Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


28 Comments

SoCS: Clothes, Bottle Caps, Ants, Pennies, Magazines, and Angels

Now here’s an interesting prompt:

…..“more than a hundred.” Write your post inspired by something you have more than a hundred of in your home right now. Enjoy!

Clothes: The first thing that came to mind was items of clothing. Shopping at thrift stores is not good for minimalizing my stuff. It’s hard to resist a pretty skirt that only costs three dollars. I know the tricks of backward hangers and all that. It’s been a while since I culled my clothing. Yuck, I don’t like the word culled…. oh well – the stream….. Let’s move on.

Bottle Caps: I collect plastic bottle caps for some art project. I guess I might have at least 200, maybe more. I played around with making a turtle a while back. Some day, I’ll really make something out of them. Oh, yeah, and the melted marbles…

Ants: I probably have more than 100 ants hiding in my house. But I don’t want to think about that. I will only deal with the ones I see. When I am my best and highest self, I scoop them up and take them outside as gently as I can, when I am at my best and highest self. That’s all I’m going to say about that. The key is cleaning up after making a peanut butter and jelly wrap, dear husband, by wiping the counter. Even if you don’t see that tiny spot of jelly, the ants will know it’s there. Okay, enough about ants already.

Pennies: Somewhere in a corner I have a big old wine bottle or two full of pennies. Why? I don’t know. But there must be well over 100 pennies. Way more.

Magazines: Some belong to my husband and some I’m saving for yet another art project – collages to be precise. This prompt is making me realize what I have to declutter.

Angels: I don’t know if I have more than 100. But my mother did. I gave away many of her angels, but I’ve kept a lot, too. If you include the angels I have on cards and artwork along with the knickknacks, there could be over 100. I’m not counting. Angels are everywhere, but you don’t always see them.

I had cards made with this ocean angel.

Mimosa Angels

There are always some of my mimosa angel ornaments lying around, so yeah, there’s over 100. With angels, that’s okay. You can’t have too many angels.

For more streams of consciousness, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

Here are the rules:

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!


35 Comments

SoCS: Brushstrokes

Today’s prompt is …brush.” Use it as a noun, a verb, or an idiom. Have fun!

“Brushstrokes” keeps coming to me. Oh there’s brushing my hair, brushing the dog, don’t brush too much under the rug, or you’ll trip over it…. I could brush up on my yoga and do more than just stretch and warrior poses…..

But brushstrokes keep coming back to me. I like painting whether it’s painting a wall, a painting, or a cabinet. Just one cabinet, not all of them. Did that years ago. I’d rather paint a painting.

Sometimes, I’ll plan something I’m going to paint in great detail and then it turns out differently. So, I’ve learned to go with the flow. Just start with a general idea and see what happens. It’s not easy for me to do that until I get in the zone. It’s good to have a clear idea of what you want, but even though God listens, God might have something even better in mind.

I wonder if God, our Creator, knew exactly what she or he or both, whoever, whatever – God – wanted to create in the beginning. Was there an outline? A blueprint? I don’t think so. I bet creating earth and fish, trees, animals, and human beings was more organic, like a great experiment, flowing from one adventure to the next.

Does God ever wish there had been a blueprint? Does God shake her head and think, maybe that free will business wasn’t such a good idea after all?

But here we are with our free will. Making messes that hopefully we can fix. I don’t know. I think I’d rather paint. Brush strokes, or dabbing like Bob Ross. He used brushes in different ways. I’ve been meaning to watch one of his videos just for fun. Maybe I can find one now! If I do this in a real SoCS way, I might pick one at random.

I have a plan to paint a bridge, so that’s the one I picked. I have not always been a big fan of Bob Ross, but my how relaxing it is to watch him. It’s an ASMR thing. Can I remember what that stands for? Autonomic Sensory Meridian Response. Soft, repetitive… I could get hooked…..

Watching Bob, I’m all relaxed now. Forgot what I was writing about. Seems like I remember reading Bob Ross was in the military before he became a sweet, painter. I bet he had another side, cause we ALL do.

Here’s the photo of the idea I have for a painting.

Wait. Where’s the bridge?
There’s’ the bridge in the distance.

Except I’m going to make it one of those stone bridges with an arch. But who knows….. Anything is possible.

Thanks for letting me ramble around getting ready to paint. It’s actually a little scary, because I have a BIG canvas for this one, and I’m not used to painting on a big canvas. I have to get psyched up for it. Bob will help. I’m going to start before the end of the year. I’ve already done a very simple sketch. One step at a time.

I have a lot of art on my Redbubble page if you’re interested. 🙂 If you go there, you’ll see my artist name which is also my married name. My author name is my maiden name. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

For more brushes with the Stream of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

Here are the rules:

Here are the rules:

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!


8 Comments

Good News Tuesday: A Victory in the Rainforest, Decrease in US Incarcerations of African Americans, Captain Tom Update, and Art is her Superpower

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Indigenous Rainforest People Win Long Court Battle Against Illegal Loggers

It started in 1980 when mature cedar and mahogany trees were cut down illegally in the Kampa do Rio Amônia Indigenous Reserve of the Amazon. After a decades long court battle, the Ashaninka people of Brazil were given a public apology and awarded three million dollars in compensation. The settlement will be paid over five years and will be used mostly for reforestation projects.

