Tag Archives: inspiration

The “Radical Act” of Enjoyment

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Current events have me thinking about the cause of women.
Years ago, in 2010, I started a series called “The Goddess of Wine.” I was inspired by the women in my life. I noticed the pressure they felt, the guilt when they did literally anything for themselves. I noticed something else, too: Society seemed to join in and judge women for doing for themselves.
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Prior to doing my art full time, I spent 16 happy years as a hairdresser. I loved my clients, and my heart would break a little when I’d hear their stories of guilt again and again. My male clients did not seem to suffer from this. These were amazing women, champions for their families and communities, giving it their all. Still, there was guilt. I think it’s high time for women to give up guilt and own their joy! I do not present these as facts, just my observations. After all, its my observations that form the basis for my art.
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As an artist, I wanted to do a series completely dedicated to the joyous, riotous celebrating of women, doing nothing but enjoying themselves. No apologies, no guilt — after all, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first.
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I haven’t painted anything in that series for a couple of years now, but I think it’s time to pull out these ladies to play again. I think the world could stand to see more women in the completely “radical act” of enjoying themselves. Revisiting last week’s blog, I guess artists can’t help but respond to current events.
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I have an exhibition coming up in March that will hang at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. This will be a series of landscapes, meant to soothe the soul. I’m still finishing up the final touches on that. But March is Women’s History Month, and you can bet I’ll be celebrating with the resurrection of the “Goddesses of Wine” series, as well as sharing information about my favorite female artists. I’m really looking forward to March! How about you?
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As always I love hearing from you, the best conversations happen on Facebook and Instagram. See you there.

The Single Most Important Ingredient in Great Art

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24 x 24 oil painting — the one I worked on for two days, then scraped off the paint to start over. I’m very happy with the end result, but it was hard fought!

This past week, I spent two days working on a painting — only to scrape all the paint off and begin again. It wasn’t working. The more I worked it, the worse off it was.

This happens. It’s not the first time, and I doubt it will be the last. I’m a bit distracted: There is so much going on in the world right now to distract us. And each of us has enough in our daily lives, even without the political drama.

Art is a jealous mistress. She demands all of you. So I begin again. That is the secret: Just keep at it. Showing up is the secret, and not giving up.

As for eliminating the distraction, that is for each of us to figure out. I’m not sure there is a magic answer, except to begin again.

I’d love to hear your ideas. But above all, if you show up, and keep showing up, and always begin again, if you do that in your commitment to anything, that is where mastery lives. And maybe the only place mastery can be found. What do you think?

As always, the best conversations are on Facebook and Instagram. I love hearing from you there and keeping the discussion going.

I’ll leave you today with this quote from Carrie Fisher: “Take your broken heart and make art.”

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24 x 24 oil painting from this week