Sunday, January 30, 2011

Travel time

    I guess in my struggles to prove to the world just who I am, I sometimes get caught up in the rush of it all.  Most of the time, I'm speeding through work, kids' functions, housework and all the miscellaneous "important" activities that seem to fill up my days.  So when I have some "restful" time, I tend to "piddle" my day away.  I totally understand the statement: "When you want something done, ask a busy person."  I tend to get more accomplished when I'm up to my ears in busyness.  However, the "piddling" really doesn't get anything done. (By the way, I wasn't sure if piddle was a real word.  It's something my mom used to say.  So I looked it up - sure enough, no matter how strange it sounds, it's official!  I think I'll type it again, just because it sounds so goofy!)  Anyway, back to the topic!  The "piddling" just keeps me busy, but doesn't have any visible end results.  It's sort of like t.v.  It keeps you from thinking about all the rough patches in life, but you get sucked in and pretty soon a whole day feels wasted.
    This weekend, I didn't get much done, but I had a chance to truly live!  I was able to hang out with friends and simply talk with them.  Also, the weather was one step beyond FABULOUS, so I went on two hikes.  There's something about the outdoors that helps you reconnect with your soul.  When I am outside, I am then reminded that I need to stop focusing on the end of the journey (who I am supposed to be or what I'm supposed to do) and simply enjoy the here-and-now.  Who knows, maybe I'll find direction through these blog postings.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

True Art

     Yesterday, the kids and I went to the Frist art museum.  They are having an exhibit there about the birth of impressionism.  It takes the viewer from the very strict portraits and paintings of the Salon's stringent rules on through the troubles of the early impressionists not getting selected, to a time when impressionism was accepted as an authentic art style.  It includes works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Whistler and many more.  It's an excellent exhibit, and I would encourage everyone in the vicinity of Nashville to visit.  We went on a special "free" day - given to the people in Nashville to honor the inauguration of our new governor, Bill Haslan.  Because of this, it was EXTREMELY crowded, with lines at least a half hour just to get in.  Then the people moved at a snail's pace once inside.  It was not the best situation, but if not for the lines, I wouldn't have been witness to some true art.
      The room was packed, with at least 5 or 6 people around each piece.  The low tones of mumbled "How did they do that?" and "I don't really like this one" were punctuated by some higher pitched sounds.  I listened closely.  It was singing!  I turned towards the sound.  A small girl of about 3 years of age was dancing back and forth, twirling her skirt, and watching it as it billowed out.  Around and around she went, oblivious to everything surrounding her.  Although there were priceless works of art all around her, she found her OWN art, not something that someone else SAID was art!  Bravo, little one!
     The rest of us can take lessons from this tiny voice.  First, find the "art" all around you!  It doesn't have to cost a dime.  A pile of leaves, beautiful sunsets, strange cloud formations, or a child laughing can all easily bring you "the peace that passeth understanding" if you let it.  Stay in the moment and enjoy life!  In addition, those of us who profess to be artists should remember that art is what you make of it.  Don't let naysayers sidetrack your need to get your creativity out.  So what if they say "you can do better!"  Your art is there to please YOURSELF first.  The impressionists, Picasso, Pollack, Warhol and others were told their work was not accepted art, but they were true to themselves, and others have since changed their minds.  Find your own path, spin in circles if you want, and enjoy life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11/11 at 1:11

What were you doing today at 1:11?  Was it something worth noting?  Or was it just more of the same-old, same-old.  Even though the temperature here in Tennessee was only about 31 with a strong wind, I decided to get on my bike and go take some reference photos.  Part of the journey was very meditative.  I had to keep my head down and continuously pump, because riding through slushy snow up hills is kind of like trying to ride on sand dunes.  I went to a local park that still has a small dam that was used to run a mill.  The cap of snow on the tree branches, the blue-greenish water, and the reflections was so wonderful, it nearly brought tears to my eyes.  Then on the way out, I saw a sight that was not really possible to capture on my camera.  The wet, darkened tree branches spread out in all directions with their lacy framework of snow.  It was unreal.
   When you get moments like that, stop, pause, breathe deeply, and take an imaginary picture of the moment. "CLICK"  Try to find at least one of these clickable moments daily, even though it might not be visual.  We tend to dwell so much on the negative, this will help with the balancing act.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm not a fan of pain

I've decided that I'm not a fan of pain, whether it is physical or emotional.  Today, while ice skating, we saw a woman fall and break her ankle/leg.  It was an odd sensation.  We couldn't really do anything, and standing and staring was certainly out of the question.  Being on the periphery felt odd and awkward.  We just had to go on with our activities as if there weren't paramedics and a stretcher and all that right in the middle of the rink.  Then, when I got home, I found out that some friends are getting a divorce.  They were one of those couples that everyone thought would last forever.  I can lend a shoulder for support, but I can't REALLY lessen their pain.  I almost wish I could absorb some of it, so they don't have to deal with the pain, but I say ALMOST, because I've had my share of pain.  I guess there are some times when growth and self-learning come from painful situations, but for the most part, it seems like we could skip most of the trauma and drama in our lives.  Maybe I'll ponder this for a while and do some sort of art work on this subject!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year

What's so special about the New Year?  So many people rush out and do drastic things to "change" themselves, like go on a diet or jog on over to the nearest Y.  It seems that in our haste to do this, we usually sort of fade out of our new resolutions by about March or so.  Therefore, I have a new idea...I'm going to have 4 New Years this year.  I'll re-assess things once a quarter, using the Solstices and Equinoxes as guidelines.
     As far as MY main resolutions this year:  I wanted to start (and update at least monthly) a blog about my artwork and musings AND increase my last year's goal (of making at least 5 new art pieces) by quadrupling it.  I am still getting over fears relating to FINISHING projects, so this is a HUGE step for me.  I'm sure there will be more on this issue later.