The Soulful Artist

Life. Art. Transcendence.

From My Art Journal

Home is where my (he)ART is …

Over the last few months, life threw me a little curve ball. That happens sometimes and you kinda just have to roll with the punches as best as you can. That curve ball though, took me out and away from my house leaving me all discombobulated and feeling out of sorts!

I won’t even try to make an excuse about it. I’m a homebody. I am happiest at home. Parties, get together, etc., they’re not my thing. I mean, maybe sometimes and only for a little bit, okay, but most times, nah, forget it. I used to say that I was “antisocial,” but the truth is I am “energy selective.” There’s just too much energy out there that I don’t vibe with. I just can’t. I know who I am. I know what I like. I love my solitude.

Home is where not only where my heart is, but where my art is. It’s my place to recharge and reconnect with myself. Not everyone deserves access to my energy, therefore, I won’t compromise myself, my soul … I won’t do it.

My Very First Painting – November 2016.

5 years ago on a whim, I purchased tickets to Erin Elizabeth’s Art Alchemy. I remember happening to stumble onto her art studio in Lincoln Center as I waited for my ring to be cleaned at the jeweler’s next door. Her studio was closed that day, but I remember looking through the window and marveling at all of her paintings. I loved them all so much and wanted to buy one. When I Googled her to learn more about her, I learned that she frequently taught classes and I told myself that I would take a class.

That class was 5 years ago today. I cannot tell you how much that class changed me in ALL aspects of my life. My first painting was nothing but a “blue blob” that I named “Despacio,” which means to slow down.

For me, it is in the slowing down that I am able to hear/feel/know my Soul. It is in the slowing down that I am able to find the answers that I am looking for, the peace that I long for, the solitude and stillness that I crave.

Today is my Creativity Birthday! My coming back to self day, my rebirth, my exhale. So much has changed since that fateful Art Alchemy class with Erin. I have grown and evolved and expanded in ways I never believed I could or would! I am living proof that it is never too late, and you can never be too old to become what you might have been! I am so full of gratitude for where this part of my journey has taken me and who it has brought to my life!

Happy 5 Year Creative Birthday to Me!!!

The butterfly effect is a concept or an idea that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. In layman’s terms, it’s trying to show how the slightest change – even one as minute as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings – can have large consequences.

It’s hard to fathom that a tiny butterfly flapping it’s wings could really cause a typhoon, but it’s trying to convey the message that little things can be the catalyst to bigger things. In life, it’s telling you that small changes, those seemingly little decisions, can be the catalyst to life altering change.

For me, when I reflect back on my life … I can see where some of the seemingly little, crazy, inconsequential decisions I’ve made have had HUGE impacts on my life! I didn’t realize it happening at the time, as it’s only in hindsight that I am able to truly see the magnitude.

The “Blue Blob” from my very first painting class ever!

5 years ago, when I decided to take a painting class from Erin Elizabeth … I remember being so intimidated by the canvas and the paint that I almost backed out of going. While I was there, painting, you can see that my painting was nothing except a blue blob. But that one painting class with Erin changed my life! It’s been almost 5 years and I haven’t looked back!

When you reflect back on your life, at the little decisions you’ve made, where can you see that it changed the trajectory of your life? Where can you spot the synchronicities? I’ll bet you would be able to name more than a few.

We all have them … little paper bags with handles. You know, the ones you get from the coffee shop, or cute little boutique stores. They’re cute and I like them, but the amount I have is a little ridiculous. It’s wasteful to just throw them out so I do reuse them, and I see many of you doing the same – reusing them as lunch bags, gift bags, etc.

Sometimes I think too much. Sometimes I look at something and see something more. More potential. More possibilities. So I took my little bags and repurposed them. A little paint here, a catchy phrase there and “Viola!” Something different to give my gifts of love in. Nothing exciting, just a piece of my Soul’s expression made visible on a free bag.

