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Lately Around Here: Beginner’s Blues + What I’m Working On.

Lately Around here

Now I know why there are sooooo many blogs about creative art businesses and how-to posts.  There’s so much  to know in order to get things rolling when you’re starting an art business.  For example:  coordinating the languages that your scanner, printer + monitor all speak (because they’re all different).  It’s a never ending process of adjustments that I’m currently trying to figure out, I hope I can get it all set up correctly soon.

It was yet another reminder of how it feels to come up against that edge of the learning curve.  Sometimes I feel like it’s harder to learn something new as you get older because there are so many things that get in the way: previous knowledge holding me back from learning more, embarrassment of being wrong + the ever present ego that never wants to concede.  It’s been humbling lately around here.

As I go through this new landscape of building my art business, I try to remind myself that it’s ok to be a beginner, it’s ok to make mistakes and ask for help.  How else do I learn + grow?  I would love to think I’m so evolved that being a beginner comes easily, afterall I only started seriously painting about 3 years ago, but part of my natural reaction is to internally stomp my feet.  Can’t this beginner part just be done already?

I remind myself: It’s all a part of the process.  I will never stop learning.

And then I stumbled on this post about changing careers + passion + keeping it real.  It was so motivating and affirming–there’s so much talk about lightning-bolt type passion out there.  That if you don’t know what you’re passionate about, you’re not trying hard enough.  If you’re not consumed at ALL TIMES with what you’re purpose is, you just haven’t found it yet.   But I’m not an outer limits kind of person–I like my middle ground, thank you very much.  So this all-out approach doesn’t bode well for me.

The article explores the opposite of this: what about the day -to-day build of creating a life?  What about slow and steady?  This article puts wildly into perspective what I had hoped all along: that I just might be on the right path to reaching my dreams by working on it each and every day.  No lightning bolts.  No symphonies, just time and patience.  I don’t have to be a psycho consumed with art, I can plug along a little each day.  I’m running a marathon, not a sprint.

A sigh of relief.

So here is a view of what I’m surrounding myself with lately on my journey:

This is a work in progress–here is the first layer, more to come.


I love the close up on this one–those colors are so juicy and get my heart racing.  I recently started experimenting with the caran d’ache crayons and they’re a lot of fun (they’re the yellow and pink colors in the flower below).  Kind of like watercolors but they dry like acrylics + they’re very flexible but give a little more vibrancy.

Flower Snippet

This is a work in progress that has been evolving for some time now.  You know when you feel something is not quite right?  This canvas has been that for me–I must have done at least 4 layers of do-overs.  It’s starting to come around now–maybe it just needed a girl to give it life.

Flower Girl

Here’s a snapshot of my studio and some pieces I’ve been working on.  The stack to the right all need tweaking–it’s nice to have a surplus of things to keep working on.  It’s a good reminder to keep going to my class each week so the surplus keeps comin’.

studio mess

This was one of my first girl pieces that I really loved.  I recently revisited it and I still need to add some accents to their hair + maybe a little more background, but those two ladies make me very happy!

Heart Sisters

Yesterday, Chris and I took a drive to the twin lights and celebrated being together for 2 years.  It was an amazing day of slowing down and appreciating each other.  Those lazy days really recharge my spirit (he does too) and I’m so grateful for what we have.


Lately Around Here: Beginner’s Blues + What I’m Working On.2018-03-29T20:23:14-04:00

Curious about meditation? How and why to start a practice.


“The flowering of love is meditation.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

I’m feeling a little shy to say this, but I meditate.   It started after a bad breakup; I was a bit of a hot mess and was grasping at anything to relieve the pain. Stuck on an emotional merry-go-round in my head, I couldn’t stop obsessing about where things went wrong.

A friend saw how much pain I was in and suggested I try meditation as a way to ground myself.  I wish I could say I felt instant relief, but I was so stuck that I felt like a caged animal.  My thoughts were relentless.  You know what I’m talking about: that constant ferris wheel of pain we ride on when we’re hurt?  Yeah. It’s an endless route of not being able to let go.

Desperate for change, I stuck with it.  I thought, surely all those meditators can’t be crazy.  And then a few sessions in, something clicked–It felt like I was giving myself permission to stop obsessing.  

It felt like meditation was my much needed, self-imposed time out.   I was finally loving ME and practicing compassion towards myself.

I love this video of Russell Simmons breaking it down:

I wish I could say I am a strict practitioner and regularly experience awakenings (I’m not and I don’t).  But I do always come back to it;  I keep trying because it gives me something that no form of exercise or activity has ever given me: no place to go but in.

 And when you go in, you can be who you really are.

Over the years, my practice has had an ebb and flow.  Right now I’m in a  3-4 days a week cycle of sitting for 5 minutes. (Yes! Only 5 minutes and even that can be hard to fit in some days. I have gotten up to 20 minutes so I know I can get there again.)

There are many different types of meditation and mindfulness resources, but here is a basic way to get started:

    1. Set a timer for 5 minutes.  You can increase it as you become more comfortable with sitting each time, or stay at 5 minutes!  No pressure.
    2. Sit somewhere you won’t be disturbed in whatever position that is comfortable to you, place your hands gently in your lap and close your eyes (just try to avoid lying down– that will encourage you to fall asleep).
    3. Focus on your breathing—hear your breath go in and out of your nose.
    4. When you notice a thought come up (it will), just acknowledge it and let it go. That’s totally normal!  Just let go of how you think it should feel and listen to the sound of your breath. Almost see it like a cloud floating by and let it pass.
    5. Voila!  You just meditated!

Just trying it is part of the practice.  There are thousands of thoughts running through our minds everyday.  Sometimes the inner chatter alone can be exhausting.  Other times we are totally oblivious to our thoughts (are you listening to me subconscious?)  Either way, it’s usually the mind controlling us, not us controlling the mind.  Meditation can change that.

There is no magic formula, just sit and be quiet.  Try to be consistent and schedule it in your day.  When you sit, the same thoughts may keep coming up–that’s called monkey brain and it happens to everyone.  Just keep practicing and be gentle with yourself.

Quick Facts:

  • Meditation is actually the act of trying to meditate. 
  • Meditation improves memory function and helps to identify habitual thoughts that can be self-defeating. (I felt a pang of relief when I realized that.)
  • Mediation can actually change the structure of your brain (for the better).
  • You may never feel like you are ‘great at it’; that’s why they call it a practice.  

Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else. ― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind





Curious about meditation? How and why to start a practice.2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00
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