Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Butterfly Mermaid

Butterfly mermaid close up

I was working on this butterfly mermaid to sell, but by the time she was halfway finished, I knew I had to give her to my grand daughter who just turned 6. My husband is going to cut out more butterfly shapes for me to paint – more butterflies, butterfly mermaids, butterfly angels….so many possibilities!

I can’t share the details about why my grand daughter now lives 5 hours away instead of 12 hours away. But I will tell you that it is because God answers prayers and reaffirms that anything is possible!  I’m leaving tomorrow to spend a few days with her, and I can hardly wait!

So if I’m slow to respond here on WordPress, you’ll know why. 🙂

 


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Flowing with Synchronicity

Obstructed for years,

Creative juices now flow

Finding their way home.

ralphwaldoemerson1.jpg The Universe Conspires

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if my husband and I wanted some of the left over wood from the construction of her new house. She wondered they could sell it at the thrift store my husband manages. We loaded his truck with scrap wood of various shapes and sizes. With my friend’s blessing, I saved the pieces that wanted me to paint on them. I like to use the knots in the wood as faces or halos and to look for wings and things in the grain.

Angel Heart

Close up of an angel I painted a few years ago.

The following week, I had just left the local bookstore in a shopping village downtown, when I was drawn into a new store that only sells locally made arts and crafts. Entering this store for the first time, I felt good vibes. Much of the art hanging on soft yellow walls was painted on or cut out of wood. I showed the manager photos of my art from my phone. We scheduled a time to bring in my work to show the owner.

Then, on that same morning, I went to a yoga class I had not been to in two weeks. After the class, my book came up in conversation with one the studio owners who happened to be there. She asked me to do a book signing there this summer, maybe along with a workshop.

The next week, I met with the owner of the local art store. She  liked my work and agreed to hang it. I just needed to set prices – not an easy task.

This morning, I dropped off 24 pieces of my art ready to find new homes. It was like sending little pieces of me out into the world – uncomfortable, yet exciting. It helps to remind myself that they weren’t doing anybody any good collecting dust in my spare bedroom studio.

Ocean Angel long dre

I call her Umbrella Angel

Now, I seem to be finding all kinds of things to paint on at the thrift store – wooden trays, boxes, and wood cut outs to be re-purposed into “canvas.”

All of these opportunities are things I did not consciously plan. They were not on my list of strategies to build my creative new life.

Yet, at the end of last year, I made the decision to quit my long time counseling career to focus on art and writing full time.

I believe the universe is conspiring, as commissioned by God, to work on my behalf. At the same time, I’m going with the flow: walking into that gallery I had not planned to go to, going to the yoga class on that particular day and time….

(It’s the same flow my high school sweetheart was going with when he found me 39 years later.)

Sometimes these things take a while. I loved art and writing as a teenager, but chose a different career path. Now, at the age of 61, I’m finally coming back home to my art.

 

The Gift

“The Gift,” which I painted on an old wooden box top two years ago, has been waiting patiently.

If it can happen to me, it  can happen to everyone.

Never

give

up

on

your

dreams!


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Angel Signs in a Brick (Or Am I Just Seeing Things?)

It started with this brick.

brick and pencil lines

My mission was to paint an angel on the brick to be added to the legacy walkway at the Forest of Dreams. Knowing that I sometimes see angels in wood, trees, and clouds, I peered at the brick for angel signs. Over the next hour, all kinds of things emerged in the brick. I penciled in the wings of the head angel and started a sketch of what I saw. It was an emotional experience bordering on mania. I have a reputation for calmness, so my mania could be another person’s normal. Who knows? But when I get in a drawing or painting zone, it feels kinda manic to me. I often talk to myself in this zone. When I was almost finished with the sketch, I started crying. I’m not entirely sure why, but it has to do with beginning to understand what was happening, even though I’m not sure what was happening.  But I can tell you that working on this project definitely had a supernatural feel to it.

brick sketch 1 (3)

When I do this kind of work, it doesn’t matter that the house needs painting, or that I “need” a new kitchen floor, or that my house is cluttered, or that parts of the bathroom floor feel slightly soft when I step on them. When I am lost in this process of discovery with art, it doesn’t matter that gravity is slowly drawing my body parts closer to the earth and that my thighs are lumpy. When I’m in the zone, none of this matters. As long as I can keep my vision and hold a pencil or a paintbrush for another 20 or 30 years, I’m happy.

