to be a teacher...i have no desire to be put up on a pedastal...i have no desire to be a lifeguard and save people....and that's ok...because what i realized...is that what i love...is the journey...and i'm ok being an escort or a tourguide or sharing the learning process from a student's perspective...i'm ok with walking beside someone...but i have no desire to be a guru."

This is huge....

We went on to discuss how my experience with art can apply to yoga...that i don't have to do workshops that incorporate art...

But what i realized is that the reason i love making art...is because...it is like, meditation...that the creative process is my yoga...

So, that is a long...round about story about why i make art....but, it is true...

It is why i choose to see the beauty in everything...it is why i went through a dry spell/ hiatus last fall...which is when i started yoga training...

My art...and my yoga...and my meditation all come from and go back to the same place...they are all part of centering myself and tapping into  that place inside myself that we all have....

For some people they tap into it when they go fishing...for some people, it's when they go for a jog, or ride a bike, play an instrument, cook, mow the yard....for me...it's when i make art...when i meditate...and when i do my yoga practice...

And understanding this, takes a great deal of weight off of my shoulders...

And now, I'm ready to teach yoga classes and i'm going to go make some more art...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

quote of the day

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

-Steve Jobs

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the significance of candy wrappers

There is nothing special about this candy wrapper...except that, it was beautiful...sitting there on my studio table...as my youngest crawled between my feet and peered out the window to wave at the flowers and the rabbits that think they are sneaking through my yard....

Sometimes...it is the ordinary things that are the most beautiful...the most captivating...the most monumental...

Candy wrappers...and pretty crinkles...light reflections..smiles and giggles...

(this painting was included in the etsy treasury


Saturday, July 21, 2012

quote of the day

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You're playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson

Friday, July 20, 2012

being present, here, and now

How many times a day do you check your cell for texts, or social media updates?
How many times while simply sitting with friends do you look to see if someone else is trying to contact you?
How many times while you are at work, do you flip over to see what other people are doing on FB?
Where is your life?
Is it here?
Is it now?
Or is it constantly tied up with everywhere else? Everyone else? Everything else?

Lost in thoughts

From time to time i find myself lost in too many thoughts...sometimes, this is a good thing, sometimes, it just ends badly...sometimes there is just the feeling of being a little bit Lost...or maybe...VERY lost in all of those darn thoughts...

I'd love to use the excuse:"i 'm an artist...it is the way we are." that would be such a relief to be able to get away with that...and for others to dismiss you as such...but, let's get real...

Things can seem much bigger than they are...much more daunting...or hopeless...

I like when things seem much better than they are...lol

I work very hard at finding the positive in all things...in all situations..or in all life lessons...it isn't always easy...especially when you are in the big middle of it...it can be hard to know which way is up when you are drowning...and in moments of clarity, it is best to head toward the light...
(the painting shown is titled: meditating mermaid...it is a watercolor and can be found at the following linkhttps://www.etsy.com/listing/68347715/meditating-mermaid)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rainbows and Lotuses

In the last month or so, i have been revisiting my printmaking background....i have always loved printmaking. The first prints i made were in middle school. Linocuts were all i was exposed to until after i was 22. Then i was introduced to collagraphy at a workshop when i was visiting a college for a scholarship competition. I fell in love with the process. Later when i moved on to another college, i dipped my toes into a prinmaking class that i found to be quite a challenge. We did etching, woodcuts, chine colle', solar plates, and used massive presses i have yet to ever see the likes of again...I almost did not take the class again...but, changed my mind and took two more semesters. I have always loved the printmaking processes...and because of that, here we are today...me dipping my toes back in the printmaking waters....

This morning...i got up before the rest of the family...in that still space when the entire world is still asleep on a sunday morning...started the coffee pot, let the dog out, noticed the moon and the planets in alignment...and got out my inks....i printed my normal one color prints....and then, felt the need to play...to add a little more color and see what happened...
Rainbows are what happen when one plays with color...when the binds  of the mind are taken off, and the ink is allowed to flow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What does it mean "to live?"

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." ~ Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 9, 2012

garden wisdom

Yesterday I went to visit my family in East Texas. This is where I grew up. I always seem to come away with something to think about.

Right now i am thinking about something my father said to me while picking okra. I wasn't sure at what point he wanted it to be picked. I was worried i was picking it too early. What if he wanted it to grow a bit more? when i asked him he said, "oh you gotta just pick it. If you leave it too long the plant stop producing. It quits growing. It thinks it has fullfilled its' purpose."

"it thinks it has fullfilled its' purpose if you don't pick the fruits of its' labor"......

I have been thinking about this all night...and how it applies to life...family, artwork, children...

I was thinking about how important it is to allow people to grow, to allow them to produce not only good fruits, but to encourage it by accepting the gifts they present to you and the world. How, when these gifts, fruits, aren't acknowledged, this is the same thing as discouraging growth...

How often do we do this to ourselves?
How often do we do this to each other?

Was there something you wanted to do in life that you didn't feel encouraged about and let it go? And if so, why are you waiting for someone else to encourage you?  Why not just encourage yourself? Yeah I know the concept of picking your own fruit, when you think about it in terms of plants...well, it doesn't really work...but in life, there comes a point, when you just have to either decide to stop growing or move forward, discard the old fruit and move on to make more.

