Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Before I Walk Through the Open Door Into The New Year

"In the case of the creative mind, it seems to me, the intellect has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell, and only then does it review and inspect the multitude. You worthy critics, or whatever you may call yourselves, are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and passing madness which is found in all real creators, the longer or shorter duration of which distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints of unfruitfulness, for you reject too soon and discriminate too severely." Friedrich von Schiller

Because I have been willing to trust my creative mind more than ever before, trust its murmuring, trust its quiet little voice, its tap tap tapping patiently on my shoulder and especially when it slaps like a thunderbolt, I have learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of doing. As I continue to be willing to be active in the process of letting go, I've been able to keep my inner "worthy critic" at bay longer than before. When I saw this quote last week it resonated with a big wow. "I reject too soon and discriminate too severely." I compare my work in process with an accomplished artist's final product, and you know all about that don't you!

Because I paid attention to my mind's murmuring, I signed up again for Bloom True, an acrylic painting class with Flora Bowley. I've got a long way to go before I'm at home with acrylics and canvas. I've taken classes from her before and love her style, her use of color and her willingness to take chances. This year Flora stretched herself a lot and she showed her students the personal risks she is taking even though she was way beyond uncomfortable taking them. I enjoyed painting for longer and longer periods of time and though one painting is still in a chaotic state, two others are hanging in my home, reminders of how far I've come in this process.

I'm much more comfortable drawing my little ladies as well as mixed breed animals all of whom defy gravity and normal body shapes. After years of being shy about sharing this with others, I went public on my blog and in real life by putting cards together and selling them. Our local museum shop took a chance on me as did a half dozen other venues. I'm learning what I don't want to do again, and last night I wrote down steps I could take next year, tomorrow, to continue to grow and take chances in this area. My inner critic is quite willing to withhold comments when it comes to drawing. What a relief.

It was quite a surprise to realize what a creative lightning strike can accomplish. There were three I can think of. One clap pushed me down the road to others. Flora suggested I look into the August Joy Up, a vision book class. I loved doing that and made some discoveries about myself. One is that I love horses. Through the joy of creating vision pages and trusting the process, I discovered equine therapy. I was moved to make all arrangements to take a class only a couple of weeks away within hours of discovering that it existed.

The rewards from making the cards have gone way beyond the steps of creating, making and selling. I've met a wonderful new friend that way and put together two books, one combining prayers and drawings. I've learned to ask for what I want and take chances. A goal for the new year is to create a different line of cards, keep track of the expenses, and make the process of putting the cards together much simpler and keep the cost of the card down. If you have experience along this line and are willing to share, please contact me.

I'm closing the door on 2013 with no regrets and a feeling of accomplishment and joy. Yeah!

Baruch ata adonai...may I trust my creative mind and let it grow without the need to check its madness with fear and shame. Hallelujah! Amen


  1. Beautiful, cheerful and inspiring thoughts and art piece. Thank you for sharing and Happy and creative 2014

  2. Dear Barbara, I am so glad I walked through the open door last year which lead me to meeting you. You are such source of encouragement and bring such beauty in my life with your prayers and your paintings. God Bless You my friend in this New year.

    ~ Cassandra XO