Monday, March 13, 2017

The Sunny Spot, and a balancing act

'The Sunny Spot'
6 x 6 inches
oil on panel

So much of our every day life is just trying to keep everything in balance. Don't you think? Balance with work, family, hobbies, kids activities, school work, church work, yard work, house work. It's so tough to keep it all together. And I don't think any of us really do. Some do it better sure, but no one has it all together, as much as they want us to believe they do through social media posts.

The last few weeks my family has been really sick. My dad had surgery. And my sweet old dog, Chauncy is nearing the end of his life, and so we have to decide when to make that hardest decision that will separate him from us forever.

So my mind. . . it's been everywhere. My heart has felt so heavy. I'm not trying to sound like my life is terrible, because it's not. I feel so blessed to have the life I do. Loved ones that care about me, a warm comfortable home, and plenty of food to eat. But still. . . it's been tough, and I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

During this time of stress and sadness I've let a lot slip. But I've maintained as much as possible two things that help me feel balanced even in stressful situations.

Fitness. And Art.

I think we all have those things that clear our mind and rejuvenate us to tackle the day. And even if it seems selfish to take time to do them, we HAVE to. Otherwise there is nothing left of us to offer anyone else.

At the end of a long week of being a caretaker to many sick people and a dog I finally entered my studio. Turned on the lamp. Laid my brushes out carefully. And I painted. It lasted about 15 minutes. But it felt so good and restored something in my soul I had felt was missing that long week.

Art is so much more than just paint on paper. It is so much more than a profession. It is a balm to my soul. And I think that too often we forget that as we chase after professional goals and personal ones too. It was a good reminder to me. Hopefully it was to you too. When was the last time you got to do what rejuvenates you when you really, really needed it? I'd love to know.

Love,
Crystal

Watching: The Walking Dead
Listening to: Nirvana
Reading: Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
Drinking: water
Snacking on: protein bars (G2G are my fave)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Like a Rusty Faucet

Gypsy Liberty
3.5 x 9.5 inches
watercolor on paper

I've always been the type of person to dive headfirst into whatever it is I'm passionate about at that moment. it consumes me and it's all I think about. I live it, breathe it, dream it. If I'm awake I'm either practicing my passion, or I'm thinking about when I next get to practice. 

But inevitably, that ends in a burn out. Well. . . most of the time. 

And then it's weeks or months on end before I pick up that passion again. And at first it's a little like an old faucet that hasn't been used for a while. It sticks, doesn't open right, and then after smacking the stupid faucet with some type of tool (a wrench maybe) it starts to trickle a little water.  Then the next time you try to use that faucet it's just a little easier to open. Doesn't take as much. . . abuse to get it to start flowing, even if it is still just a trickle. 

Slowly, if you're patient, and you don't give up, and you use that faucet every day, it flows effortlessly. Like it used to when it was brand new. Like it was made to. 

That's how I feel about painting right now. 

For a long time I let my skills get rusty. But with practice I'm back at home again. And back in the flow. 

It's a great place to be. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Luminous Berries and Art Life Updates

Luminous Berry
5 x 5 watercolor on paper

For the last several months painting has constantly been on my mind. I dream up ideas for future paintings, my hands itch to hold a brush, and I try to figure out how to get 26 hours out of each day, or require less than 5 hours of sleep at night, so I can get more painting time.

Since the new year came and the holidays are gone for another year (YASSS) I made a promise to myself that I would paint every day. If only for 15 minutes. Well. . . . I haven't kept that promise. Some days I just can't make it to paint. Which IS frustrating. BUT on the positive side I have painted more this month than I did the last six months combined. So I think I'm onto something here.

This painting is the first watercolor daily painting (never mind that it took me about 6 days to finish instead of 1) I've finished in. . . 3 years I think. And I have found a lot of satisfaction in that.

I'm excited to keep on painting, I have SO many ideas sketched out! We'll see how well I do at keeping this blog updated too.

Thanks for following along with my artwork!

Hugs,
Crystal

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