How can I apply this to my artwork?

For me, I can get hung up in the past or the negative words of others very easily. Especially when it comes to artwork. Thinking of old projects, old critiques, old artists I knew in the past....and all that does is hang me up...when really I just need to move forward. Pluck the old fruit and give it away.  Moving forward allows my work to change and evolve with me. I'd like to think I am better today than I was in the past, but maybe not. And my artwork certainly isn't the same as it was 15 years ago, and that is ok. My artistic goals aren't the same. And that is ok too.

What it comes down to, is, as an artist, do you want to stay stagnant? Do you want to stay in the past with your work? Or do you want o move forward? Is your purpose fulfilled? If not, what is next?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

quote of the day

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.".....Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, July 5, 2012

For the Love of Lotus treasury

My "Namaste Blue Lotus" Has been featured in a beautiful treasury called "for the love of lotus" and can be found at the following link.


This piece is a watercolor that started out with drops of my morning coffee...that's right...coffee...i love painting with coffee and tea. The rich browns that come from the liquid are very spiritual for me. After the coffee dies, i used  water soluble graphite to draw the lotus, and then applied water and a touch of blue watercolor.

The Lotus is a form or strength and hope. A symbol of beauty that pushes through the muddy waters to face the sun above. When the world seems harsh, i just think of the lotus...and it gives me the reminder, the inspiration, to push through the mud and face the sun.

you can find other works of inspiration in my etsy shop

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

red, white and blue

I'm not really the type to have a lot of cutesy decorations around. I appreciate those who do and always have the appropriate seasonal decor. So, instead of going with the traditional Stars and Stripes that most artblogs will display...I decided to show you what I see when i look for Red, White and Blue in my studio today.... And today, as you enjoy your day off, and the end of the summer fireworks, take a moment and smile, and be grateful.

Monday, July 2, 2012


This is something I try to remember every single day... It helps me to be creative...It helps me to be happy...It helps me in all aspects of life...


Right now the house is filled with the wonderful aroma of peppers being dehydrated...homina homina homina

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lotus Healing Hand

This morning I had a lovely surprise. My piece "Lotus Healing Hands" was included in a beautiful treasure on Etsy. It always makes my heart leap a little when my artwork is included in a treasury on Etsy. This morning, is no different. 

(the treasury can be found at this link!http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTA2MTA5OTR8MjcyMzAxNTIwNg/just-you


This pieces was included in a lovely treasury named "Just You...."
I love the warmth and comfort of the collection. It is almost like you are looking at a melancholy indie film. (redundant description I suppose lol)
The story behind "Lotus Healing Hand":  In the last year i have been on a journey. (like so many people at midlife) In the spring of 2011, i just felt 'compelled', for lack of a better word, to start painting a collection of Lotuses. There is something very meditative about the process for me. The lotus is a simple form to create, but it's simplicity is was makes it so beautiful to me. I really had no connection with the imagery of the Lotus until that spring. It seemed that it was a symbol that i needed to investigate more. AS i read about the lotus, the idea of how it symbolizes resilience, courage, enlightenment, and the triumph of purpose  really struck a chord with me. In nature, the lotus, pushes through the muddy water to eventually rise above it and open up to the sun. I love this. I love the idea of rising above the darkness to choose to face the sun. The inclusion of the hand is also a symbol I have felt compelled to use for several years. The hand is a symbol of connection, of healing, of giving.  
When i look at this piece,my thought is that this will connect with someone who is also in transition in their lives and that this artwork will be a reminder that they too can rise above any muddy waters they  might be trudging through to reach their bright shiny place in the sun.

"lotus healing hand"
https://www.etsy.com/listing/68702296/yoga-lotus-healing-hand?ref=tre-2723015206-10 https://www.etsy.com/listing/68702296/yoga-lotus-healing-hand?ref=tre-2723015206-10  

summer art journal challenge

Back in the day, when my schedule was determined by the public school calender, the only time I had to attempt my own artwork was during Summer. I would start a new art journal every summer. This practice gave me an outlet for my own ideas, but it also kept my creativity flowing. Now, that I am FINALLY acclimated to being a 'normal' person again, I actually still keep this practice.  I think keeping an art journal is simply a good practice to help keep the creativity flowing.

So here is a list of subjects i have compiled if you would like some inspiration for your summer art journal. (you can also find  the art journal list for spring here and a post about Creative MoJo)

  1. Picnics
  2. cold beverages
  3. corn on the cob
  4. red white and blue
  5. fireworks
  6. family
  7. smiles
  8. swimming
  9. water
  10. ocean
  11. sandy beaches
  12. swimsuits
  13. ponytails
  14. sunglasses
  15. fishing
  16. boats
  17. floppy hats
  18. seashells
  19. stars
  20. starfish
  21. ferris wheels
  22. picnic baskets
  23. lounge chairs
  24. sunflowers
  25. wildflowers
  26. cool breezes
  27. drive in movies
  28. snow cones
  29. ice cream
  30. drives down country roads
  31. memories

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