My Art – An Insight


I painted all day yesterday, final touchups on a couple of paintings and then sketching ideas for new paintings.  Don’t know why I’m thinking about new ones when I have so many to finish…

 I’m trying to get myself back to enjoying painting instead of anticipating a buyer or show.  That takes away from the joy of just painting for the sake of creating for me.  While I’m actually painting, I’m  in total bliss.  But before and after?  Not so much.  Not like it was before I started selling.  Sometime ago I figured out that pressure that I put on myself – insecurity about my paintings – needing others to like my paintings – sellable? gallery-able?  was a big part of the reason that I stopped painting for so many years.

Some of my paintings were used in Portland Street of Dreams in the 80’s which precipitated a pretty unexpected success in selling my art and hundreds of prints.  I had been selling regularly at a hospital where I worked but the Street of Dreams experience raised pressure to paint to a whole new level.  Ultimately, it became such a drain that I quit painting.  For 20 some years!  I dabbled once in a rare while but don’t think I ever finished a painting during those years.  I do know that I got side tracked with my sales years ago – felt stuck in doing the kind of art that sold in the same way as always so that it would sell.  After the initial excitement of being in such demand lost it’s glow and became pressure, I felt trapped and bored – in a way.

I realized this morning that I’m still in that mind set – insecurity and pressure.  I have myself so confused and pressured about what I want to paint to add to a collection for a gallery – children series, southwest series, seascapes, landscapes…. I’m like a fart in a frying pan!!!

 A couple of years ago I started painting again.  A little.  About a year ago, I started painting more and now I’m obsessed with it again.  But I find I’m struggling with me.  I want to have a distinctive style – whatever it turns out to be.  Some others say they see it but I don’t.  Right now when I look at my different sets of paintings, they look like they’re done by different artists – my children series is one style, southwest another, seascapes are different yet and way  more realistic than I like although I really get high on some aspects of realism in all my paintings, especially seascapes.

If I’m truly painting from in my artistic “center” will I see my style as consistent?   No matter what I paint?   I don’t know.   And then again, maybe I just need to accept that right now I enjoy doing different styles and have different series to express those styles.  I need to explore that.  Acceptance?

I do know that this artist thing is kind of a torment for me.  Pressure – to paint, to sell, to hang, to be part of, is my art good enough?  For pity sake –  Am I good enough?   Do I want to be alone today and paint?  My internal battle begins.  Most days it takes a lot of self-discipline to get started.  Once I do, I’m glad.    It clears my mind – no stress.  It’s my meditation and prayer time.  Fortunately I’m more a loner than not  – so art suits me.  But I find myself feeling very separated from life and feel like I’m coming up gasping for air.  I need family, a friend, laughter, fun.  I have an intensely deep need to for both.

Today I’m going to paint for the fun of it and to express my creativity and consciously put all of “those” pressures out of my mind.  I am going to practice not caring what anyone thinks about my art.  It’s mine and if I like it, that’s all that matters.  It’s my baby and I’m gonna love it.  If it turns out to be something, then great.  If it doesn’t, it was my expression for the moment. I had fun doing it.  If not, I can always paint over…

Hmmm.  Am I really that brave?

Of course I am!

It gives me joy and freedom just thinking about it!

