Life isn’t perfect, but it is SO blindingly beautiful. I love my life, I really do. Making beautiful things doesn’t make life perfect, it makes it pretty. So I’m always making something. Always. I honestly don’t know how to NOT make stuff. I get inspiration everywhere. Colors inspire me, other artists inspire me, and nature inspires me. Sometimes just letting my imagination run wild will lead to sketching or painting at odd hours. But those things are all new.
This year, I took Ali Edward’s One Little Word class online for the first time. If you haven’t taken this class, or any class with Ali, I highly recommend it. The gist is that you choose a word to live with for the year that will inspire you and keep you moving toward your goals. Each month, Ali gives prompts to focus on different aspects of our word. The February prompt changed my life. My word for this year was “embrace.” My goal was to lean into the changes in my life instead of resisting them. My goal was to embrace all of life–even the painful, difficult, and not-perfect parts and to embrace all of the different parts of myself that had been neglected as a busy Momma. In February, Ali challenged us to do something related to our word for 30 days–to practice everyday. I chose to embrace my creativity and to draw or paint something everyday for 30 days. This was not an easy challenge. I have a toddler who is NEVER still unless in his highchair, so I started using his meal times to practice. Even if it was a few minutes, I was learning something, right?
I have always thought of myself as crafty. I was scrapbooking before scrapbooking was a thing. My college roommate and I raided the bordered paper section at the office supply store and used deckled-edged scissors to mutilate our pictures before decorating our pages with markers. I know, right???? After college and two babies I started making custom scrapbooks for people and opened my etsy shop making handmade mini albums and banners. This kept me as busy as I wanted to be for several years. I had several local clients that kept me very busy. Through the years I have cross-stitched, attempted knitting and failed miserably, sewed, papier-mâchéd, refinished furniture, and baked, but drawing and painting were for artists. I was crafty.
February changed all that. I began to sketch and sketch and doodle, and draw. I found a video on youtube that really caught my attention. Jane Davenport was drawing effortlessly and creating the most beautiful, whimsical art and I was hooked. When I discovered that she offered classes that promised to teach people to draw even if they didn’t think they could, I thought she was speaking to me. I took one of her classes and fell in love with drawing. I have taken several of her classes and I have drawn or painted SOMETHING everyday since February. I just never stopped. You know that “Run, Forrest, run” thing? Well, it’s kinda like that. I just kept on drawing and drawing and drawing! You just read that in Forrest’s voice didn’t you? I heard him as I was typing!!
I painted that picture at the top 🙂 In January of this year I couldn’t even draw a stick figure that looked human. Most of them looked like extras from The Walking Dead. Practice, perseverance, great teachers and inspiration go a long way. I am now creating art that I love.
I still have so much to learn but I love doing things just for the process. I really wish I had gone to art school instead of my traditional four-year college. Yes, I have used the degrees I earned, but art is where my heART is. It just makes me happy. I still love crafting and cooking and I’m trying to get healthy again after giving birth again at 44–yep, I’m nuts–so this is my spot to share all my crazy adventures with you. Some days I craft, some days I paint, some days I fall flat on my face. Nothing I do is perfect, and I’m cool with that, but it’s ALL real. I’m not one to sugar-coat anything. I love life and all things creative, so if you’re still with me, then let’s have FUN!