The image in the brick was too complicated for the purpose of the legacy walkway, so once I got the sketch done, I painted this angel on the brick.

painted brick w angel (2)

 

A few weeks later, motivated by the local Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games – omg that must mean I’m a senior), I started the painting. It’s not unusual for me to feel tired after a couple of hours in the zone. While painting the images from the brick, I felt more than tired. I had a lot of trouble with the faces, but I kept at it. Waves of exhaustion and subtle nausea passed through me. Maybe it was just low blood sugar. The first time I noticed this, I grabbed a snack, drank some water and kept painting. A little while later, even drinking water and listening to James Taylor didn’t help anymore, so I stopped for the day. The next day, the painting started to come together, and I was on top of the world. Good to remember how those feelings can change.

 I wonder about the energy of the creative process. Have other artists experienced unusual exhaustion or surprising emotion while or after doing creative work?

Of course, the finished painting wasn’t exactly like the sketch. It took on a life of it’s own.

Welcome Home 2017

“Welcome Home” by JoAnna of the Forest/JoAnne Macco

 

I am so thankful God, the universe, and my husband have made it possible for me to stay home to re-discover my creative soul, work on the passions of my heart, and look for signs of angels.

 

 

 


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All (or Nothing) Up in My Head

SOCS

Linda’s prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness is “all or nothing.” We get bonus points if we start and end our post with one (or each) of them.

All or nothing thinking is one of my pet peeves. There are so many possibilities between all and nothing. Just like there are so many beautiful colors between black and white.

As a counselor (and a parent) I encouraged people to watch out for words like always and never because they usually mean someone is not thinking accurately. But it does seem like I always have something to do. I guess that’s better than having nothing to do. But it’s nice to have moments of nothing to do but take a nap or watch the sunset.

River sunset orange and blue

Here’s one of my gazillion sunset photos.

I’ve had a busy week getting ready for the Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games) which includes literary, visual, and performing arts categories. I entered a poem and an essay, and I’m finishing one of two paintings I need to turn in on Monday. All this is happening as my book is getting finished up. There was one final glitch in the typsetting. I say final with some eye rolling because I’ve thought I had a my “final” book cover and “final” PDF to upload more than once.

Gah! When it rains is pours.

Today, working on the painting of angels, which I will share with you next week when it’s done, I got keyed up. I feel emotionally tired after painting for a couple of hours. I want to relax more. But I talk to myself while painting, making comments on whether something is working or not. I spent about an hour on two angel faces trying to get them right.

Do any other artists feel emotionally drained after working on a painting? I don’t feel this from writing, unless I’m writing about something emotional. Which sure did happen writing my memoir.

I asked my gynecologist last week if it’s normal to feel mood swings after menopause that feel hormonal. She said it’s normal, but it’s not necessarily hormonal. She said it’s maturation. I think that’s the word she used. She said as we age, our nervous system doesn’t work quite as well as it used to, so some people get more easily frustrated and some, like me, get weepy. But then the next day, or the next hour, I’m fine. Or better than fine! Plus I realize that I have more time to think now that I’m not working that intense job I did for 30 plus years. Sometimes I have too much time to think, too many conversations in my head. It’s better when I talk to the dog.

So today, I used some mindfulness techniques and rode the old Schwinn I bought for $10 at a yard sale. I rode around my neighborhood with the wind in my hair and finding all the hills I didn’t know existed with my 61 year old knees getting a reminder of the old days. It was a good balance after all that painting and being all up in my head. Balance is something I will continue to seek to stay away from the all or nothing.

