Many of you may recognize the picture above of my beloved pooch, Sydney, from my Facebook page. I made this Christmas card this past weekend and it is kind of a funny thing. I immediately fell in love with it! Not because I thought it was a great accomplishment, or because it demonstrated any real skill I may have as an artist, but because I could see and feel her personality, and soul looking out at me from the board that I did this mixed media collage on! That "look" is one I recognize all too well! It says, "Are you getting up to get me a treat, a meal, or something?" She has an distinct anticipatory stare written all over her face that I see every day. I call it the "psychic stare". She does it all the time, and it really works for her.
So the title for this blog is about gratitude. I did my usual morning routine (for which I am grateful for in itself!) I got up, fed the girl, who gets excited from the very first movement I make in the morning - because she knows her food is coming (Buffalo today). Then I made my latte, that I get all excited about and settled in to find out what was happening online. I get all excited about that too.
After reading my Facebook activity, I went on Twitter (which I am new to and still trying to learn how to use, but have no real understanding of how to do that!). However, I found that on Twitter I have now have a follower, MichaelaCristalloa@forthecreator.com! Yay!!! Congratulations Michaela, you will always be my first, but certainly not my last! Of course I did the polite thing and followed her back! But I am so happy that I have found For The Creators, yet another positive and creative group to gain inspiration from! I read a few of her blog posts and it got me ready to take on today with even more determination. I like that! I have a number of projects looming this week that require a fairly steep learning curve (for me anyway - there may even be a few curse words said today). She spoke about "gratitude" in her blog ( in keeping with our neigbours recent Thanks Giving holiday), staying in positivity, and you know, half full cup kinda stuff. Love it! Then I read another one of her blogs about perfectionism. We all want to be good at what we do, right? And when I think about what others might see with my art, all I can see is flaws! I can see that there is not enough paint in places. I can see that there is way more blue than I like. I can see smudges and imperfect lines etc....Anyway, you get the drift. The sort of thinking that keeps me out of gratitude!
Well, as the Universe would have it, that was my experience this past weekend when I painted my girl (Sydney - the pug) on my soon to be Christmas card. When I studied my painting in its completion, at first, even though I loved the "Sydney" part, when I looked with the eyes of an objective viewer (as if I can even do this!), all I could see is what was not there, instead of what was there. But I have kind of developed this experiment in spite of myself: I go ahead and post my paintings even when I know they fall short somehow (very brave of me, right?). The painting above had all the short comings of an "imperfect" piece, but at the same time it had some magic in it too (kind of like Frosty...lol). It was done in "joy"! I felt like a kid, cutting, gluing, and imagining. I became part of the painting . But, the experimental part takes courage. I let you see my imperfect painting. And you know what? This imperfect painting got more "likes" and attention than any of my more perfect ones (not that any of my work is ever perfect!).
So, in conclusion, I do not think the perfection of a painting could ever bring me joy, or the fact that people may or may not like a piece I create (although I would be being dishonest if I said I didn't like it when you like my art). It is the connectivity, to my source and my willingness to keep on painting that makes me an artist, and keeps my art work ever improving. I know this, if a person wants to be good at painting, all she has to do is put the time in to be creative every day! It excites me so much to know that if I just show up, and connect with my creative force, play, have fun, and imagine, and most importantly "do" art, eventually I evolve and improve! What is the down side, you ask? I think, for me, everything worth while has a cost, and that is overcoming, as my sister Julie calls it, " The Big Talking Head" (fear and ego)! And for all of this (including but not limited to) awareness, our health, the support of my wonderful hubby, friend's and family., a boat to live and paint on, supplies to paint with, food, clothes and a little black pug, named Sydney, I am forever grateful!