Tag Archives: getting out of your comfort zone

Friday Funday: Artist Date!

 

Friday is Funday in my art studio. I like to put aside all the “business” stuff and have a day to play and enjoy being an artist. Julia Cameron, who wrote the book, “The Artist’s Way”, which I read for the first time almost 20 years ago, recommends taking yourself on an “Artist date”. This is something you do to feed your inner artist. Whether it be going to an art supply store and browsing supplies, or going to an art gallery or museum and looking at art for inspiration. You can do what I do and play in your studio or wherever you make your art.

I forget about this a lot of the time but it’s a great idea! Not just for artists either! EVERYONE should have self dates to feed their creativity or their spirit. You can go it alone or with a friend. Museums and galleries always fuel my inspiration. There is nothing quite like seeing what other artists are doing to light a fire deep inside me to create something new. I recently made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe with some out of town visitors. Georgia’s work has always had a way of making me want to go out into the desert and paint a landscape. Even though it’s been YEARS since I painted a landscape!

This week, I decided to stay in the studio and paint. This would seem like a normal day in the studio for me but for Friday Funday it’s all about being free and not trying to control what I’m painting. No judgements, no mistakes, just FUN!

8 x 10" oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, "Abstract flower".

Playing with paint today this 8 x 10″ oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, “Abstract flower”.

Today, as everyday, I started with a 20 minute meditation. I had another painting show itself to me today (see above). Before this week, it had been about a year since I had taken out the paints and brushes. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for something new to do. My thinking was I needed to make art that was functional. Something that would be used and not just hung on a wall or stuck in a closet.

It started last summer with creating an adult coloring book. Interactive art! I hand drew 20 mandalas and published my own book. Now available in printed and pdf format in my Etsy shop.

After the coloring book I was reminded of how much I enjoy sewing and pulled my dusty old sewing machine out of the closet, and had it cleaned up and serviced so it would work again! I found Spoonflower.com and designed my own custom fabric using my art. I started making dolls and art pillows using my custom art fabric.

Now that I’ve totally taken a tangent from my original topic, I will come back around to say it’s all related! Art and creativity is all about play! It’s about going with the flow and creating whatever comes to mind. Why be pigeonholed by painting? Painters can create in other mediums too. The coloring book project forced me to pull out pencils and markers to make line drawings. The sewing project took me completely out of my normal creation zone and back to being a kid who made dolls for the State Fair. Not to mention creating custom fabric bringing out the graphic designer in me to create designs in photoshop.

What I’ve learned from the whole process is sometimes it’s important to do things differently. When we feel like we are in a rut, shake things up! Get out of your comfort zone. Instead of painting, try your hand at ceramics or sewing! I still have an urge to make pottery, but haven’t gotten that far just yet. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Living My Life Backwards

Aaron and Paula hiking in the Cibola forest

My husband Aaron and I during our most recent hike in the Cibola National forest, NM

I have always done things backwards. When I was 16 I gave birth to my first son, THEN I got married when he was 4 months old. Divorced by age 25, I found the love of my life when I was 26. Graduated college at the age of 30. Raised all three of my sons by the age of 42. Now at almost 43, I’m living the life of a 20 something! Playing music and making art, no worries in the world. Traveling, taking risks, life is good.

I have often heard people say “youth is wasted on the young”. I agree! When I was in my 20s I was so serious about everything. There was no time for fun and games! Now that I’m in my 40s, my body doesn’t always agree with the active life I lead. If only I could have appreciated my young body instead of being so self condemning. Looking back it’s always easy to see your mistakes and misperceptions. Do you think that will stop me? Heck NO!

A few years ago at one of my art shows, I met an 80 something woman who was such an inspiration. She told me how her “kids” were disgusted with her for acting like she was in her 20s. She was enjoying her golden years, taking trips around the world by herself, but her kids were worried for her safety. I mentioned something about “growing old gracefully” and she corrected me by saying, “I have no intention of growing old gracefully, my goal is to grow young disgracefully”.

Her statement has stuck with me all these years. That is exactly my intention! I plan on using up this body completely, and enjoying every minute of it! I have had many senior citizen friends throughout my life. I LOVE old people! They aren’t afraid of what other people think about them. They do what they want, when they want, and how they want. They have so many great stories to tell. The healthy ones stay active, live life to it’s fullest! It’s the key to a long, happy life, staying active.

My dad never made it to his senior years, he died the day before his 65th birthday. I plan to live way past that, but you never really know when it will be your time to go! My dad was another role model for this way of life. To celebrate his 50th birthday, he went skydiving! Not long after that, he cashed in his retirement fund, bought an RV and traveled around the country for 2 years until the money ran out. Looking back, I’m so happy he did that! He eventually went back to teaching, but he never got to enjoy his actual retirement because he died 2 months before he was set to retire.

view from the top, aspens changing color

View from the top of the mountain, looking across to the opposite peak where the Aspens are changing colors

That’s why my husband and I are working on a plan to put our belongings into storage, buy an RV, and travel around the country, playing music and selling art as we go. We may even backpack across Europe, after we hike the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles long!) LIVING LIFE TO IT’S FULLEST! EVERYDAY! THAT is what life is all about. Stepping out of the comfort zone of a boring, everyday life and doing the things you have always dreamed of doing. NOW, before it’s too late. Life is too short to spend it saying “someday”. NOW is the only time you ever really have.