THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

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I cannot believe my first art show in my entire life is one week away.

I am so excited, so happy, so greatful…and at the same time, I’m a nervous wreck.

 I feel like I’m going to puke!

At age 39 I decided to let go of my fear, anxiety & perfectionism and walk through the fire.  I’ve always wanted to declare myself to be an artist, but I was truly afraid of criticism, failure and good old-fashioned not being liked.

17 months ago it got to the point that not living my dreams felt way worse than any fear I could ever imagine.

It was enough to get me to jump off the cliff and into the unknown.  I guess you would call it a “coming out” of sorts.

My personality is not one to be subtle.  I am sure I could have dabbled for a year in my basement. Locked the door and not let any one know my thoughts and feelings. But, if you are going to jump, you should JUMP BIG. right?  Why not make a public decree that you are going to create a creative work every day for a year and share all of your creative angst about it at the same time?  You know,  share my imperfections, my mistakes, my lessons, my triumphs, my successes…

But through it all, I still kept wondering… why?

I know now. Why would I share this?

It’s because I know I’m not alone and I wanted to shed light on this.

I know there are many of us out there afraid to tell our inner most secrets.  Who we are and what we truly want to be.

My husband sent me this quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
A return to love
– Marianne Williamson
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Now that I’ve done it, I can give you some words of wisdom.  It’s not as scary as we, ourselves, make it out to be.  Admitting our dreams to ourself is way harder  than declaring it to the world.
Action is tough too.  It takes every morsel of your soul.  Comfort & safety does feel easier, until it doesn’t…. and then you have a choice; act on it or ignore it.
  Listen. Pay attention. Is something inside calling you to action?  It may simply be the time to start asking yourself this question.  The awareness, the very fact that you may not have even thought to ask what you really want, is big.  When we make-do, we sometimes forget what are choices we really have.
 —————-
So, I am facing my final fear of this entire endeavor on May 4th at 2pm.
It’s the owning of my own declaration.  It is standing in front of my work, sharing  it, allowing the analysis,  allowing the criticism,  exposing my inner self to the world and my peers.
It is in so many ways more difficult than the physical manifestation of the work itself.
But I’m ready.  I feel the catharsis.  When I look around the gallery, It  feels really good.
Everything on the walls is already a part of my past.  It is an experience that has come and it has gone.  It made me richer & stronger as a person.
 I am coming to understand that this is all I truly need to carry with me into the present moment.  The knowledge that I am strong and I am am brave enough to follow my heart.  This is the take-away.
However, I am one to face my fears. I have a fear of not being perfect. It is time to shine the light on it and in doing so hopefully shed it.
I will walk through my mental fire, embrace my journey, be thankful for such a fabulous experience and own it.
Who-wee.  If I get through this exhibition part, its smooth sailing…
because then I will be freed up to embark on a new adventure. Hot diggity dog!

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SHOULD AND MUST

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If you have a moment, 20 minutes actually, I want you to read this:

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

It could change your life.

My cousin Liz, an editor in NYC, sent this to me yesterday.  The note attached was “This made me think of you. Love & see you…”

I quickly glanced at the article thinking Oh boy, if she thought of me this ought to be good… You know, my normal pessimistic self.

I just wanted to publicly thank my cousin for sharing this article and Elle Luna for writing it.

It’s exactly how I feel.  It’s what I spent the past year trying to explain to the world and this woman did it in 20 minutes!

I have known that I have a special purpose since I was a small child.  I am a little amazed that I am quickly approaching 40 and my purpose has yet to be fully unveiled, but darn if I don’t wake up every single morning asking the question and hiking just a little further up my personal mountain.

My biggest shock in life is that there are people who don’t.  Some of my closest friends and family, don’t question their purpose nor believe they have one.  This blew me away.  I truly believed everyone felt a personal calling towards something.  Do only a small portion of humans carry this sense of urgency or does everyone have it , but choose to bury it. Which is it?

I think it’s fear and a lot of fear based around money. It’s crippling.

Well, as I’ve said, I’ve been soul-searching since childhood.  I believe I am on this earth to connect to other humans about something.  I’m supposed to use my art to connect with people.  That’s all I know…Connect about what?  I haven’t figured that out, but I work at it every day.

Use your gifts for the common good.

I have read countless books on this subject. Too many and most were not helpful.  They could identify the yearning inside me but they could not help me get mobile.  To get down to the heart of what I am supposed to do on this earth.  The book The Instruction by Ainslie Mac Leod finally helped me put my life in perspective.  If the SHOULD & MUST article moves you in any way, read The Instruction next. After that, I recommend Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz. It further changed my perspective on my soul’s journey.