 

Doodle and bike

I just had to share my “new” bike (and my old dog)

 

 

Here are the rules for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness Post:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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We’ll Always Have Projects

 

paintbrushes-and-plants-2

I project that I will always have a project. A work in progress. I can’t remember a time, though there may have been one, long, long ago, when I was finished with one project and did not have another one waiting in the wings. Having an old house ensures that we will always have projects. Good thing I like to paint. Not scrape and sand the outside of our wooden house, no, that gets old. But I do like to paint.

I painted my bedroom by myself. After I won a free room painting in a raffle, the guy wouldn’t return my calls, and I finally decided, I can paint it myself! It’s light aquamarine.  That project took a while. But it inspired me, over the years, to paint my living room (a tad darker than my blog background) and the other bedroom (light plumb) myself. Come to think of it, I’ve painted every room of my house-except for the kitchen which has paneling, but I did put the economy class vinyl? tiles on the kitchen floor a very long time ago. That’s another project that needs doing.

There have been times when a person was my project, though I don’t like to admit that, because the only person I really need to focus on changing is me. I’ll always be a work in progress, as we all are, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time, or any time really, projecting what I want someone else to change about him or herself. But don’t we all have those thoughts?  Like wishing someone would….

I think I will stop here before I get myself in trouble.

Except that I want to have some fun projects soon. For me, that means art, painting, puttering. I’ve put off doing several painting projects until I get my manuscript off to be formatted. My book has been one of the longest lasting projects of my life, besides my life, and maybe my daughter’s life. But like I said, I should stop now. Because my daughter has her own life. Yep. I’m done. Getting her through high school was a project. Now I’m done.

Ha! Not really.

I wonder if I’ll have projects after I’m dead. I hope I get to choose. Which reminds me that I am SOOOOO thankful to have time to work on the projects of my choosing, now.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt, “project,” is brought to us by Linda G. Hill.

I’m not linking back to her prompt post today because….well, I broke the rules. I edited a wee bit. Then I edited a wee bit more. So this post is mostly Stream of Consciousness, with a little editing.  Yep. Now I’m a rule breaker. It’s because I retired from my 30 year job as a substance abuse counselor. I was always so compliant! Now all hell’s gonna to break loose. Nah. Not really. I’ll follow the rules next week. I promise. But I did follow rule #8.

Please visit Linda’s blog, and enjoy the many streams of consciousness at

https://lindaghill.com/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


9 Comments

I Always Come Back to Blue

blue-blue

Blue was my first favorite color as a child. Then I started liking purple around the time of puberty. In high school, it was green. Everything I wore was green from my ecology T shirt to my green woven Sagittarius purse. I like yellow and amber quite a lot, too. But when all is said and done, blue is still my favorite.

Here are a few attributes of blue that explain why I like it so much. Source: Artist Raetta Parker

  • Blue is the color of the sky and sea.
  • ¨ It is often associated with depth and stability.
  • ¨ It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
  • ¨ Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
  • ¨ Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
  • ¨ In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
  • ¨ You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water).
  • ¨ Blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.
  • ¨ Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males.
  • ¨ Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.
  • ¨ Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.
  • ¨ When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.

Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.

Sounds good to me, except that I don’t need the corporate part anymore, and I don’t think blue’s necessarily a masculine color by nature. I think the blue/pink dichotomy is a learned thing. But I don’t want to get too serious, that’s where splashes of yellow help.

sunflower-yellow-at-chc

I didn’t realize that blue suppresses appetite! No wonder so many restaurants use red.

I love all blues: sky blue, blue-green, icy blue, true blue.

blue bottle (2).JPG

blue-light

Can you imagine the world without blue? Without color? Color is a treasure.

What’s your favorite color? I’d love to know what you like about it and how it affects you.

pier-at-dark-twilgiht

Just Jot It January is brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/30/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-30th17/

For today’s prompt, “Blue,” thanks to John Holton at https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.