Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Grow Up and Get Busy

I'm not saying that I don't care what people thing of me. Upholding a reputation for honesty, kindness, compassion and humor are very important to me. And I care deeply about others.

But these days, I'm feeling centered and unapologetically me. Validation seems moot. Frankly, I feel less and less obligated to make space for things like white fragility, mansplaining, sexist jokes and racist habit energy. No need for shame and blame, regret and recourse.

I'm feeling that wonderful shift - a shift my mother said would surly come - between my 30s and my 40s when I no longer have to play nice, act cute, end my sentences with upward inflection, apologize before I respond, toss in weak qualifiers when verbalizing my insights and thoughts. Nope. I seem to be growing the fuck up.

And now it's time to get busy.

How about you? How are you feeling as you age? What about those of you who have moved beyond your 40s and 50s and are now in a place of really not giving a rats ass? I want to hear from you. Share your wisdom with us!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Drawing Club

I'm not really a joiner of clubs. But I've made an exception for Jay Bailey's Drawing Club. First off, Jay is my studio mate at the Continental Gin Building and I think his work is off-the-hook-cray-cray-good. Plus, I enjoy his company. And most importantly, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and instructional know-how.

Drawing Club is his brainchild, which entails a group of artists getting together a couple of times a month to practice figure drawing with a live figure model. We pay a small fee and receive 3 uninterrupted hours of sketching and occasional instruction from Jay. It's pretty dreamy.

Now before you scroll down through these photos, please know that I am NOT a figure painter. But I really want to learn! So Jay's Drawing Club was the perfect, non-threatening way for me to try my hand at something I've always been interested in, but never had the opportunity to explore. For more information about future Drawing Club offerings, visit Jay's website shop: http://jaybailey.bigcartel.com/.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Growing Pains

Change. It's one of my favorite things about life. I love it. I thrive on it. But change is not the same thing as growth. These past few weeks have been filled with the needs of my children, my husband's promotion to a new job, the comings and goings of care givers, and my own obligations to the work I do as an artist, a writer, Creative Director of a national nonprofit and, PTA President of a Title 1 school. It sounds like too much, because it is.

Here's the thing... I'm pretty sure that the universe is demanding some serious internal growth from me right now. I love the life that my husband and I have created here in Dallas, but there are also some glaring missing pieces. What are those missing pieces? I have some theories, but I'm also not confident in my ability to see clearly right now. My spirit self is pushing me to look beyond those missing pieces to ask, What are you being CALLED to? What is weighing you down? What can you throw overboard? What must you cling to? 

Personal coach and blogger Tara Wagner has outlined some clear signs that you might be at a spiritual crossroads in her article, "11 Signs Your Life is  Demanding Personal Growth". Now that the kids are back in school, I think I'll wade through some of these signs (many of which I am exhibiting) and do some introspective journaling. Here are Tara's signs:

1)  You are noticing patterns or themes emerging. If the same thing keeps popping into your head, your line of vision, or your conversations this is a really good sign it’s time to embrace it. It might be a book that keeps getting mentioned, a person being brought up or just an idea being repeated in unrelated places. Life insists until we listen or adamantly resist.

2) Your past is suddenly haunting you. Maybe a comment or an event triggered a repressed memory or maybe these memories came out of nowhere. Whatever the case, they are here and they are insistent. When change is imminent, things that no longer serve you or that it’s time to heal will require your attention.

3) You can’t stop emoting all over the place. It could be angry outbursts or uncontrollable crying. Whatever your emotions are doing, there is always a deeper reason and it’s very rarely that you’re “crazy.” Our emotions are a symptom of something moving beneath the surface.

4) You feel unsettled, anxious or restless. You might be having a hard time focusing or sitting still. You might feel as though you’re vibrating with excitement. You may not know what is it but you definitely feel the push or pull. Change is exciting. It’s also nerve-wracking.

5) You feel a bit like a yo-yo. Your moods can feel like polar opposites. One day you’re energized and motivated, the next you’re filled with fear or even despair. You can’t seem to keep an even keel. Your psyche is waffling between the old stories and the new.

