"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And here she is....

It's been what seems like forever since I posted my last "philosophical" blog. It's not for the lack of trying.... but I just couldn't seem to do it. In the midst of all the portrait sessions, illness and demands on life I found myself exhausted and without the energy to build people up. That's what I like to do of course on my blog, leave you with a thought, a good word, a something that will give you a smile on your journey of life... but I just couldn't smile much myself so I couldn't muster any up for you all. My sincere apologies... except that I was just exhibiting my true humanity... something we can all relate to.

I asked a friend this morning who knows me perhaps better than anyone else does "Who AM I? What do I do well?" I've been struggling with this question lately. You see, I want to make a mark on the world (a true ENFP goal, I know). I don't want to breathe and then leave. As I get older at an alarming fast rate I keep waiting for that moment when I come into my own and rise to the occasion of what is my life.... and yet a deep wide chasm of fear has started to come near me that I might just not get there.

Oh it's not for want of trying. I work very hard to be the perfect mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, dog owner, homeowner, neighbor, photographer, God-fearing woman in the world. Just that list alone exhausts me. Then I add on the paying for anything in life over and above my dwelling place. I work hard to find healthy foods to eat (something I don't always succeed at) and to get an allotted amount of exercise in to keep my body healthy. That again is something I fear that I'm losing at.

Those things are part of my life - but they don't define me. Yes, they define my time and they are the way that others are able to "size me up" so to speak but they are not the essence of who I really am. So WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE?

Well my friend sized up the "Who am I" question very well today. He said... "You are REAL. If you teach something, you work hard to really KNOW it. If you give advice you live through it first so you are not making empty promises. When you put yourself to any venture you want to make sure that you can be as good as you can be. You leave no stone unturned to learn ALL about everything that you set your hand to. You develop your skill more than anyone else I know and you still don't think that you are good enough. You are great at so many things. What you are NOT good at is putting yourself out there for the world to see. You are like one of those hidden jewels packaged in something that the world doesn't notice. You are not the flashy ones that have no substance for your substance is great as is your character."

What a beautiful thing to say to me. And yes, I've always been "real". Perhaps its my NJ upbringing or my lineage of a long line of people with very high integrity. I cherish that.

My question is: what do I have to bring to the world... to you? I guess it's just honesty. It is not about filling you with lofty ideas that don't bring you anywhere. There will be times that I'm feeling happy and optimistic about possibilities and then there will be other times that I just feel down. Times when I have worked it as hard as I could and it still wasn't good enough. I struggle with that because I've always been a "talented" person. I don't say that to boast for those were gifts given me by God and I have worked really hard to grow and cultivate them to the best of my abilities. I've needed those gifts to survive.

My creativity is the gift that I've most cherished. With my art I have been able to "process" my life - to make sense of things that I couldn't logically solve in that right brain of mine. I find when I don't create- be it art or music I become unglued.... my mind gets foggy and I don't cope well with things.

So I have made a promise to myself on this first day of November. I am going to try to create every day. Maybe some days all I have time for is a 10 minute improv on the piano. Other days I may be able to spare a few hours to put out some kind of artistic rendering of my day or perhaps a greater project.
To do this I signed up for http://creativeeveryday.com/art-every-day-month-2012-participants a Create every day challenge for the month of November. I understand that my sister and nieces have signed on to write a novel this month.... seems to be the creative month. Would you join me and climb on board?

Many of you that read this are photographers. Doing your studio work doesn't count UNLESS with each session you do something 'out of your box'. Shoot for the client first and then finish it off with something just for you!

For those poets among us - why don't you write a poem a day and illustrate it with some pictures and publish it as a book at the end of the month... wouldn't that be cool?

Maybe for you visual artists as myself - you should work on a book too - maybe a theme that you can run through the month. I'm thinking I might try that...It could be by depicting one real or imagined person and a trip through their life or a theme like angels (for Christmas) or puppies or whatever floats your boat.

I'm not going to write every day anymore.... unless of course I feel the urge. I don't want to write depressing things and sometimes I'm down... it comes with the territory. Artists after all feel their highs just a bit higher and their lows just a bit lower. However for this month I am going to try to publish something every day.... something created... something felt. A piece of my soul in artistic form.

By the way - those Udemy classes are still available. I will be running a special soon on them again. Also I'm working on some great workshops with a good friend that any of you in business will not want to miss... more details to come later.

I better get going... I have to create something today. For me creating is dessert - it gives me joy just thinking about it. Too often I never get around to that "treat" because I'm doing the mundane things that must get done but today, my first stop is to the art store for some new paints and some paper....
See you there!

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