Sometimes we as humans think we’re done. Our kids grow and start living their own lives. Our jobs change and we’re asked to relocate or step down. We have an illness or an injury and we’re not quite what we were before. Something happens and we’re forced to look at life, how we’re living, who we are with a fresh set of eyes. For some, it’s difficult. Some don’t do well with change and choose to remain the same. Others, after a short period of contemplation, are able to see the new possibilities in the adversity and begin to move forward.

The beauty about being human is that we aren’t meant to be just ONE or a few things. The beauty about being human is that we are souls and we are endless possibilities in our bodies. The only limits that we have are those that we put upon ourselves.

Henry Ford said it best when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Who you believe yourself to be can only be determined by you. Do yourself a favor an believe MORE for yourself. Believe that you’re a limitless soul that is worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. And just like my little paper handled bags … with a little trust, some bravery, and a lot of love, your transformation and being repurposed can be a beautiful thing!

Trust in the magic of new beginnings. Trust that you are being asked to grow. Believe that bigger, better, more is out there for you to discover and experience!

Intoxicated!

It’s Sunday and it’s a new month. I’m sitting here in my happy place, painting to my heart’s content! I wrote a piece of happy snail mail that I’m mailing out tomorrow! I hit the local farmer’s market this morning, drank some damn good coffee, ate a delicious pastry, I have no where else to be, no pressing deadlines, and I’m in some comfy, slouchy clothing! Yeah! No, actually, Fuck Yeah!

Call me intoxicated, whatever. Intoxicated from smelling paint and actually being high on life! So, yeah … I’m over here sitting in my little space like the little weirdo that I am, and I’m happy as a clam! (Are clams even happy?)

We should all be high on life and happy as clams. But how? Easy … by following your highest excitements, by doing the things that make you feel like you, that make you happy, that bring you joy. Regardless of what anyone else says, just be YOU! If it’s sitting around on a lazy Sunday in your craziest, comfiest clothing, do that. If it’s sipping coffee reading a good book, do that! If it’s dancing to EDM with your child, do that! Painting, writing, taking a well deserved nap, gardening … whatever it is that brings you JOY, do that!

Let me let you in on a little secret. Okay, well maybe it’s not a secret, but maybe you didn’t know … every moment that you act on your highest excitements, when you’re playing and having FUN (think back to when you were a child), you are embodying the energy of your Soul. It’s so important to be playful. When you’re in this state, you’re more open, you’re more yourself. When you follow what lights you up, you feel more alive, you’re more expansive. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, just do you. Oh, and if it’s not a “Fuck Yeah!” it’s a “Hell No.”

The last month has been a mix of frustration and elation. More happiness and elation versus the frustration because I walked away (temporarily maybe) from that that was causing me so much sadness and angst. In the meantime, I’ve been walking towards all of the things that light me up I had to put on hold because life happens.

The biggest thing that I stepped away from and put on hold was my love of painting. Now, even though I’ve been carting around my little tub full of watercolors, gel pens, colored pencils, with my paper and all the whatnots … it isn’t the same as painting with my acrylics on canvas! Also, my little creation room at home kind of went to, um, as my daughter says, “It looks like a tornado came through here and vomited all over the place!” Hahahaha! WTH?!

Anyhow, I have collected a lot of paint in the few years I’ve been painting, but I’m always trying to figure out what this hue of blue or purple or red or whatever looks lijke so I decided to get smart and make color samples of all of them. I’m taking my time to ease myself back into the groove of painting. The paint samples was a small enough project for me to remember what my paint tubes look like, how to hold the brush, what supplies I need to paint, and to remember what it feels like to get into a rhythm. It wasn’t hard. My Soul knows what to do and my body just naturally fell into a rhythm. I’ve built up some strong muscle memory.

Sometimes we can’t help what life throws at us and some things get put on the back burner until we can get it sorted out. We think and believe that it’s just temporary, that it’s just for a little while … then one day turns to one week, then one month, and before you know it you’ve lost yourself.

The moral of this blog post is: keep doing the things that light you up. When you’re doing the things that bring you joy, that make you happy, that light you up you’re more open to relaxing and receiving inspiration, and connecting with your Soul, your Highest and Best Self! So do the things that make you happy! I’m looking forward to getting back in my little space and painting to my hearts contents. For now, I’m happy with the little things!