6) You feel like you’ve stepped into the ring with Muhammed Ali. And he’s just planted a hard one up side your head. Sometimes it’s a bit of truth about yourself you might have been blinded to or a revelation or inspiration that hits so hard it knocks you over. Either way the shock can leave you seeing stars.

7) You keep feeling like you “want to go home”. But you’re not quite sure where it is that you’re talking about? This is such a common sign of upcoming personal growth calling your name, but it’s one that is rarely ever talked about. We intuitively know we belong somewhere else, even if we can’t name it.

8) Something is just missing or not quite “right.” You can’t put your finger on it, but you know there is more out there than what you’re currently experiencing. These unsettling gut feelings are trying to lead us to it.

9) You’re placating your need for personal growth with constant superficial changes. Rearranging the furniture, constantly changing your clothes (or your mind), feeling the need to buy something new, making new plans or drastically and quickly changing directions on current plans, always trying the next new thing and relentless, frenetic energy. When we’re uncomfortable with digging deep, we dig shallow.

10) You just can’t let go. Something happened or someone said or did something; maybe it’s closely related to you and maybe it’s not. But you can’t seem to let it go. Your thoughts keep coming back to it and you can’t explain why. There is a message there if you listen for it.

11) You are onto something amazing and life suddenly got really hard and messy. Welcome to the big leagues. This is where it gets fun.

I can hear my more stoic friends and family members saying under their breath, "Welcome to adulthood. Suck it up." But right now, I think the best thing for me to do is to treat myself with compassionate curiosity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ignite Your Shift

Sometimes your friends do miraculous and wonderful things in the world. And when that happens, you must sit up and pay attention. Marla Teyolia is a woman who exudes JOY and FIERCE LOVE for all to feel and imbibe. She has been in inspiration to me over the past few years and her work for arts, culture and social justice in the Dallas area has been phenomenal! And now Marla is launching something BIG.

Culture Shift Agency is a boutique company designed to ignite your most empowered and creative life. Their first effort is "Ignite Your Shift", a signature weekend retreat where you will experience the power of mind-body-spirit awareness to unlock resistance and facilitate the mental and emotional shift necessary to transform your life.

This event will take place September 30 - October 2 at the beautiful Soma Ranch in Montgomery, Texas. This location is the perfect setting to slow down, connect with nature and turn inward. Want to learn more about this empowering weekend retreat? Visit the Culture Shift Agency WEBSITE.

And if you like what you see, Marla is offering La Maison Boheme readers $100 off your registration fee! Use the Promo Code: IGNITE100 at check out! You can also find Culture Shift Agency on FACEBOOK.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First Art Class in the New Studio

This weekend I hosted my first art workshop in the new studio. I was thrilled how easily the space accommodated our group of eight! The class was a Parent-Child Abstract art class and everyone did such outstanding and exciting work. I will be hosting another in November.

The thing I love about teaching is that it requires that I verbalize what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. The process of sharing out means that I become clearer and more intentional about my own work. Thank you to all who attended and especially to the children who dove in and brought their most curious, joyful selves to the work!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Trying New Things

This month, I attended a figure drawing class taught by my studio mate, Jay Bailey. It was a first for me. I've never sketched much. I usually just attack canvas with paint and intuit my way through the creation of an artwork. But Jay's class was a revelation for me. We were working with a live model and she held her positions for only 2-15 minutes at a time. The sketching was fast and furious.

The artists in the room were of varying degrees of skill and experience, but everyone had such lovely interpretations of the model's different incarnations. It was thrilling to be working along side other artists, trying something I had never experienced before. I decided to take one of my sketches (I did 9 total) and paint over it - just an exercise. Its still in process, but I thought I'd share with you here. And to be clear, I'm not sharing because it's well done, but rather because it is new to me. I'm a process-oriented artist and I think sharing the different machinations of an artwork is helpful to both artist and viewer. I'd love to hear your thoughts!