Monday, February 25, 2013

Lessons in Letting Go

Last Friday one of my paintings took a pretty drastic new turn.  I can't say that my intuition took me to this place, I really just started playing and ended up trying something new:

That's a little different, huh?  I have no idea what those weird tubular pineapple-y things are in the center.  They just flew out of my head onto the canvas.  This was definitely just play, but there are a few areas I think actually started to work.  I like the way these white lines frame the glimpses of underlying layers.

This dragonfly flying toward the sun turned up later in the top right corner, leaving behind squiggly lines etched into the wet paint.  Again - I see potential here...something I'd like to explore further.  Even though I did not set out to create this particular painting, the process was productive and fun.

I really am having to relearn how to play and relax.  Life has been pretty heavy for some time now and sometimes my silly mind is very adept at keeping me from being content.  It thinks up all sorts of ways to obsess over things I cannot change or control.  It's like a pressure cooker, this life of mine.  

I finally got a clue over the weekend and started writing morning pages again (Three pages of free-flowing thoughts written each morning - a hugely helpful exercise suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way).  For me morning pages are a rather chaotic mixture of prayers, vented emotions, observations, and notes to self.  Somehow putting raw thoughts down on paper this way really helps me gain clarity.  

I usually create my wordier blog posts by writing free-flowing thoughts and then whittling away the excess once an idea starts to take shape.  One of these days I'm going to hit publish instead of save when I'm taking a break and some of you are going to come upon a very odd post before I realize what I did!

You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, 
because you might not get there. - Yogi Berra

In other is the very disturbing state of my kitchen today:

Saturday morning we set out to repair a leaky kitchen faucet, which didn't seem at the time to be too big of a challenge.  It's a long story, but two days, nine trips to the hardware store, two new faucets and a new sink later our kitchen still looks like someone turned it upside down and gave it a good shake and I am washing our dishes in dishpans.

I tell you this just to say that I am, once again, challenged to go with the flow and embrace the unexpected.  I truly do sense a theme emerging in my life.  These days life and art seem to be one continuous lesson in letting go and finding joy in the journey.  (Not sure how to find joy in a torn up kitchen...gratitude that it's getting a face-lift, I suppose.)  

That being said, I am now heading to my studio to seek refuge from this chaos!  I hope you are enjoying your journey today!  If you have a few minutes to spare head over to Creative Every Day where Leah Piken Kolouidas offers you the opportunity to share your own creative adventures or simply follow the links to learn more about many inspiring artists and their creations! 


  1. I love your energy moving through the painting and dragonfly's are all about transformation after all. Sorry about the sink. @#$@# happens and then seems to pile all up. Glad the morning pages are bringing some clearer vision....xox

  2. The everyday letting go and renewing really resonates with me, Janice. It's such a pleasure to see the journey your painting is taking and read about your experience of it. p.s. I also tried your technique with fabric/watered down gel medium and it's fantastic. Can't wait to try more!

  3. I love the morning pages idea...clear the clutter, let in the light and the your painting! Nice!

  4. What a great post. I loved seeing your painting and the process. It's a journey isn't it with our painting class with Flora. Lovely artwork. I love that you started morning pages. I find it really helps me also when I do them. There's just too much happening in my head all the time.

  5. Love your artwork and glad your 'water' situation improved by your latest post ~ enjoy the weekend ^_^

  6. Oh, I like where this is going! Love seeing your painting develop! Hope your kitchen is in a better way now ... ;-)


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