Thursday, October 19, 2017

Painting Class Complete

     Last night I completed my 6-week painting class. I closed it off with much gratitude expressed to the instructor, Will, who patiently nurtured this complete rookie artist and taught me so much.
     One of the techniques he taught us was sgraffito, defined as "a technique used in painting, pottery, and glass, which consists of putting down a preliminary surface, covering it with another, and then scratching the superficial layer in such a way that the pattern or shape that emerges is of the lower color." My execution of this delightfully messy process went like this: I painted a piece of hardboard, then applied a mixture of Kilz and salt (yes, you read that correctly), then carved lines through it, let it dry, then painted it. Here it is (I'm going to put a shiny gloss on it, I think...see below):

     I am in a state of wavering between "I like it" and "it's butt-ugly." For what it's worth, Will, my instructor says it is not butt-ugly. Anyway, the jury is still out.
     Geez, who knew that painting was such a mental/emotional/spiritual challenge, besides having to learn all the technical stuff?!?! Anyway, I'm digging it!
     In living color,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Amazing Bodies

     Here is a 5-minute video by Baxter Bell, M.D. and yoga teacher, describing the anatomy of the knee:
     I've been sharing this with my yoga classes this week. I do this obviously for education, but I am always stressing the amazing awesomeness of the human body and encouraging us to appreciate our bodies. It is interesting to me how the knee is designed to bend and extend, of course, but it is also specifically designed to not do other things.
     We tend to take our bodies for granted unless they fail us in some way, then we get irritated with them. This is generally not a path to improvement. Our bodies listen to our self-talk, so appreciation is a much better way to be be comfortable in our own skin.
     Loving my knees,

Friday, October 6, 2017

The first one is finished...

     Because I have written about my acrylic painting class, and continue to (mostly) enjoy getting "outside my box," here's my first completed project from class:

Have an excellent day!

Friday, September 29, 2017


From Maya Angelou: "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it."
     I say, "Amen to that!" because I have been in the opposite place of not liking me, and therefore, I did not like what I did or how I did it. I did countless creative projects, but because I was not comfortable with myself, I didn't like what I created. Let's look at this from the end result and work backward... if you are never satisfied with what you do, it's not good enough or perfect enough or whatever enough, let that be a trigger to look into your relationship with yourself.
     I am reminded of my former self by my painting class adventures. I am tempted to feel dissatisfaction with my budding artist efforts, being a total rookie at painting. This is exasperated by another person in the class who paints beautifully, and has done so for many years, but she is never satisfied with what she does, always criticizing her own work, quite vocally. She's a profound example of where I do not want to go, as it would surely kill my joyful desire to paint.
     Ms. Angelou's words point to success as being quite simple, though not necessarily easy.
     Happy with me,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rich and Learning

     Today's Note from the Universe by Mike Dooley included this:
If you're reading this right now on a phone or computer, you're rich.
If you have somewhere to go today, you're connected.
And if there is anyone, anywhere, who for any reason knows where you are at this moment, you’re loved.
How's that for a feel-good reminder?

     I would also offer today the list of "life lessons" we come here to Playground Earth to learn over various lifetimes, as listed in The Twelve Layers of DNA by Lee Carroll:
Learn to love
Learn to listen
Learn to receive
Learn to love yourself
Learn to speak your truth
Learn how not to be a victim
Learn not to let anyone define you
Learn how to feel your own mastery
Learn how to live with other Humans
Learn how to get out of blaming others
Learn how to move out of duality (drop your karma)
Learn how to take care of yourself more than others
Learn that you deserve to be here, and are not dirty when you are born
Accomplishing all these things would certainly make for an extraordinary life. I still have plenty of learning to do, and I'm loving it!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trying Something New

     In the author bio in my soon-to-be-released book, one of the roles I listed for myself is "budding artist." This is because the book includes artwork for coloring created by yours truly. Referring to myself as any sort of artist, budding or otherwise, is a stretch for me about as wide as the Grand Canyon.
     Last night was my first in a series of six classes on acrylic painting at City Arts in Wichita. Other than the mandatory art classes in high school, I have never done anything like this, ever. I went into it with joyful expectations of fun and learning, and my expectations were met over-the-top. Of the five students in the class, I am the only one who is a complete and total rookie. It is so fun on a soul level to be so wide open to learning something so new. I confessed that I am powerfully moved and intrigued by color and light the way some folks respond to music. I also confessed that the idea of having to paint anything that is supposed to actually look like something real is terrifying. I learned that the painting I love, and hope to create, is called "non-objective." I'm on it!
     The instructor spent half the class talking about the materials we would be using. He's a man after my own heart, suggesting always to take the thrifty/bargain route. Big relief there. Then we actually had time to do some play with paints, and even doing the simple color chart as a starter--well, I got lost in it, and would have spent the rest of the evening there had we not had a class ending time. What fun!
     Maybe there's some new thing you'd like to explore????
     Learning and loving it,

Friday, September 8, 2017

This Brave Broad says, "Getting older requires great bravery!"

     I hurt my right knee, making life difficult and uncomfortable. A couple weeks' time should heal it up nicely, but in the meantime...
     That obnoxious Inner Roommate voice in my head is saying, "You're getting older. Get used to those aches and pains 'cause they are gonna keep on coming." If that doesn't annoy me enough, it goes on, "If you hurt yourself bad enough, you'll be dependent. Then after a long time of being a burden, you'll die." Sometimes I want to rip my own head off!
     Clearly, this is another growth opportunity. An opportunity to focus on what I want in life (total well-being) instead of what I don't want (see preceding paragraph). An opportunity to be compassionate toward my amazing body, rather than irritated with it. And as good timing would have it, I have a weekend workshop later this month wherein I can work deeply on all these growth opportunities.
     Focusing on well-being, yes, yes, I am,