Yes to 2014…

Following Yes!
Following Yes!

Well, the children have returned to school, finally, after their Christmas/New Year break. The first thing I did, and I felt slightly guilty and extremely decadent, I got a cup of coffee, snuggled down into my bed and read a whole book, cover to cover. I didn’t have one interruption and the silence was heavenly. It was a great start to 2014.

I had an amazingly creative and inspiring year and I needed a few days alone to process all the amazing things that happened to me in 2013. I should begin by saying that my motto for 2013, was to say Yes, to new experiences and opportunities where and when they appeared. If a door opened, even if I wasn’t exactly sure where it would lead, I said, Yes. I began to have faith in my intuition and artistic instincts and each step of the way, someone offered me advice and support to help me grow further.

Creatively, in 2013, I started selling my photo cards, after some prodding, at my friend Beth’s Store, (simplysoapsmv.com). Beth has been a huge source of support for me as she endlessly encourages me to believe in myself as an artist, so I said Yes. She is also an amazing Artist, business woman, and best friend, saying Yes to her was easy.

A few months later, at my local gym, the owner Holly, asked I could help her fill up a blank wall in the gym with my photographs? Um, Yes! Then, Holly suggested that I put prices on them and see if people would buy them, so I said, yup you got it, Yes. I arrived the next day to hang six framed photographs and before my class was over, I had sold them all. I couldn’t believe it. I would repeat this process three more times and each time the photographs sold out. I was delighted, terrified, and a totally flabbergasted, but so thankful that I said Yes. I am so grateful  that Holly gave me this wonderful chance to display and sell my work.

A few months ago, Beth began offering different Artists the chance to have an art show at her store during the Holiday season. I was hesitant, probably fearful is a better word but I said Yes. I was able to sell my photographs and cards and my confidence continued to blossom. I have attended many art shows but have never been the subject of one and I learned more than I can say from that one experience. Yes! Thanks Beth.

As if my cup hadn’t already runneth over, I received the opportunity of a lifetime, going to Italy with Beth. She called last February and asked me if I wanted to go with her to Venice, Florence, and Rome for 10 days? I didn’t just say Yes, I shouted, YES, YES!! The trip changed me as a person and raised my artistic perceptions to levels I haven’t even  processed completely. I was awestruck, inspired, and  astounded by the beauty and the culture of Italy,. The country, the people, the food, the wine, and the art work, sublime, a totally out-of-body experience. Everywhere I went I snapped pictures on the move, clicking away on my camera like a maniac. I was spinning and whirling, pausing and shooting at a breakneck pace. I stopped so many times to take  pictures, Beth was afraid she would lose me somewhere in Rome just turning in circles cackling with delight. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of buildings, canals, churches, bridges, mountains, cathedrals, museums, art, architecture, Pope Francis, and food, lots and lots of pictures of food.

What I learned from 2013 is that my dreams can be bigger and more limitless than I could imagine. If I can let go of my need to orchestrate my life and follow the breadcrumbs to where I supposed to go, my destiny unfolds in technicolor and with great clarity. Besides battling upstream is so much harder than traveling with the current. I found that I could put my energies to better use and push myself to grow, develop and to create in ways I have not yet explored or as yet discovered. 

The people I have met on WordPress were among the first people who gave me the confidence to believe in myself when I finally summoned the courage to post my art. Each blogger has opened themselves up and shared their talents with me and others, and for that I am eternally grateful. Just seeing all the amazing work that creative people are contributing all over the world, humbles me. With just a click of a button, the blogging community embraces other Artists who have the courage and can bear the vulnerability and fear necessary, to reach out and claim their dreams.  To say that I have been influenced, inspired and amazed by these fellow Artists, is an understatement. Thank you hardly seems enough but I am grateful for your contributions and for your kind support.

For 2014, my aim is to continue to grow as an Artist and as a person. I will move with purpose and faith to further propel myself beyond my own perceived boundaries,expectations, and self imposed limits . I will continue saying Yes to new opportunities as they appear in my life. I will continue to value the experiences and the people who have helped shape the Artist that I am today and the Artist I hope to be one day. Once I stepped away from fear and the negative nay-sayers, I found a community of fellow Artists who have encouraged, supported and inspired me every step of my journey. Here’s hoping 2014 exceeds all of our wildest expectations.

Thank You All.

Dreamers and Doers…..

This year so many of my dreams have come true, I am overwhelmed. When I first took the plunge and started this blog and writing  “out loud,” I had no idea what would happen next. I thought the most important thing to do was to get to work and began to create the life that I wanted to live. In fact, one of the most important things I learned was to keep all of my options open and go through the unexpected doors that seem to appear, even if that wasn’t my original plan.

I learned to listen better, first to myself, then to the Universe which was giving me very clear directions, only I was far to busy with all the naysayer’s voices buzzing in my head.  I have to admit, for a while, those voices were so loud, they were winning. It became imperative, to block those fearful voices out and navigate a positive and hopeful path designed just for me.  This is not for the faint of heart, make no mistake, this is much more difficult than it sounds.

So I discovered what I wanted to do when I finally grew up, and I followed the advice of artists before me, “find a support system that believes in you and your dream.” I didn’t realize how crucial this next step would be, indeed it is the make or break moment for budding artists. Surrounding myself with people who believe in me and my dream is crucial, especially when I am discouraged. My support team knows what is in my heart and what I am trying to accomplish, believe me, they dream MUCH BIGGER than I do. That is the greatest gift they bring to me, faith and encouragement that my dream could be even larger and more grand than I could ever envision.

So, I wanted to say thank you to my support team who push me to exceed my own expectations, daily. To my family who are a constant source of inspiration and the place where I get to play and talk about my dreams, thank you. To my friends who never say, “You’re doing What?” To my dear friend Beth, of www.simplysoapsmv.com, thank you for kicking my butt and making me reach higher. You never let me settle but keep pushing me to expand my vision and to “get my butt in gear.” She truly is the best cheerleader and butt-kicker all rolled into one. To everyone here at WordPress, thank you for encouraging me with your support, kind words, photos, dreams and funny replies. Your art inspires me to be better artist and try harder every day. And finally, to the strangers I meet along the way, who say the kindest and most unexpected things that spur me on to create better art. My gratitude knows no bounds.

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers, and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”   Unknown

Dreams close and far...
Dreams close and far…