Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Everything is changing this year in unexpected ways…

…How I show up in the world
……What I want to accomplish with the rest of my life, aka my “Big Dreams”
………My daily routine
…………The people I surround myself with
……………My mentors and the people I take advice from
………………My art
……………......How I want to build my art business

“If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it”. A much-needed reminder from an artist friend over lunch at The Kitchen last month as I was whinging about the fact I was scheduled to attend a retreat that I was really dreading. I had registered and paid for it, therefore I should go. I had fallen into a “should” trap without realizing it.

And as soon as I made the decision not to attend, a great new opportunity arrived. A reminder to leave space open in life for the opportunities, experiences, and relationships I want to come in.

Work-in-Process

Work-in-Process

The rhythm of my studio practice has changed recently. I discovered I’m much more creative and productive first thing in the morning so I’m in the studio by 5:00 am each day now. I love the quiet of the early morning hours when I can open all of the windows and the only sounds I hear are the coyotes singing. My paintings are still evolving as I continue to experiment and explore but I’m feeling at ease with my process and the direction they’re taking.

I’m continuing to focus on networking and building relationships in my marketing. Talking to people, not at them. I’m out and about at the gallery openings each week seeing what’s new in the Santa Fe art world and meeting new people. And now that I’ve taken a break from blog posts, newsletters, and social media since the beginning of the year, it feels like it’s time to start connecting online again. And It’s time to start thinking about refreshing my website and all of the supporting projects – messaging, branding, photography – that go along with it.

The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life

Zen of Creativity.jpg

This is the perfect book for artists who are looking for a deeper connection to their creative practice and their art.

The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life - John Daido Loori

"For many of us, the return of Zen conjures up images of rock gardens and gently flowing waterfalls. We think of mindfulness and meditation, immersion in a state of being where meaning is found through simplicity. Zen lore has been absorbed by Western practitioners and pop culture alike, yet there is a specific area of this ancient tradition that hasn’t been fully explored in the West. Now, in The Zen of Creativity, American Zen master John Daido Loori presents a book that taps the principles of the Zen arts and aesthetic as a means to unlock creativity and find freedom in the various dimensions of our existence. Loori dissolves the barriers between art and spirituality, opening up the possibility of meeting life with spontaneity, grace, and peace.

Zen Buddhism is steeped in the arts. In spiritual ways, calligraphy, poetry, painting, the tea ceremony, and flower arranging can point us toward our essential, boundless nature. Brilliantly interpreting the teachings of the artless arts, Loori illuminates various elements that awaken our creativity, among them still point, the center of each moment that focuses on the tranquility within; simplicity, in which the creative process is uncluttered and unlimited, like a cloudless sky; spontaneity, a way to navigate through life without preconceptions, with a freshness in which everything becomes new; mystery, a sense of trust in the unknown; creative feedback, the systematic use of an audience to receive noncritical input about our art; art koans, exercises based on paradoxical questions that can be resolved only through artistic expression. Loori shows how these elements interpenetrate and function not only in art, but in all our endeavors.

Beautifully illustrated and punctuated with poems and reflections from Loori’s own spiritual journey, The Zen of Creativity presents a multilayered, bottomless source of insight into our creativity. Appealing equally to spiritual seekers, artists, and veteran Buddhist practitioners, this book is perfect for those wishing to discover new means of self-awareness and expression—and to restore equanimity and freedom amid the vicissitudes of our lives."

The Long Journey Home

"Soul Icon I", 2018, Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 18"x18" [Series: "The Long Journey Home"]

"Soul Icon I", 2018, Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 18"x18" [Series: "The Long Journey Home"]

The first quarter of 2018 has been a time to turn inward and focus on my health, my spiritual practice, and my art.

I’ve made significant changes to improve the quality of my life this year. I’ve re-established my daily meditation practice. I’ve added Kundalini Yoga to my yoga practice. And I’ve eliminated meat, processed foods, and refined sugar from my diet. I started seeing results almost immediately. The insomnia I’ve been suffering from for years is gone and I have so much more energy throughout the day. My muscles and joints have stopped aching. And now that I’m no longer at war with my body, the weight I gained while living in Asheville is falling away.

And my studio practice has been transformed.

The last 3 months in the studio have been interesting. And extremely challenging. It’s been about 8 years since I worked with acrylics. And painting had never been my preferred medium for expression before. But after the move back to Santa Fe, weaving felt limiting in many ways. I realized it was time to set my weaving aside and find a new path.

Daily feelings of “I can’t do this” and frustration slowly transitioned to experimentation and exploration as I settled in and started to regain some level of mastery over my materials. I played with styles and techniques, but nothing felt quite “right”. As I settled more deeply into my spiritual practice, I also settled more deeply into my studio practice. And I found my direction.

My new series is called “The Long Journey Home”. Each painting in the series is a “Soul Icon”. The idea of “soul icons” has been in the back of my mind for about 5 years but the time never felt right to bring them forward. Until now.