Author: Carpe Diem Papers

Have a Seat

This is my theme. A spurt of activity, a flurry of painting and writing and posting and deadlines and packing and shipping and ideas and…and…nothing. Well, maybe not truly nothing, the music is supposed to be in-between the notes after all. But it feels like an absence and it’s one of life’s great creative mysteries to me that something I feel so passionate about like writing and painting and a host of other supportive creative things I love, go dormant and not just a little. But with a grand thud. Here I am once again. Painfully peaking at the date of this blog, July 6h!! Two months ago. Over two months! And I’ve easily spent the last 60 days thinking about it constantly.  Maybe not this actual little blog space in the vast scheme of the internet, I mean really, does anyone read this? Bueller? Bueller?

I’m talking about writing in general. Writing the book. Writing the essays. Painting the collection of fancy parlors that are in my head. Completing the commissions that are due. Starting the series of botanical still life pieces that I’m drawn to, the list is long. The action is short. And it isn’t. This is where I need to practice cutting myself some slack. Maybe this is how it will always be. The surge, the pause. Sprint, pass out.

I’ve been in a pass out state for the last month. I should clarify. I’ve been incredibly busy, maybe busier than my business has ever been, but also lots of out of town visitors, personal and professional travel, culminating in an old-fashioned stay with my family in Victoria, BC hang out with the fam and do nothing kind of two weeks of glorious getaway. It was divine. And I did nothing. And as I write these words it’s washing over me that the nothingness is mandatory. The crappy photos on my iPhone of Victoria landmarks might be the juice I need next month (oh god, please don’t let it be another month that I sit down to create!). Ok, next week. The jokes told at the dinner table could very well get me through the next rainy season of wah-wah. (That’s a sound I just tried to make a word. Try it.) The ubiquitous tartan scarf wrapped around most Oak Bay walkers might be the magical finishing touch to a cat in clothing series. It goes on. What I’m trying to say, to me mostly, and if it helps anyone else, then high five, is that I’m getting more comfortable in the sprint, pass out of creative life. I know I’m reaching the end of my coma when I start feeling the need to talk about this phenomena. Oh this again, I imagine the creative gods are giggling. She’s so cute that she needs to write about this 50 times before it gets through her head. Today, I opened up the bag of paints I bought in Canada and displayed them in a satisfying ROYGBIV rainbow. I’m inching closer. Today, I opened up the laptop to word docs and reread a few things. I sheepishly looked at this very blog and cringed. But tomorrow? I’ll have a seat.

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Ciao Bella

I am writing a book and it is difficult, exhilarating, frustrating, enlightening and the thing I can not not do so therefore I plug along, even when I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about it, shaping it and knowing it’s the right next pebble in my path. What I’m most passionate about sharing this exact moment, is that everyone, EVERY ONE, is an artist, creator, maker and not everyone needs to manufacturer their hobby to be considered a success, but whatever the Thing is, the gnawing, niggling, itch you must scratch no matter what, that is the thing you must follow no matter what. That is where the joy lies. It has been my experience that the overwhelm in too big of a project is enough to put it on ice for…a decade? You laugh, but I know what the unused art supplies look like…I have that closet no guests are allowed to look at. Bottom line, you must do one tiny thing at a time.

Which is why I’m writing about it, doing something about it, addressing it. How do you do it? How do you plug your socket into joy? How do you paint one corner of a canvas when your art looks like a ransom note but your heart wants it to look like Matisse? How do you write an entire book when you can barely write one blog post? You practice. I practice. When I first started painting with my mentor-friend-human being extraordinaire, she casually mentioned that one needs to paint for three years before they know what kind of painter they are. Um…? Three years? I was hoping for three weeks. I listened to that comment, did not want it to be true, filed it away in the mmmm-hmmmm, we’ll see about that box, and painted away like a fool. Guess what? She’s right. Three years later, I’m here to report that I have made improvements, I did not graduate to become the kind of painter who shows in fine art galleries, but I have developed a style unique to me and an aesthetic that is my own voice and sell quite a few paintings. I have miles and miles and highways ahead of me to practice and develop but she was right in that it requires practice. And practice is code for mistakes. Ugly. Ugh. What’s the point. Really? What was I thinking? And then, occasionally, the sweet, oh, I didn’t expect that. Wow. Fun. Really? I’m glad I didn’t over-think that.

Progress not perfection. Ciao Bella. xo

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