Up until now, I was happily going about my life … doing my thing. Then my daughter asked for a dog. Not just any dog, a very specific dog with specific markings and traits. Seriously, she was VERY specific about what she desired in her dog. She even put her on a vision board, and constantly spoke of this dog. I played along because if you know Grace, you know that she talks A LOT and I’m not the kind of mom that will kill a dream. So I let her speak of her dog. Then … she named this dog! Oh yeah, she named it and then started saying, “Calliope IS coming, Mom! Calliope IS coming!”

If you know my Mini Cooper story, then you know what happens next … I’m thinking, uh huh, okay. But you know me, and Grace knows this … The Universe listens and she was FIRM in her conviction that Calliope was coming. I can tell you that what happened in the following weeks after she named her dog was short of miraculous. Chris looked high and low, even going as far as looking out of state. I’m thinking, “This is ridiculous, but if it’s meant to be, it WILL be.” And it happened and it happened quickly! No joke … she kind of just landed in our lives with very little effort.

Calliope The Frenchie is by all accounts Grace’s dog, and I’m just the GPupMa. But this little dog attached itself to me. She’s my buddy. She waits for me as I ride the Peloton and we stretch together afterwards. She greets me at the door when I get home from work in the morning. She happily lounges with me on lazy days (everyday). I did nothing to deserve her loving kindness towards me. I can’t even begin to tell you what happened to me except that I fell in love with a dog.

Oh the irony … up until now, I wasn’t a dog person. I’ve tried as we’ve had dogs in the past, but it never felt right no matter how hard I tried. I kind of gave up and didn’t think about it much. I believe that My Soul knew though. My Soul knew to keep the faith because it knew. And My Soul has never failed me.

I am full of gratitude for the love she has shown me. She has been nothing short of a bundle of joy covered in fur. I am forever changed because of this little dog. Who would’ve ever thought?

I have another side to me. I have many sides to me. I love that about myself – that I’m a multi-dimensional , multi-faceted being and I have a love for many things!

One of the many things I love is smudging! Clearing my space of any crazy, negative energy is important to me. I do it every full and new moon, anytime there’s negative energy or a bad experience. At work, I’m known to carry sage spray in my pocket and spray my assigned areas, and I also spray myself before I go into work.

There are many advantages to smudging. The smoke from smudging is a form of spiritual ritual, a sacred practice that rids spaces of negative energies, bad spirits, even bad thoughts. Smudging cleanses, purifies, blesses, and even inspires!

I smudge so much that I planted sage in my backyard! I have white sage, red sage, lavender sage, pineapple sage! The hummingbirds love them as do other birds, and the bees, butterflies, and dragonflies! it’s amazing to see them all out there flying about!

My creativity today was spent pruning my sage bushes and then making sage bouquet bundles! Interestingly enough, today or tonight is the new moon in in Aries so my bundles are out there charging under the new moon vibes! I’m looking forward to the amazing energy they will possess!

Here’s to being creative and to allowing myself to follow the nudgings of my soul! Here’s to being open about my spirituality and my witchy side!

My Soul created this collage.

I’ve always felt self-conscious about letting people see the “real” me. I grew up in a household where appearances were everything to my mother, and I mean EVE-RY-THING. I learned to live hidden, stuffed down, shut up. You know, don’t do anything to show people how you’re really messed up, just keep your mouth shut and don’t say a word for fear it will be the wrong thing to have said. I know that this has a lot to do with why I prefer to stay out of social situations because wearing a mask and pretending to be someone I wasn’t was VERY challenging for me. Keeping my mouth shut when you’re a child is challenging, you know? It wasn’t me. It was painful.

I found this collage I made in an old art journal of mine. I put it together because I loved the expression on the face, I love the spiritual significance of the Monarch butterfly, Monet’s painting, and I love, Love, LOVE angels and hearts. I didn’t really think much of why I put these all together except for the fact that I liked all of it and it brought me joy!

