This is my photo submission for week 6 of The 52 project. I apologize in advance because I have no g’children photos this week. Given that I’ve taken no photos of myself for weeks, I’ve chosen a photo that doesn’t warm my heart like my kids or g’children, but is still near and dear to my heart. For reasons that you will understand in moments, she is like another of my children. If you read my blog, you’ve probably read the story behind this piece, so by all means, feel free to enjoy one of my other posts.
In the interest of brevity, I’ve always yearned to paint and draw but was convinced that I couldn’t do either. In 2013, in spite of my fears, I took my first painting and drawing e-courses. I was seriously hooked! After less than a month of beginning my first drawing class, I drew, collaged and painted the above piece. I look at her whenever I doubt myself and feel that I can’t do something. She reminds me that I must banish the words “I can’t” from my vocabulary, because they only serve to limit the amazing things that I can do.
At the beginning of 2013, I vowed to stop putting off things that I’ve always wanted to do. Along with many other goals, learning to paint and draw were high on my list. Ever since I could remember, I looked with envy upon those who were artistic. My youngest daughter has drawn since she was knee high to a grasshopper and I longed to do the same. Yet, because of an incident that happened when I was a child, I’d convinced myself that I was not creative; thus, I couldn’t possibly draw or paint.
Unlike many past New Year’s resolutions that ultimately fall to the wayside, I began to seek out ways to be creative, and particularly, to draw and paint. It was not feasible for me to take actual in-person classes, so I went online. To my surprise, I discovered scores of artists who taught painting, mixed media and drawing through online e-courses. Frankly, I was skeptical of the idea of an e-course that might effectively teach these skills. I finally realized that my hesitation had less to do with skepticism and more to do with fear, and I threw caution to the wind and registered for my first painting course. From the beginning, I was hooked.
I am happy to say that I’ve taken three courses this year and am already registered for 2 year long courses in 2014. The above painting is from my most recent course with the amazing artist Flora Bowley. The course was a life changer and cemented my love for painting and the whole painting process. Although the course has ended, I have six months to wade through the course materials and lessons, and the painting continues.
In addition, now, I can say with confidence that I can draw. I stumbled upon Jane Davenport’s“Draw Happy” class and within a week, let go of the foolish notion that “I can’t draw.” It took about a week of mistakes and wearing down an eraser, but with Jane’s detailed and clear instructions, I drew/painted/collaged this beauty:
I love her! Granted, I am still trying to draw one to rival her, but I have no doubts that it will happen. I know that with practice and hard work, I can draw. Currently, I am registered in three of Jane’s e-courses, and I just added another drawing e-course, Fabulous Faces, to my line up. The course is taught by the artist Tamara Laporte.
Usually, by this time of the year, I find myself ruminating upon all of the things that I intended to do in the past year, but didn’t. It is true that I fell short of many of my 2013 to-do’s, but I’ve decided that instead of dwelling on the negatives, I will focus my attention on my accomplishments. I mean, I finally let go of my inner fears and negative self-talk and proved to myself that I can do whatever I chose, be it painting or drawing. I’ve come to understand that there are no limits on what I can achieve, except those that I place on myself. Learning the art of photography and becoming fluent in Spanish are next on my wish list, and I look forward to 2014 with excitement instead of trepidation. By this time next year, I intend to say with confidence, “Yo hablo español.”
Recently, I took an e-course, Daring Adventures in Paint and Life, given by the artist, Mati Rose McDonough. Although I’ve always had an interest in painting, before taking the class, I’d never acted on it. I believed that I was not creative enough to create art, to paint. I regret to say that the class has ended, but I am happy to report that the painting has not. The above painting is my most recent piece.
I’ve come to enjoy the process that goes into creating a piece of art, from my choice of colors, to the techniques and tools that I choose for the painting. Most importantly, however, I’ve discovered a joy and happiness that I desperately needed. Taking the painting e-course has morphed into one of the best gifts that I’ve given myself in years. Doing so, honored an inner desire that until then, went unheeded. The lesson that I’ve taken from the experience is that it is crucial to acknowledge those unmet needs, as they represent welcome detours on my journey. My life is far richer for those experiences.
How about you? Are there any unmet desires that you’ve ignored? What are they? What is keeping you from responding to them? Is there any time like the present?
If need be, take it one step at a time. The first step is to express your intention to act upon the desire. I find that writing the intention simply and clearly in my journal adds a level of commitment. Next, decide how you will go about achieving the desire. Do your research, so that you are armed with your various options. Do not dismiss the magic of fate, and the present moment. (In my case, until a woman from whom I’d taken an earlier e-course, posted a Facebook recommendation, I knew nothing about Mati and her e-course. I immediately went to the enclosed link, and acting on the urgings from my heart, I registered for the course. In all, it took less than five minutes to accept the challenge. I was surprised by my rashness, as well as excited about the new upcoming adventure.) The final step is the most important one. Chose the option that speaks to you and just do it! I promise you will not regret the decision.
I’ve always wanted to be a creative, an artist. I don’t mean that I ever wanted to make a living as an artist. I simply longed to explore my “alleged” creative side. Until recently, I simply accepted that there are creatives, and then there was me. So with that in mind, I surprised myself when I registered for the e-course “Daring Adventures in Paint & Life.” The course is taught by artist and author Mati Rose. As the course description explains, the “e-course is not just about painting, it’s about being daring in art & life! What you do on the canvas mirrors the bold steps you take in your life! This course is for anyone who wants to strengthen their creative muscles, be inspired on a daily basis, and step into their own brilliance and find their magic.” How could I pass up such an opportunity to mine the depths of my inner self as a way to unearth my hidden stores of creativity and magic? I am pleased to report that just two weeks into the 6 week adventure and I know that I choose wisely. The painting above is one of the three that I’ve already created.
At first, it was difficult to get past the white canvas because my thinking mind got in the way. At first, I was more than a little tentative. I mean, I’d never painted before and was unsure of myself. With much support from Mati Rose and the enthusisam and inspiration from the Facebook group,I dare myself to let go of my fears and the paint brush fly. I know that there will be more for me to share with you. I won’t let the fear keep me from painting. Whatever fear is keeping you from, do it anyway. Know that the risk will be more than worth it.