storyteller

art gives flight to my truth

One of the things that I love about art is its ability to tell stories. There is so much to explore and express as one who is only beginning to lean into her artistic roots. Art  leads me to a sacred space and gives flight to my truth. That is truly a gift.

stand your ground

what came to me in this piece was determination, courage, setting your own course and standing your ground

I love Saturday mornings, especially when no one else is up yet and the house is quiet. I actually got to enjoy a full cup of hot tea. Typically, I’m rushing around in the mornings, trying to get out the door for work, and I only get a couple of sips before my tea goes completely cold. I opened the windows and let in some fresh air and  spent some time looking at the work of artists I admire – Toni Burt, Tamara LaPorte, Jane Davenport, Kelly Rae Roberts, etc. Their work seems flawless, and I began feeling like I have so much to learn! I’ve been experimenting with acrylics and watercolor lately and am not great at using either, but it’s been fun and interesting exploring how to blend, mix, and add texture. I worked on the piece above for a couple of days after work until the wee hours of the morning – not quite happy with it, but I continue to remind myself that this is about enjoying the process and creating for the sake of creating! I find art incredibly therapeutic, but often approach it like work. I have to get it right and get it done quickly, efficiently. The completely wrong mindset, right? In any case, what came to me in this piece was determination, courage, setting your own course and standing your ground. I generally hate conflict – I want everyone to live and breathe harmony, which unfortunately, is not possible in this world, especially when you work with prideful, inflexible, rigid people.

At work this week, I was faced with a difficult situation that made me feel, for lack of better words, completely yuck. Dealing with difficult clients is not my forte and is such a drain! I knew that I was putting my best foot forward and was determined not to let what was clearly the other party’s issues become an attack on my person and heart. It wasn’t easy, and it will continue to be a tenuous situation, but I believe that I’ll handle it with grace and authenticity, even if the other is blind to it. Well, that’s enough of that. I look forward to making art over the weekend and recharging. There is so much more to life than letting arrogance bring you down. May you have a lovely weekend doing what you enjoy!

Cheers!

be who you are

if I could tell my younger self anything, I’d say be who you are

It’s taken me half my life to feel comfortable in my own skin. If I could tell my younger self anything, I’d say, “be who you are.” I drew and painted this piece in celebration of living your own truth, finding your most authentic self, and doing what makes you happy.

Cheers!

soul care

i’m grateful for this period of creativity in my life

I had never heard of ‘soul care’ until this morning as I was listening in to the Possibilitarian podcast hosted by artist, Kelly Rae Roberts, and Nichole Poinski. A light went off in my head as I contemplated why I feel so tired much of the time. Giving of yourself constantly is draining. I realized that I’m deficient in soul care. I think soul care is making a habit of practicing self-kindnesses, taking time to connect with your heart, and engaging in what feeds your soul and uplifts you. It’s finding ways to refuel and energize emotionally, physically, spiritually, and psychologically. I’m convinced that I’ll never have balance in my life – it’s just not possible. I have a job that’s extremely demanding, and at the end of the day, my light is barely flickering. I’m always just hovering over burnout. During this season of my life, I may not be able to change that, but I can counteract the fatigue by changing little things. I’ve decided that at bedtime, I’m going to identify five things that I did well during the day instead of checking my work emails or thinking through my to-do list for the next day. Maybe I responded with grace to a negative conversation with someone instead of reacted out of defensiveness. Maybe I took a 15 minute walk during my lunch break, which I rarely take away from my desk. I can try harder to practice gratitude instead of looking at all the things that are weighing me down. Tonight, I”m grateful for this period of creativity in my life. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I’m grateful for the spark. I finished this little piece tonight. It’s interesting to see how something turns out, as it never ends up the way I expect, and I have to silence the self-critic. But I remind myself that art is a process, and l’m growing. And, the inspiration that comes with it is gratifying.

Cheers…

dreaming of taipei

one day I’ll return to Taiwan; until then I can dream.

This is a light sketch I drew this morning. The inspiration behind it is the reunion in Taipei, Taiwan, that I had with my birth family in 2012. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back since. I met my two older biological sisters and their spouses, my older brother, my uncle, and nieces and nephews after nearly three years of searching. My birth parents had both passed away, so I did not have the opportunity to meet them, although my sisters gave me photos of them. Our reunion occurred during the Lunar New Year. I long to go back and visit my family, thus the silhouette of the Taipei skyline sitting in the background. I drew the silhouette from a vector I found on Google. The tall building with the spire on top is Taipei 101, a landmark super tall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei. I believe it’s still the second tallest building in the world (the first one being in Dubai). My sisters took me to this architectural wonder. There were floors and floors of high end shopping and larger than life murals of models advertising Burberry and designer fragrances. It was fantastic fun and good eating.

dreamingI later painted the drawing and didn’t like the way it turned out. I actually like the sketch better because of its simplicity. Oh well, it’s good to keep practicing. One day, I’ll return to Taiwan. Until then, I can dream.

a river of joy

when you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy

My family and I took a vacation to Florida recently. We went to Epcot Center, which I haven’t had the opportunity to visit since I lived in Orlando years ago. It was my daughter’s first time to Epcot. Despite the heat and humidity, it was such a fun time. I felt pure joy watching her face light up as she took in all the sights, as though she were a young child again.

Joy is something that I don’t naturally embody. I have to work at it. Typically, others tell me that I’m calm, kind, or compassionate, but never joyful. I’m pretty sure that on most days, I don’t feel particularly joyful at work – more like drained. Creating this piece put me in my joy zone straight away though. I used coloured pencils, acrylic paint, some leftover designer card stock, and a little tacky glue. After drawing the figure, I traced over the dress using white copy paper in order to create a pattern. I then cut the pattern out and cut it down further into smaller sized shapes. Next, I used the patterned shapes to cut the card stock into quilt-like “squares.” I glued the squares using tacky glue onto my canvas and mixed sage and white acrylics to paint the background.

I rarely have days like today where I spend the majority of the afternoon dabbling in art, but I intend to to make more time for it. I’m reminded of this quote by Rumi, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” That is what art is for me, a river of joy.

silence between the notes

It is a beautiful, cloudy day in the Pacific Southwest. I’m enjoying a morning cup of Earl Grey with my paints and brushes. I’ve been art journaling almost daily lately and wish that I could spend my days drawing rather than working. Sigh…I was telling my husband that I’d really love my own art studio and to take some classes, but for now, I’m happy dabbling at my dining room table. I’m never completely satisfied with what I create, but it’s fun to experiment, and figure out my own personal style. Hoping to invest soon in more art supplies so that I can explore even more. I love Claude Debussy’s quote, “Music is the silence between the notes.” So it is in life – silence is where I often find inspiration.