We take on so many roles and it gets complicated and crowded. Most of us keep our lives full. Mine has been that way. It seemed quite “normal” after all – mom raised eight kids and I seldom saw her take a break.
Over the years, it has become abundantly clear to me how important to my creativity it is to be quiet and listen. The more quiet time I allow myself, the calmer my life becomes. Little things have more importance. As strange as it may seem, I get more accomplished. When I work, I’m more focused. And when I play, well, I play.
I find that I paint because I must. It is an important part of making my life worthwhile. No doubt about it, painting is the best way I know to express what is important to me. Sharing the abundance I see in nature through my painting is a visual statement of my celebration of life.
When I paint, it is not only the interpretation of a flower, a landscape, or a still life that brings joy. It is also the interaction of watercolors. Each pigment makes its own contribution to the whole – each color can change. Yellow with blue becomes green, red combined with blue creates purple, and yellow and red meld together as orange. By adding cool, clear water they are transformed into delicate translucent tints of those colors. A vibrant red can become a delicate pink. A glorious purple can be a soft lavender. So many combinations, so little time. When using acrylics, I prefer to work in multiple layers of translucent color layering until I have the depth of color that pleases me.
When a painting emerges (like magic!) consider for a moment the difference between creating a painting, planting and nurturing a garden, writing from your heart, preparing a healthy meal to share with family and friends. Is there a difference, really? Doesn’t each nurture the soul? When creating, I believe we leave an essence of our love and passion for what we do.
Tomorrow morning, as you open your eyes, look at your day as if you were seeing for the first time. Notice the incredible colors around you. Note the gifts in your life. If there is work you need to do, do it. Enjoy every minute. Take breaks, breathe deeply, and exhale slowly.
Make time for you, it could be taking a walk, reading a book, dancing, or meditating. In less than fifteen minutes you could do something for someone you love. Send a hand written note to say “Hi,” emails don’t count. Put a note on your spouse or child’s mirror telling them how you appreciate them. Bringing happiness to others through your creativity has a way of lifting your heart as well as bringing joy to the recipient.
Now turn on your favorite music and begin your creation, whatever that is for you. Here is a little mantra to help, “Thank you for another beautiful day to create.”
Wishing you beauty everywhere you look.
Mickey Baxter-Spade is a self-taught artist who began her career by opening her first teaching ceramist studio at age twenty-four. After fourteen years of teaching and a move to Colorado, she changed the direction of her art and began painting murals. Her clients are primarily residential but also include five-star resorts, hospitals, churches, and commercial settings.
Mickey’s art career now includes a line of greeting cards, fine art, and hand-painted heirloom Christmas ornaments. She has also found joy in writing her blog and a bi-monthly newsletter (sign-up on her mailing list!) in which she hopes to inspire others to take a chance and follow their dreams.