In 2014, I am busying myself by taking many painting and drawing e-courses. One of them is a year-long painting course, Life Book 2014, given by the artist extraordinaire, Tamara Laporte. The course exposes us to lessons from a variety of artists with different backgrounds, styles and ways of creating their art. I am finding that it exposes me to the work of artists that I don’t know and widens my painting and drawing toolbox by introducing me to methods that are well beyond my comfort zone.
When I read about our latest lesson, I was underwhelmed, to say the least. I hasten to say that it was me and not the artist because her work is unique and brings out the zest and love for play that was innate in my being when I was a child. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, I lost it. The lesson was definitely out of my comfort zone and nothing that I would have chosen to do on my own. I was not very interested.
Yet, something urged me to consider it, and as in other instances, I realized that I shied away from the lesson because I didn’t think that I could do it. Once again, I recognized that one of my words for 2014, “courage” was at play in my indecision. I was afraid of failing and allowing myself to be vulnerable. I mean, after months of painting and drawing, I still don’t consider myself an artist, which is fodder for another blog post. Anyway, the idea of the lesson is to learn something new and to have fun doing it. It occurred to me that the important thing is the experience, not how well I draw or paint or how my work stacks up against others. I am beginning to understand that being courageous is more a gift to ourselves than others. If you can’t be true to yourself, how can you do so with others. So vanity aside, I elected to do the lesson, and I am very happy that I did. Yes, it is scary doing something for the first time, but there is also a measure of excitement in opening myself to something new and different.
I am still in the midst of completing her and the background for the piece, but I introduce you to my ‘Sugar Sugar’ woman. She is sassy, bold and uniquely mine. Once again, I find myself proud for seizing these little opportunities to practice displaying courage and vulnerability. Little by little, I am learning, growing and more important than all, living my live in a more full, open and honest way. I view that as progress.
Also, my second word for the year “meraki” is clear in my work. “Meraki” means ‘the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work.’ As I paint and draw, I am imbuing each piece with the emotions that I am feeling at the time. In each piece, I leave a part of me, and that makes it uniquely mine. I love the word because it embodies the potential creativity, love, truth, energy and soul that is alive within us and is ours for the taking. As I seize my truth, my work is becoming more my own.
All Will Be Well, ~ Julian of Norwich