My Life Class Notes


There are two emotions – Love and Fear
Anger is really a manifestation of fear…
Fear of losing the love of someone – rejection
Fear of being powerless or helpless, hopeless, vulnerable (maintain control) – fear of being unsafe
Fear of losing control – of self, others, how, when and where it will happen
Fear of not being seen as valuable, necessary
Anger – never angry for the reason I think I am.  I’m not born with anger in me.  helpless, hopeless, vulnerable event happened that impressed my soul.  Stirs up anger.  When anger is triggered, the trigger is simply reminding me that there is something down there that I need to deal with.
Anger is the easy way out – when I’m angry I get the control.  Anger is the #1 addiction.  Right below the anger is a world of hurt.  It’s easier to stay in the anger than to go deeper and deal with the hurt.
You can accept or reject the way you’re treated by other people but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.  You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.   You must find the strength to open the wound,  you must stick your  hand inside, pull out the core of the pain, the memory, and make peace with it.
Spirituality – the most real part of me.  My connection to the knowing that no matter what happens, I will be all right.  The knowing that everything that happens in my life is bringing to my purpose, the real me.  Live in openness to what is.  With that openness, a far greater power comes into my life.  Inner stillness – out of this comes aliveness, joy, creativity.  I become rooted in the aliveness and fullness of the present moment.
Spirituality has to be practiced.  We must stop, take a breath, become still inside – the act of meditation and contemplation.  Be in nature, connect with the arts, and connect with ritual.  Moments of serenity, stillness is when we experience something much larger, transcendic than what we are.   Meditate – go into the stillness of my soul.  Breathe.  Look for the message in every problem.  Don’t fight them, ask them – what are you here to teach me?   Share my spiritual path with others.  Find others that are like-minded.  There is nothing out of order with me.  Everything is happening for a reason.  I’m growing closer to spirit.  Pay attention to my life – it’s teaching me.  Listen.  Get clear, still and listen to my soul.   Tap into my best life.  Stillness is my religion.  Stillness is when I can connect.
Meditation – sit and smile.  Smile in my organs, in my arteries and blood vessels.
I understand that everyone I meet is sent to me as a teacher.
I need a shift in the way I look at life – that’s all.  When I discover the world around me, I also discover the world within me.
My inner journey
1.  Ask myself and journal – What do I really, really, really want?  Every day.  The answer will come
2.  Write the happiest moment of the day every night.  Learn it, study it.  Keep it in a happiness journal
3.  Refine my mantra.  Whatever I’m repeating consistently in my mind is my mantra.  If it isn’t working for me – I need to
     choose another mantra.
Entrances are everywhere.  There are accesses to God in all sorts of situations – be alert.  Find a tiny corner of my life for stillness when I can connect and ask questions.
I need to stop wearing my wishbone where my backbone ought to be!
When I experience a truth, I don’t need to experience it again, I know it and I carry it with me.
When we help, we heal.  Find a way to be of service.
Selfishness – beneficial to myself.    Am I being cruel, greedy and hoarding?  If not, do it.
Happiness – the people around me, a state of mind, love, share
What makes me feel good?  Am I missing pleasure?  Am I missing devotion?
I’m the hero of my own life’s journey.  This is my life and I write my own story.  No one else gets to write it – just me.  I get to be who I am.   Does my life look like me?
“I don’t know” is a legitimate answer.  I’m allowed to ask for as much time as I need until I do know.  If they aren’t able to give that time, they’re allowed to leave.
Write to myself as though I were a best friend.  Write out my questions.  Answer myself as a friend.   Listen to it, believe and lean on it.
Newton’s Third Law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Cause and effect.
The energy of emotions and  thoughts are frequencies of energy that always come back to us.
Every action we take creates a reaction in the world.  The sum of all those reactions is what we call our life.
The energy I generate creates my life.
Intention always determines what the effect will be.
Love changes everything.  It heals.
If I ask for courage, God doesn’t Zap me with courage.  I get the opportunity to be courageous.
Listen to the whisper.  Don’t wait for the brick to fall on our heads.
Whatever I need to be the greatest force for good…. bring it on!   If it’s a lesson I need to learn, I want the lesson.
Separate myself from negative people and negative thoughts.  Period!  I will not allow them in my life.
If this is in the best interests of me and those around me, then please let it happen.
Who do I want to BE in the world?  what kind of person do I want to be remembered as?   I want my love to effect others.
If I can’t do “it” with love, I won’t do it.  I can either decide to do it with love, or I need not do it.  Before I take any action, I need to clarify my intentions and make sure they are good.  Then good will be returned to me.
The people that I have in my life reflect who I am.
What am I doing to create and attract negativity?
Appreciate the ordinary
Acknowledging my mortality motivates me to live my life more fully.  My days are gold and I use them wisely and fully.
Do You hear me?
I see you
Do my eyes light up when I see…..?
God made me and made sure I am enough!
I no longer think that its possible for other people to hurt me. They’re just giving me their observation and I’m giving it meaning so I get to choose what that meaning is.
If I think I need it, that’s ego. I already have everything I need. The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.

Am I defined about what other people say? Does it determine how I feel?

When I receive criticism, they could be right.

Does I love you equals I’ll trade you?

Is this a business contract or do I really love you?

I’m happier when I love you – whether or not you love me. It matters not – whether or not you paricipate.

Just the fact that I’m here makes me “worthy”.

Fear is always involved in big egos – there lies our deepest fears.

Will I be sorry that I let this opportunity to pass? Even if I don’t succeed, do I want to give it my best and see? Is it the most meaningful, fulfilling direction?

What is the fullest expression of myself as a human being. What am I meant to do here on Planet Earth?

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? What does fear feel like?

As Maya Angelou explains, people know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.
Feelings buried alive don’t die. They stink and re-emerge
What would I do if I had no fear? Do it anyway. That’s courage. Be it!
What is my life worth?
Is this the fullest of expession of me?
When I hear criticism – they could be right. It’s their view of me.
Give up resistent to life. Go with it.
When I think I need it from “out there” – that’s addiction.The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.
Ego is anything that I think I need that I don’t have. I already have everything I need.
Oprahs lifeclass Notes
Oprahs class
Oprahs Super Soul Sunday