I have painted twelve small oil paintings in the last thirteen days and I can already see an improvement in my work. Each morning I am so excited about the walk around the house to find my subject. I'm looking forward to painting in general. These small canvases have given me ideas for larger pieces of work. This hour every morning is becoming a wonderful way to start my day with a hour of mindful activity.
I am feeling brave. When I was younger I would avoid drawing or painting what I thought was hard or what I thought I couldn't do. I was afraid to fail. That got better the more I practiced. I no loner have those confidence issues but I do put off more challenging subjects because of time constraints and guilt. I find myself so anxious about all there is to do that sitting at the easel becomes a stress to produce something amazing. I feel guilty that I am not cleaning the studio, handling the bookkeeping or working on lesson plans for classes. I feel guilty that I am not with my family and then when I am with my family I feel guilty I am not updating the studio website. Silly me, I thought owning an art studio would mean I would paint more.
This fall while on a week long painting retreat at the Shenandoah Art Destination in Lexington, Virginia, I realized that I am capable of creating anything if I have time and discipline. I painted each day for six to eight hours. I experienced such incredible artistic flow and my mind was able to disconnect from the noise, doubt and worry I so often feel. I realize that during my day to day work and family life I cannot paint for eight consecutive hours. But could I create the time to make art for myself everyday? I am doing it in small doses for an hour a day. A couple of years ago I turned to yoga for stress management and back pain. I have no more back pain and my anxiety is so much better. That anxiety comes from not being able to calm my mind or live in the present moment. I believe daily painting is the next step in a mindful artistic journey.
For my Master's program I have been studying art and meditation. I will incorporate my daily art routine into my thesis scheduled for 2017. The study will include, thirty days of oil painting, thirty days of Zentangle and thirty days of abstract watercolor designs.
Draw, Paint, Meditate