:: acrylic paint and colored pencil on 1 1/2″ deep wood panel
:: measures 10×10″
:: white painted edges
:: ready to hang with wire on the back
This is painting #3 from my ‘100 Messages To Myself’ painting series.
This is an original painting. There is only one!
My favorite painting professor in college used to tell me to be willing to make the bad paintings in order to get to the good paintings. That’s no judgment on this painting — I actually kinda like it, even though it’s weird? — just a comment I guess on the process this painting went through to get here. It started as jellyfish. Then I wrecked it. Then I painted blobs over it. Then somehow it became a bird? I don’t know. I went with it. My painting skills are rusty. I’m trying not to judge it and to just have fun. When I started my first 100 messages to myself, my drawing skills were rusty. I got my groove back, and I’m just trusting that the same will happen with these paintings. I’m leaning in. I hope some magic will happen. I’m being willing to walk through the muck to get to the gold. And I’m JUST NOW REALIZING that this is a perfect metaphor for my life right now. I have to be willing to walk through the muck – just like I have to be willing to make the bad paintings – in order to get to the gold. You can’t have one without the other. You know? It’s the resisting that’s the problem. At this point I know the bad paintings and the time spent making ugly things and getting un-rusty and feeling awkward are just part of the process. And maybe maybe maybe the muck of life is all part of the process, too. It’s to be expected and when it shows up, we can just say “hello, I guess I’m in this part of the process now” and just keep going and try not to judge it too much or to get too involved in the story of it all. “I’m a bad artist”, “I’ll never make a good painting ever again”, “I’m a bad human because I’ve made mistakes”, “I’ll never find true love again”, that kind of thing. None of it is true. That crap can just be let go. Just lean in, keep walking, and it’s all going to work out somehow. The painting will get finished. It might suck. It might not. And then I can just start a new one. Without story or judgment. Simple. (Here‘s the full message I wrote when I painted it.)
My life changed dramatically in August 2018 when my husband suddenly died and then again in January 2019 when my baby girl was born. It’s been a strange 15 months! Creating nearly daily art has been one of the main ways I’ve tuned in to my feelings and to myself as I’ve moved forward. Sharing the art that I’ve been making and the messages I’ve been giving to myself has been a powerfully healing part of my journey, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share my images and thoughts with you.