I always say that my art, my creations are really the works of my Soul. It’s my Soul at play, so of course it has nothing to do with me, yet it has EVERYTHING to do with me! It made perfect sense as I did a double take when I saw it in my art journal years later.

Wearing a mask, transforming, healing, love, divine guidance and protection … such a huge “Ah-ha!” revelation! My Spirit ALWAYS knows, but at times I’m too preoccupied to pay attention! My little collage delivered quite the message today! So revelatory for me! When I found it, I felt joy all the way deep down to my core!

I’ve done a lot of healing work in the last 20 to 30 years. Lots of forgiveness. Lots of releasing. Every now and then there will be a trigger. I know that there will always be a trigger, but I don’t react to them anymore. I’m not perfect, I’m FAR from, and there is healing work still needing to be done, but I try. I get it. I’m not the same person that I was 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even last year. I’ve had to really look at my own self and forgive my own self. That’s been the most difficult. Self-love. Self-forgiveness.

We owe it to ourselves to be kind to our human self. This being human thing isn’t easy. There is so much to learn, to take in, to absorb, to transmute, to process. Every day is different. Every human is different. It’s easy to forget that we owe ourselves the grace and love that we would extend to another. We are worthy of receiving that from ourselves because we know that God/The Universe/our own Soul would extend it to us!

Breathe and know that our Soul’s know exactly what their doing. Breathe and know that our Soul is ALWAYS leaving us clues, we must just be awake and aware enough to see them, to align with them. The best way to allow for this alignment is to do something creative – paint, journal, movement/exercise, sing, write, garden, however you want to express yourself creatively. There is a meditative property in the act of creating that can open you up to feeling into the clues it’s attempting to leave you!

Take the time. Take the time to tap into your inner self, that part of you they is your Highest Best Self. Slow yourself down enough to tap in. Breathe. Get lost in the activity. Secret hint: Spirit loves to PLAY! So laugh it up, smile, and invoke that inner child to come out and play! Enjoy the process!

Day 28 of 28 Days Of Love!

They say that when females are born, they literally carry the eggs of future generations within them. What am I even talking about? I know. I’m NO expert when it comes to genetics, but this makes some sense so let’s see if I can explain it somehow.

When my Gramma (grandma) was born, she had within her the egg that would eventually become my mother, who would eventually (55 years later) birth me, and I would eventually go on to birth my own daughter 33 years after my own birth – 88 years post my Gramma’s own birth. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but pretend it does.

My Gramma, Filomena, was a significant figure in my life. I was her oldest grandchild, her second chance to get it right. My own mother was overwhelmed with having 4 children (she was mostly overwhelmed with me) and was more than happy to let me stay with my Gramma. I spent many summers with her when she lived in San Francisco. I would do everything with her. She would do everything for me. We were a pair and I loved her immensely.

My Gramma was so talented and creative. She played the piano. I remember her excitement of purchasing her piano. It barely fit into the tiny apartment she shared with my aunt, but she didn’t care. She played with so much passion and joy. She also had a penchant for sewing and creating clothing. I did not inherit the piano playing or sewing genes, unfortunately. She attempted to teach me both, but they were just of no interest for me when I was young. I wanted to play outside, run, bike, not play piano or sew … my brother does play the piano, and my sister sews. In hindsight, I do wish that I could play the piano and sew now, but, eh, it’s all good.

My Gramma loved me beyond measure. She taught me unconditional love, protection, prayer. She was such a funny little lady who stood about 4’8”, smelled like baby powder, who told me stories at bedtime, stayed up with my brother and I to watch scary movies, and introduced me to diary keeping and journal writing. Her personality was contagious. Her co-workers called her “Lil’ Bit” because she was this teeny, tiny woman with the heart of a lion!

My last love shoutout for My 28 Days of Love goes to my beautiful, incredible Gramma! She was the only one to always encourage me to remain brave and follow my dreams, and to do what made me happy. I love than even after her death she still finds ways to let me know she’s still beside me. I miss her so much.