After reading the two books I mentioned, I was able to get away from the physical (ie. become famous artist and make loads of money) and move into the realm of something deeper (ie.  be creative, spiritual, & educator).  Here is where I found something that truly resonates.  The physical attributes would simply be icing on the cake!

I realize I have now taken up an extra – extra twenty minutes of your time, but if you’ve followed me over the past year, you know it’s a question near and dear to my heart.

Go.  Live as though you will die within a month.  Be honest with yourself and the world.

Something amazing lies beneath!

http://www.becreativemary.com

POWER TO MY POTTERY PEEPS

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I just love when I walk into pottery class and there are some of my pieces fresh out of the kiln.  It’s always like Christmas, every time!

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I made these two crocks by throwing the bottoms on the pottery wheel and hand-building the top rims.  It’s becoming my style to have a little of both techniques in each piece.  I use wooden textile stamps from Pakistan and Afghanistan to embellish the hand-built areas.  I also purchased some bright cone 5 glazes which I am finally having success with.

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Believe it or not, I have been taking pottery classes for over a year and I only learned how to make a lid two weeks ago.  You’ll probably find that my next 20 pieces will have lids now until I learn another skill!  I hand-built a Dahlia flower and glued in a glass cabachon to give it a little sparkle.

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Tweet. Tweet. Another strange piece to add to my collection! I had made this pretty little canister with a lid, but couldn’t figure out what to do with it….hmm stick a giant bird on top? Of course, it makes perfect sense.  My daughter now wants one with a giant platypus on top…stranger things have happened!

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In this photo there are two bowls and a vase I embellished with embroidery.

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They have a ton of grooves and patterns.  These were not out of the kiln yet. Hopefully next week I can add glazes to them like grout and fill in all of the grooves.  Right now they simply have a underglaze painted on them.  It will give the finished pieces contrast.

I also got the clay head with the glasses fired this week.  I haven’t been able to make up my mind on what I want for his body, so he’s floating around in the studio for the time being.

That’s all I got for pottery show n’ tell this week.  I’m feeling really good lately, like I’ve mastered Level 1 and can move on to more challenging work.  I’m throwing with larger mounds of clay too.

  I never imagined I would have made my way to ceramics. I’m so glad it found me.  I tell you.  I just love it .  It’s always my favorite day of the week!

http://www.becreativemary.com

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary

STILL FRAMING UP THE WAZOO!

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I am finally getting to the bottom of my picture framing pile.  My first 365 Art Show is May 4th, so I’m in good shape.  I don’t think I’d ever do a 365 again, simply on the principle of what one must do with all the work after!

The photo above is of  a large grouping of miniature water colors I framed in super happy mini-frames.  If you click on the photo, you can see them close up.  Just looking at them makes me yearn to get back to painting!

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I also spent a bit of time sanding old  and new picture frames to look weathered.  I love the old country farm-house look.  I think it pairs with my bright-colored paintings quite well. Here’s the finished product:

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Here’s another bunch of paintings I framed… a bit more modern…

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I have a wedding to go to in NY this evening, so my next challenge is to cram as many of these framed works as I can into my car and get them to The Framing Gallery.

I’ll be sad to see them go, they’ve brightened my day during these cold months.  It’s my hope they will find their way to other people’s homes and bring the same joy.

Plus, I need to free up my space so I can get back to being CREATIVE!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

http://www.becreativemary.com

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary

Normal is So Overrated

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Quite sadly, my last bike was stolen right out of my yard while filling our moving van.  It wasn’t the greatest bike, but it was still my bike.

Very kindly, my mother-in-law offered up her old bike.  It’s a gray old Mongoose.  Nothing fancy, yet quite functional.

I’m at the point in my life, where I really don’t want a fancy car (that can be broken into), I don’t want an expensive bike (that can be stolen right out of my yard), nor do I want precious materials throughout my home (that would make me lose sleep and want to buy an alarm system).

I simply want comfy things and well thought-out pieces that I can enjoy every day. And yet, if they were no longer in my life, it wouldn’t  cause me any angst. In fact, it would bring me joy because then I’d have a reason to hunt for a new well worn-out treasure!

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My little girl thought it would be a great idea to take those new duct tapes on the market and decorate what she has termed my ” ugly bike”.

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She just so happens to have a not-so-normal mother who thought this was a flipping splendid idea!

We duct-taped my bike.  It now looks like Pee-Wee Herman’s flower garden and I simply love it.

If it gets worn-out, I’ll pick new tape and if someone tries to steal it, well good luck riding this bike through town.

I think we all shall know who it belongs to!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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