“The case will define hundreds of thousands of cases on massive environmental crimes in Brazil.”   ___Antonio Rodrigo, Attorney for the Ashaninka people

For details, visit this article from The Good News Network

Decrease in Rate of US Imprisonment of African Americans

One of the challenges of doing “Good News Tuesday” is finding a story of interest but with my own, “Yes, buts….” attached to it.  My “Yes, buts,” to this story are that African Americans in the US are still imprisoned at clearly disproportionate rates and that African Americans are still in danger as evidenced by continued wrongful deaths. Law enforcement officers still need  more training in sensitivity, compassion, and strategic alternatives to firing a weapon or use of unnecessary force. My country still has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

I decided to include this report in GNT because it was surprising to me that the imprisonment rate of African Americans in the US has fallen by a third since 2006. One reason given is that overall, violent crime in the US has decreased. (You couldn’t tell this just by watching your average news show.)

The report from the Pew Research Center provides graphs showing the decrease in overall US crime and the declines in imprisonment rates of African Americans and Hispanics, though they explain, “The increase in Hispanic prisoners…. was slower than the increase in the overall Hispanic population in the U.S., which is why the Hispanic imprisonment rate decreased.” The statistics do not include inmates held in local jails and those sentenced to less than a year. I still think these trends are worth considering as we search for ways to do better.  

Here’s the link to the report. 

Captain Tom Update

Captain Thomas Moore who raised over $40 million for health care in England has been given the honorary promotion of colonel. Furthermore, Queen Elizabeth has approved his knighthood. In this article from ABC News, he wonders if the Queen will give him a hand up from kneeling when knighted.

Art is Her Superpower

Ten-year-old Chelsea Phaire has given away over 1000 boxes of art supplies to kids in shelters, foster care, and those dealing with trauma. For her last birthday, she asked for art supplies to donate and sent these out in her first 40 boxes. Her charity started after a beloved teacher was killed by gun violence and art went from being Chelsea’s hobby to becoming her therapy. You can read more about Chelsea’s Charity in this CNN article, and please watch her short video!

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


24 Comments

SoCS: Practicing Imperfection with Delayed Gratitude

72530873-4C03-4E67-80E2-39270B3FC76F

Today’s prompt for SOCS is; “practice/practise.” We get to use it any way we’d like and “Have fun!”

What we practice, we get better at. Whether it’s typing, dancing, thinking good thoughts, thinking negative thoughts, or not touching our faces, we get better at what we practice.

So what do you want to get better at? What do you want to practice?

I no longer like the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I’ve let go of perfection. Mostly. Now and then, it rears its ugly head and tries to boss me around. But I’ve gotten better at telling perfection to go take a hike, because of practice.

When I was in first grade, I practiced cursive writing, because my teacher said I wasn’t good at it and needed better “penmanship.”  I remember her as a mean teacher with heavy eyebrow pencil. Maybe she was perfectionistic. But I practiced my penmanship, because I was into being obedient back then. Now I have very good penmanship when I want to.  Artistic even. My artistic skills come naturally. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m better than average at art. Not as good as I wanna be, but that’s where the practice comes in.

What if that mean teacher who criticized my cursive handwriting in first grade nudged me (unknowingly) in an artistic direction? My favorite art to do is flowy and curvy, like cursive writing. Well, I suppose I should thank her, though she’s probably long gone by now. Still, sigh, okay, Thank you, Miss Todd wherever you are. I think that was her name. Every teacher I can think of was easier than her after first grade.

My plan is to continue to practice physical social distancing even after restrictions are lifted. Oh, I’ll do some hugging, but no handshakes. I’ve always found handshakes to be awkward in varying degrees anyway. It’s weird going to the grocery store and watching people for distance, like a dance in reverse.

Plenty of lessons come from hard times. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be anything. We don’t have to practice anything we don’t want to. But we can practice what we love and what is good for all of us if we choose. Be safe, be well. Practice compassion for yourself and others. It will get better.

Here’s some of my flowy, curvy art on upcycled wood:

Family of Angels 2019Butterfly angel in blue

Golden Mermaid by AMW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more streams of consciousness flowing from the prompt of practice, visit Linda Hill:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-18-2020/

Here are the rules:
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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!

 

 


34 Comments

SoCS: Not Going Nuts, Art, and Almond Milk

socs-badge-2019-2020

Today’s prompt is, “nuts.”

I’m trying not to go nuts about getting ready for our church’s annual artisan fair. Both David and I are vendors, and as I write this Friday afternoon, there’s a lot to do before set up tonight and the fair tomorrow (Saturday.) Taking a deep breath. I want this to be fun. It will be fun. I need to relax and be thankful that I can do this without having to go work in an office at a stressful job.

Just goes to show you that even if you are doing the job of your dreams and have the man of your dreams, your life can still have some stress in it, especially if you let your anxiety or perfectionist gremlins infiltrate your peace, JoAnna.

