Thursday, July 22, 2010

Small Things

      I am a morning person. I love to get up early before the rest of my family wakes up to get some things done that will put me in the frame of mind I need to have to be a good mom, or at least the best that I can be that day :) By 'things' I mean creative things, like painting, drawing or writing.

       A lot of people ask me how I find time to paint, I think they see it as a luxury I afford myself. But that's not how I see it. My life is busy, really busy, just like yours. I don't have a lot of time to paint, but I still do. Because I have to, for my soul. And so I make the time.

      There is something about creating as the sun rises that quiets me and sweeps away a lot of my stress. It's good for me, it's become something that I have to do. Thinking about finding inspiration this week has been kind of tricky, I'm still not feeling that spark that propels me to paint. But I'm painting and drawing anyway, trying to convince it to come back :)

      Last night as I went to sleep I was thinking about things that had happened in my life that day. I felt regret for losing my temper, I felt sad that I hadn't fully enjoyed the fleeting moments I have with my rapidly growing children, and mostly I felt discouraged that I haven't been living up to the expectations I have for myself. Whenever I let those negative thoughts creep in I can't ever paint like I want to.

      So this morning I woke up determined to do better, to try and find little beautiful things in my very ordinary life. Here are some small things that I've felt inspiring me over the last few days:

  • my colored pencils, I love opening my big box of 132 colored pencils and picking whatever color 'calls' to me. Colored pencil is a very slow medium (and I think I make it even more slow just because I am sloooow by nature) and it's kind of comforting to work on a piece and see it evolve layer by layer. It's actually a lot like my watercolor process that way.
  • I'm working on a more finished drawing, and I haven't done that in a long time. It's taking me forever, but I'm trying to look at that in a positive way, it's building my patience right? Right. And so far I really love how it's turning out.
  •  I was looking through some photos this morning and I found this one:

     We were at a nature preserve a few weeks ago and my two boys had the BEST time. Not because they were looking at all the nature, but because they were making up their own little game (I think they were being Jedi knights actually). They had so much fun and they didn't even have any toys, just a couple of sticks they picked up off the ground (ahem. . . I mean swords, er lightsabers). And remember when you were little and you would always try to not walk on the cracks of boards or sidewalks? That's what they're doing here :):):)

     Why does this photo inspire me? Because it reminds me to stop thinking and just play. Sometimes we work too hard and we just need to let go and go with whatever we create. Don't you think?

     So, what's inspiring you this week?


  1. It's a beautiful photo that really tells a story, I think it's great when kids can inspire us and remind us that we too need to play. A box of colored pencils is the best, but sometimes I have to grab my box of 96 Crayola Crayons and grab a coloring book and color, it may sound a little childish, but it's very therapeutic!

  2. Thanks Rachel! And I so agree with you about crayons, I LOVE to do that. Coloring with my kids is one of my favorite things to do :) I don't think it sounds childish at all!

  3. Again, Crystal, you are my inspiration today to just stop and be grateful for everything I do have and stop worrying about what I don't. Your reflections are a beacon. I've been feeling the same way. I get all excited about sitting down to work and then as the time approached I get a dark, foreboding feeling and I procrastinate. I guess those are the times I need to refuel. I just loved my coloring book and crayons as a child. They made me feel safe. Keep doing what brings you joy, getting up and being creative is a wonderful way to start the day.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful supportive and generous comments. Hang in my friend, this too shall pass.

    The photo is lovely and you are an exceptional mom!

  4. I love that photo! It's the kind I would definitely blow up and frame. I have a picture of my son walking on a hike last year (when he was 3). I photographed the back of him walking with a stick, and he's surrounded by big beautiful trees and a long path in front of him. It was taken a month before we adopted him and it reminded me of the long life he'll have with us. I blew it up and framed it:)

  5. Hi Crystal ,
    I was touched reading this post.It was so nice to go through what you wrote .Please do post your thoughts too, I think you paint very well but I feel you write well too.

  6. Very thought-provoking and inspirational post, Crystal. I love your painting and your writing. An inspirational book somewhere in your future filled with your watercolor art? Maybe?

  7. Ahh... What a lovely photo. Oh, to be that young again.......
    Anyway, I am NOT a morning person - Quite the opposite in fact! But in the evening I find it hard to paint because I feel guilty if I am not spending that time with my family - So, I am afraid that much of my art work at the moment, comes from snatched moments here and there.
    As for your narrative today (which I always love to read)...
    Why is it that along with the joy of having children comes so much guilt! Guilt that we had to tell them off today, guilt that we weren't there to catch them when they fell, guilt that maybe we didn't make it to the front row of the church at their Harvest festival... The list goes on! I think that feeling guilty is just part of motherhood, because we always worry that we are not getting it quite right - That's what makes us nice Mums - because we care enough to worry about it! Actually, I wouldn't even narrow it down to being a Mum! I think as women it is in our nature to worry about everyone and everything (just particularly about our children)! The love you have for your family positively bursts out of your blogs! Your beautiful paintings are an extention of that.
    If you are feeling uninspired, maybe try painting something completely different - just for you and just because you can!
    It worked for me!

  8. Just a couple of days ago I read an article in major online art magazine that said not to waste time leaving comments in other artists blogs because it doesn't do anything to the artist's career and is a waste of time . And I thought --how dumb! Other bloggers like you are my inspiration when I see you and others paint, post and express thoughtful and inspiring creative ideas, I feel the urge to get my paints, pencils and paper out and get to business! Thanks Crystal for your art and writing! And keep on playing!

  9. Hey, that place looks familiar. ;) What a good picture you got. I love that place!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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