One of my goals for 2012 is to write a post for you, at least twice a week, if you’re lucky three. A routine is the plan this year. It looks a little like this … weekends; family and friend time, Mondays, Tuesdays one on one time with the boys and nights working, Wednesdays painting, Thursdays administration, Fridays a flexible day but generally allocated to art, housework, a food shop, appointments and a quiet night at home with Michael. Routine, now this word makes me laugh!
Do you have a weekly routine? Does it work? I thrive on routine. I feel organised, content, relaxed and happy. Kids generally thrive on routine too, mine especially. We’ve always kept a routine for them, apart from holidays. However, since having our boys, my own and Michael’s routine has disappeared. I know, how ridiculous! Consequently, we’ve felt disorganised, not achieving our all, and frustrated at times. This year it’s all changing. Our home that nurtures both us and our boys is going to find it’s gentle, regular, soothing, calming, reliable heartbeat. This should allow us all to be and enjoy.
Time also often drifts away into the hands of others. Sometimes I allow this. I love doing something little for another, or helping someone out. The rule is if it makes me smile and my heart dance, then it’s for a good cause.
Yesterday while packaging up prints to post out to my lovely customers, I without awareness found myself putting in some little surprises for one of them. One had really touched my heart with her story, and her explanation as to why one of my prints held such meaning and importance to her. I wrote her one of my cards, included a short letter and hand illustrated a small card with an individual affirmation for her on the back.
It took about 3 hours to complete before heading off to the post office. My precious day to myself to work on my art without my boys could have been better spent. Perhaps. But, it wouldn’t have felt as good as how great it feels to do something for another. I know when this person opens her package, only expecting her print, that she’ll feel a lovely sense of joy, warmth and thoughtfulness, knowing someone else has thought of her with heart and a smile. These little acts of generosity, love, and kindness emulate gratitude and happiness. These joyful feelings flow out into the world. I love this! I’d love to hear your stories of spreading happiness to those around you.
Another little gesture I felt necessary yesterday was to pop a smile on my beautiful husband Michael’s face. He was having on of those days. I thought how can I switch his mind off completely for half an hour, rejuvenate his sense of calm and add some free-spirited happiness. So after my trip to the post office I popped into our local Japanese Cafe. We both love Japanese cuisine and once enjoyed it more frequently. I had some change in my wallet so bought some lovely fresh hand rolls. At home, I set it all out beautifully on our dinning table in the warmth of the midday summer sun and we sat and enjoyed a beautiful japanese meal of hand-rolls filled with the most fresh and delicious fillings; tempura prawn, seared salmon and soft shell crab. I also made some popcorn tea which I already had. Actually its correct name is Genmaicha. It’s a japanese green tea with toasted brown rice and I find it very grounding.
So we sipped our popcorn tea, talked, laughed and enjoyed a little time out together in our day. We finished our meal with a couple of beautifully fragrant, sweet white nectarines. M mmm as lil Flynn would say. It was lovely.
I then had the most wonderfully satisfying and productive afternoons painting. It was so much fun that I started to feel guilty. I always feel so self indulgent when I paint. Michael is always swiftly telling me off for even thinking this way, saying, Liza you are developing a really great portfolio of work, you’re not mucking around. This is your job now as well as looking after the boys. I am so proud of you, your dedication, time you’re putting in and what you are achieving. Yes Liza, hear that?! Please remember it. Focus your mind on positivity from now on and allow yourself to be. xxx
This is still all very new and just such a different path. One that doesn’t feel like work because I love every element of it. Another thing to change this year; become confident in telling people what I do. “I’m an Artist and I love it!”
So my painting afternoon…I finished the very first 2 paintings I started way back in March 2011 when I first began to paint. Yes, I know!! These have stop started for all this time. Being my first 2 paintings they were raw, experimental, disjointed and unknown territory for me, so I just wasn’t feeling certain that they were complete. I am now satisfied and happy. I added some silver detail (sorry hard to see in photos) to the first one pictured. In the second (mainly blue, my gosh so blue) I deleted the bird in the top left that was too austere, and the flowers that were in the bottom left that just didn’t feel right. These two are quite different from where my work has headed more recently. I love looking back and seeing how I’ve developed. I think I am to my surprise actually establishing my own style and direction in my paintings. Feels great!
I also had time to start layering up a new canvas. I’m using this piece to again practice drawing so to speak with a fine brush. I covered the canvas with many of the illustrations that appear in my sketch books. Can’t wait to begin the next layers. I wish it was a larger canvas though. I still feel restricted by the small ones so I won’t buying any more. From now on they’ll all be large paintings, and the larger the better!
Thank you all for your lovely comments on my first post for the year. It’s great to be back and I really do enjoy connecting with you all and hearing your feedback. A couple of you were worried you wouldn’t be seeing any more illustrative work from me. Don’t worry I am still drawing daily and from time to time will be posting my illustrations. I still also have long-term plans to put these illustrations to use in patterns, so they’re not disappearing for good. I’m just focusing my time for now on my paintings. Next post I’ll bring you some inspiration, and yes some summer beach shots especially for one of you who’ve requested this (O”