Category Archives: healing

Self Portrait for Veterans Day

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran's day show, 20 x 20

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran’s day show, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas

Last week I posted about my latest inspiration in this post. I worked on a couple of self portrait sketches last week and decided that I would, in fact, change the painting I’m working on for the Veteran’s Day show, into a self portrait. My second sketch came out much more satisfactory than the first.

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

It has literally been over a decade since I painted a portrait in oils or drawn in pencil for that matter. I stopped because painting portrait commissions was very stressful. Getting a likeness is one thing, but it’s impossible to make a portrait that matches what someone “thinks” they look like. Though I stopped taking portrait commissions, I have always enjoyed painting portraits. Self portraits are not as stressful for obvious reasons. I KNOW what I look like and what I “think” I look like, and there is absolutely no pressure there.

Today, I blocked out the silhouette in the foreground of my latest spiral abstract painting. The background will continue on as intended. The idea behind this self portrait is specifically about my time as a soldier in the US Army and how it changed my perception from childhood to adulthood. My once eager, patriotic mind was twisted and turned more cynical once my time was served. I became an advocate for peace and love, after being sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier and after seeing families torn apart because of war. I became even more peace minded after seeing my son’s generation of soldiers come home in pieces, physically and mentally, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The spirals of red, blue and yellow surrounded by stars and eventually, stripes, is a representation of the flag after the twisting and turning. I use yellow instead of white to represent the staining of young hearts, forever changed by war. These torn souls will never know the innocence of childhood again. It’s not my usual happy go lucky inspiration, but it’s real. It’s my truth.

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This past week has been a rough one. It started out on a high note on Tuesday with negotiations for a contract with a management company that wants to represent my art and publish my Paula Beck Prints book. I’m still negotiating, but that had to be put on hold Wednesday afternoon.

An uncle of Aaron’s was in a horrific motorcycle accident and we got the call around 2:00 Wednesday. You may have heard about it on the local news. A truck was going the wrong way down I-25 and hit him head on. The doctors didn’t think he would make it past Wednesday night, but he did. He’s a fighter and he’s still fighting everyday to stay alive. Needless to say, we have dropped everything this past week to be at the hospital with him and other family members. It’s times like this that put everything into perspective. Life is so precious and we take it for granted so often. I’ve had these moments in life before and I always say I will never take another day of my life for granted.

Not always easy when you get back into the swing of everyday life. Let this serve as a reminder, hug your loved ones every chance you get and never let a day go by without telling them you love them. There is so much pettiness and unnecessary drama in our day to day lives, I’m guilty of it too. I’m still a work in progress, but I will work everyday to not sweat the small stuff. As they say, it’s ALL small stuff.

I’m still finding it hard to concentrate on anything I need to work on or get done, but I had to try today. I’m trying my best to be a strong shoulder of support for my husband and his family, after all, they are my family too. Please send prayers and positive energy for healing. It’s going to be a long road to recovery, and we are just taking it one day at a time for now.

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress

How Does an Artist Support a Cause?

There are many ways to do this, but they all involve ART! I donate to several causes throughout the year. Either by donating a piece for a silent auction or by giving a percentage of sales to the cause. This Summer I’m helping a couple GREAT causes!

Strat guitar painting

My latest recycled guitar painting. This will also be my first PLAYABLE guitar painting once it’s done! Showing at the Sierra Club in August.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know I currently have 22 pieces showing at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery With a Cause until August 25th. 40% of the sales will benefit the NMCC Foundation. This wonderful foundation helps cancer patients cover non-medical expenses while they are in treatment. Great cause, right?! I’m honored to be included in such an amazing show with over 20 other awesome artists. You can see the pieces I have in the show on the NMCC Gallery With a Cause website. If you see something you like, just give them a call and they will handle the sale. You can also buy direct from my website and the 40% will still be donated to the cause.

Another cause near and dear to me is the environment, our wilderness areas and public lands. I regularly donate to the Sierra Club because I feel we need to protect our Mother Earth. From the Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter website:

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is a volunteer-led organization representing more than 7,000 members in New Mexico and West Texas. Our mission is to explore, enjoy and protect the planet, and we prioritize action on protecting our climate, clean air, clean water, and conservation of wildlife and public lands in New Mexico and West Texas.”

Recycled Vinyl Record Painting

Recycled Vinyl Record painting, finished today, this one will also be shown at the Sierra Club in August.

I am showing my art at the local Albuquerque offices of the Sierra Club in August. I’m excited about this exhibit, as I will be showcasing my recycled art. A recently painted guitar and my recycled vinyl paintings will be featured. The opening reception will be the First Friday in August. I’m not sure just yet how much of sales will go to the Sierra Club, but I will let you know as soon as I do. I will share more information about this show in the coming month.

