All Is Well

LKW, Life Book 2014

I feel a sense of accomplishment. The above piece is the first that I’ve made for my Life Book 2014 e-course. Life Book 2014 is a year-long painting e-course taught by artist Tamara Laporte and other incredible artists that she has gathered together to teach us their individual styles of painting. Until today, I’ve been too preoccupied with cleaning and decluttering to begin the work for this or any of the many e-courses to which I am committed. Today, my body, exhausted from days of over working it, responded by increasing my fibromyalgia pain, so I had no choice but to take a much-needed break to do absolutely nothing.

I felt dreadful that I was neglecting my e-courses when I had an epiphany of sorts. It occurred to me that I wasn’t ignoring them at all. In fact, they were central in my mind. The purpose of the cleaning is to rid myself of the old, unwanted and unloved “stuff” to make room for the beautiful, loving creations that I am about to bring into existence. It hit me, I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do.

Coming to this realization served as a catalyst for me to begin and complete the above piece. “Courage” is one of my words for 2014, so I incorporated the word in an affirmation reminding me that I AM courage. During 2014, this piece will serve as a constant reminder that the courage that I need to deal with any circumstance, is here for the taking. Although I am not remotely close to finishing the task of decluttering, I can continue it without guilt because I am making room for new and exciting gifts in my life and with gratitude for the reminder that all is as it should be.

Blessings and love, Lydia

All Will Be Well. ~ St. Julian of Norwich

Yes, I can.

Yet to be named. #bloomtrue

Yet to be named. #bloomtrue

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:

Whimsical Faces 2

Whimsical Faces 2

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.”

Blessings, Lydia