Every year when the winter arrives, especially as we get closer to the holidays, I naturally go inward and become contemplative. I reflect on the past year - the things that challenged me, the celebrations, the lessons, my relationships with others, and even my relationship with my Art.
This is a quiet time for me as I process where I have been and where I am going.
I treat my relationship with my Art with as much respect and attention as I would a relationship with another person, for truly that relationship is with my "creative self". I give it quality time every day. I dialogue and "listen", using my intuition to explore what needs to be expressed. I have patience with it, knowing that there are good days and bad days, all having their value. I respect it, for it learns and grows as I do, and has taken me places I never would have dreamed. I never judge it. Whatever comes to the canvas, is what is supposed to come to the canvas.
And above all I am grateful for it, for it has gotten me through some of the darkest of days. It has always been there for me, when others have not. When my Lupus has grasped my body and filled it with pain and drained me of my energy, my Art is still here. I can lay on the couch with a canvas propped on my knees and still paint. I can curl up in an easy chair and bead a doll. It is there for me in the middle of the night when I don't feel well and can't sleep - waiting for me in the studio, inviting me to come and see something colorful and inspiring.
When I can't bear weight on my amputated leg, I can still sit and "live" through my art. I can be transported to a place where there is no pain, to a place that heals. When the carpal tunnel is numbing my hands, I will get on the phone and spend time setting up some exhibits.
It has never left me, and I don't intend on leaving it.
This has been a physically challenging year, but patience and perseverance has kept us going and healing.
So, where does this put me for this year? I can't and won't tame my creative spirit. It need to be fed daily. Although this year I am striving to feed my spirit in a way that will be easier on my body.
There are two thoughts on my mind at this time.
First, I have had a children's book on the back burner for quite some time. The story and illustrations are finished except for some minor editing and extra touches. This year the book needs to be published. It is time.
Second, I am feeling the urge to spend more time teaching and demonstrating. I had stepped back from it for the most part, in order to focus on my own art for awhile. But now I am feeling the need to share again.
I am excited to see the directions in which my Art will navigate this year. Hand in hand we are going into another chapter.