It’s a beautiful day, and I really like the peace, ha, I meant to type piece, I worked on last night that I started in the laundromat while washing my old dog’s bed for the 20th time and finished (the painting) last night.

Flying over the ocean

Flying Over the Ocean: acrylic on up-cycled wood

I’m still in love with it since I did it last night, and because it reminded me that my favorite kind of art to do is to see what the grain and knots in the wood want to be.

More on nuts: Being a vegetarian (mostly) nuts are a big part of my diet. I do love them and have walnuts every morning in my oatmeal. Thank God I’m not allergic to nuts. A good smoothie to make is just banana, peanut butter, and almond milk. Sometimes I add oatmeal or some other fruit. My son makes tacos with a blending of walnuts and broccoli as the filler/meat substitute. It’s really rather good. Rather. That’s an odd word to use.

I’d rather be a nut than a mean person. A funny nut is much more fun to be around than a sane meanie.  Now I’m just rambling along the stream of consciousness. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. I would not be at all surprised if John at The Sound of One Hand Typing shares that commercial for Almond Joy and Mounds. But just in case he doesn’t, here it is.

Nope. I’m going to be honest. I just spent at least ten minutes looking for a commercial I liked and didn’t find one. That was way too much planning and editing for SoCS. So, I’ll share my favorite funny commercial which IS about nuts. I don’t like violence, but I have this other side to me, like we all do… that got tickled by this commercial which came out when I was still single. Whatever that means.

Sorry I haven’t been around much. Will catch up soon!  Maybe that extra hour will help as we “fall back.”

For more nutty streams of consciousness, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/11/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-2-19/

Here are the rules:

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!

 

 


19 Comments

Good News Tuesday: “Zoo”Rescue, Alex Trebek Update, & Art Saves a Town

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Over 200 Animals Rescued from “Roadside” Zoo

“This is the first time in Quebec that animal welfare charges have been made by way of indictment – a type of prosecution reserved for the most serious offenses and which opens the door to more serious penalties.”

Alex Trebek: Progress Update

Alex Trebek is making progress in fighting pancreatic cancer, and it “has to be more than chemo.” He credit’s the tremendous love and support of family, friends, and fans for aiding in his progress. Some of his tumors have shrunk by more than 50%. Mr. Trebek, long time host of Jeopardy,  has vowed to beat the statistics. Here’s an overview from ABC news, and I found the following interview well worth watching.

How an Artist Saved His Town

This story might not be recent, but it’s never too late to make a difference. The government was going to tear down his town, but the “Rainbow Grandpa” started painting the buildings. Now, it’s a tourist attraction.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/how-97-year-old-artist-used-doodles-to-save-his-beloved-hometown-from-being-torn-down/

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

Feel free to write your own #GoodNewsTuesday post and link it here!


18 Comments

SoCS: Art on the Wall

FA8B561A-59CA-4E63-8F22-815B036DD1A4

Today’s prompt is “art.” We are to write about something handing on our wall or in a museum. First let me say a big THANK YOU! to our hostess Linda Hill for picking one of my favorite topics as a prompt and also for all you do in the SoCS world.

I’ve loved art since I was about ten and drew dogs and horses all the time. Didn’t think it had as much value as science so went that way, sort of, in college. But now that I’m retired I can do more art. Except that art is more on the back burner with the house stuff going on. I have a sketch pad sitting on the coffee table and have sketched stuff for the house. That’s going to change.

Normally I have too much art on my walls, if that’s possible which anything is. But since we had to take “everything” out of our house for re-wiring which was supposed to start a few days ago but hasn’t….. Grrrr, the walls in our Wilmington house are bare. I do not like bare walls at all. I do not like them Sam I Am.

I’ve brought a few things from the house that is in renovation to the house that was my parents and hung them on the walls. There’s the painting I did  years ago right in front of me right now as I type.

reaching for horizon w frame

Do you see the two figures reaching for each other? Can you tell what they are? I didn’t plan them, they just appeared, then I enhanced them. I love it when that happens.

Another piece of art on the walls here at the house that was my parents’ is a reproduction my mother loved. It’s not really my style, content wise, etc. But I know she loved it, so I hope I can find a good home for it.

wall art mother and child

I mean, it’s beautiful and sweet, but it’s not something I would normally hang on my wall. I am really working on de-cluttering and have sooooo many family photos, etc. and art to consider hanging when we get back home. I will give this away to someone who loves it. Or I could donate it to the church for the spring yard sale. It’s not a big problem though. It’s a joy.  But it’s one of those things that meant a lot to my mom, so letting it go will be one of those griefy things. There’s another wave. But I can handle it.

ART is such a blessing. Can you imagine… no don’t. I am thankful for art, for color, paint, sculpture, drawing with a stick in the sand, photography…. it just goes on and on with all its possibilities. Infinite possibilities of color combinations, shapes. I could go on about it for hours. Thanks again, Linda.

My sketch pad waits patiently, calling softly.

Wanna  see more of my art? There’s a tab above for that.

For more information on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/11/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-12th/

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!


16 Comments

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!


26 Comments

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!