Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gifting Yourself

I bought myself some Christmas gifts.  I always do. You know how hard it is NOT to find that perfect item you need while shopping for others!?  I resist most of the time, but I'm only human after all.  I did a lot of my shopping online in my attempts to simplify and it was awesome.  It really did make my life so much easier.  I'm so glad Al Gore invented the Internet!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Time is Here

(Note: I see that this post is jumping all over the Internet, mostly Pinterest. Thank you! I only ask that you respect copyright and intellectual property rights with my images. This means you may not use my images in any way beyond viewing and instruction purposes.) 

Christmas time is here. I know because they've been playing Christmas musac on the radio. Retailers have had Christmas stuff in the stores since before Thanksgiving.
The normally empty parking lots are packed with cars. The neighbor’s houses are adorned with lights and the street now glows from dusk to dawn with twinkling lights. And these are just a few signs that it’s that time of year again. For most of us, this time of year signals a frenzy of activity. Parties, shopping, baking, wrapping—the list is endless. Unless you’re me these days…

When I wrote about being emptied, I promised to write about with what and how I chose to fill my life back up. I talked about intentionality. What I really should have said is how hard it is not to fill every empty space you’ve cleared in your life! It’s what we do, how we’re wired, what our culture say’s we need. And at this time of year it is especially difficult to keep it simple.

I’ve pared Christmas down to a much simpler event over the last two years. I have to say I enjoy it more this way. Less stress for sure. For example, I will not be sending cards or a letter this year. I don’t know the last time I haven’t written a letter. But I felt this need to paint a painting and have cards made. Because that’s what real artists do. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s a tradition. They’re good right??

Usually I start way before the season, scouting ideas for a painting. It always seemed to be hard to find inspiration. I think there was this pressure I put on myself to have a better painting than the year before. I have a folder with every Christmas card I’ve ever made. There are over 15 years’ worth of cards in that folder. I am also probably the only woman who changes out half the art on her walls and puts up Christmas art!! That’s how long this has been going on!!

In an attempt to simplify my life, I decided not to do a card—and suddenly all I could see were the paintings I could paint!  Everywhere there was inspiration. So I decided not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I can paint paintings and not make cards, why not?  Who says we have to do all this stuff?  (well, I did. This was my thing and my rules-so I can break them right?)

So here are a couple of quick paintings I did to feed the monster I’ve created over the years! Both were just pen drawings.  I left one simple, because I loved the colors.  The second is a bit overworked and has a different feeling entirely. And while I was painting I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be great to do a challenge of “the 12 paintings of Christmas”? It was then I realized--I have a real problem!! 

Have an inspirational Christmas!!