 

New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery Show

"Find Your Shine", 24 x 30" oil on canvas, $1,050

“Find Your Shine”, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas, $1,050, just one of the 22 images in the show

On June 3rd I spent the morning with around 20 other artists, hanging our pieces at the NM Cancer Center for the Summer show, “Artists on the Rise”. Below is the flyer with all the information about the opening reception, “Walk and Talk” event and gallery hours. The gallery is open by appointment only out of respect for the privacy of the patients receiving treatment. Please join us for the opening THIS Sunday from 4-7pm. I would greatly appreciate your votes for the People’s Choice award! This show has been a long time coming, I first applied to show here several years ago. I’m excited to show/sell my work for a great cause! New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation is a non-profit organization solely dedicated to raising funds to alleviate non-medical needs for cancer patients. 40% of each art sale goes to the foundation and is tax-deductible. See you there! Even if you can’t make it to the show, of any and all sales of the 22 pieces I have showing, 40% will go to the NM Cancer Center Foundation. Whether you purchase at the show, or on my website.

2017 6, front

Mural Sketch in Progress

The video above is the sketch for the mural I’m getting ready to start. This small 12 x 12″ painting is 1/10th the size the mural will be. It will be painted on an outside wall on the back patio. The people I’m painting it for have a very lovely garden yard and I am excited to see how my art will look among the trees and flowers. I picked Spring colors for that very reason. Then, even when it’s not Spring, they will be reminded of the yard when it’s in bloom! The idea is that the Sun mural will shine year round. I hope they like the design. πŸ™‚

Now that I’m all finished with the work for the NM Cancer Center Gallery show, I’m switching gears to start work on a mural job I’m very excited to get started! I do have another art show to get ready for, but that deadline is in July and I don’t have as many pieces to get together for it. However, I will be starting a new guitar painting for that show, very soon!

My art show in August is at the local Albuquerque Sierra Club offices. I’ve decided to make it a recycled art show, with the center piece being one of my guitar paintings. There will also be plenty of recycled vinyl record paintings too! πŸ™‚

My first Mandala painting class!

My first Mandala painting class!

This past Saturday was my very first Mandala painting class! I had 3 people attend and we had so much fun! Huge thanks to the folks who decided to spend their Saturday evening with me. Stay tuned for the next class, I will be picking a date very soon!

Mandala Painting class

Mandala Painting class

 

Some Days I Just Push Through

New paintings on the wall and a halfway clean studio!

New paintings on the wall and a halfway clean studio!

Some days, being an artist is just plain painful. Why did I choose this occupation? What was I thinking?! Is it too late to give up and start a new career? Would I even be able to give it up? NO! I guess I’m stuck in this self imposed torture for the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so very grateful that I get to do what I LOVE! Painting is my true bliss! It’s all the other crap that goes along with it that makes it painful. I won’t go into all of that because I’m trying to turn myself around here and be, just BE positive and grateful. Success just seems to keep alluding me. Maybe I’m on the verge? Maybe tomorrow I will sell 20 paintings and all will be ok, right? Life is a journey and I can’t deny, I got on this train, no one forced me at gunpoint! No one to blame but myself. Days like today, I daydream of some mindless job I could do daily to pay the bills, then I remember the last “job” I had. That didn’t work out very well. Oh well. Meditate, pray, paint, wash, rinse and repeat! What else can I do? This is my life. I have some good art shows coming up! I have a new website! Things are looking up, right? Today, I have an interview with a fellow artist for a blog post she is going to write about me. I NEED to get back into a positive frame of mind. Nothing worse than being that pessimistic older artist telling the younger artist how wonderful it’s all been. She knows better than that, but still.

"Find Your Shine", 24 x 30" oil on canvas, $1,050

“Find Your Shine”, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas, $1,050

Alrighty then! Enough wallowing in self pity! Today I’m pushing through to get my paintings ready for the NMCCG show that hangs at the beginning of June. Hanging wires to be added, signatures on those paintings I forgot to sign, small details. Along with that, finishing painting an artist studio that just rented and will be moved in to on Saturday. Getting my studio ready for a Mandala painting class also on Saturday.

"Healing Bloom", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, $600

“Healing Bloom”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, $600

I guess writing all this stuff out helps! I feel better already. I guess I’d better get back to work. Hope you all are having a great day. Oh and the paintings in this blog are the last 3 I finished for the show that I teased about in my last post! I decided to go ahead and share them, just in case someone has their name on one of them! πŸ˜‰ (Always gotta work it ya know?!)

"Sunshine", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, $600

“Sunshine”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, $600