10.01.2011

slant of light-and-shadow distracted me from painting again

 In the Studio--Sunny Window

"You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has not choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."
                                  --Franz Kafka

Watercolor Pencils

I've been feeling quiet, finding it hard to come up with something to say that encapsulates the happenings in my creative life this week.  And it's not because nothing has happened; it's because there's a lot going on in my heart and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed!  Plus, I'm afraid that despite my efforts this month to "rest" and still be productive, all four of us came down with a cold that required even more resting, this time without productivity.  So I must say goodbye to September, the month I expected to embrace with the heart of a lion, and watch these last few hours fade to twilight with the quietness of a lamb.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and confidence is your strength..." 
                                  --Isaiah 30:15

Interestingly, I do feel power in this quietness.  The Creative Courage e-course started this week with some serious journal exercises for facing your fears and defining your creative dreams.  This is hard and emotional work!  If you're like me, you want to accomplish the task in one sitting so you can move on and start accomplishing those dreams.  But even big dreams happen in small steps. And the dreaming and the doing are both such hard work.  Thankfully, Stephanie Levy's course even includes exercises for dealing with "dream overload!"

quilts

One exercise involves making a list of all the things you accomplished in a day--especially on a day (or maybe a week like mine) when it feels like you accomplished nothing at all!  Stephanie calls this a "done" list, which should include all of the daily living activities and little chores you accomplished, plus any steps you made toward accomplishing your creative dream.  With this list you prove to yourself how busy you really are and you celebrate the importance of all the small accomplishments in your day.  

If I'm honest with myself, and if listen when I tell me not be so hard on myself, then I realize this: Sometimes the reason I feel like I accomplished nothing at the end of the day is because I was simply enjoying the day, enjoying life.  

In the Studio--Reality Check!

So what if I space out a little sometimes. Like with these photos. This week Hamburg has received the belated gift of summer, and when I should have been painting I was admiring the slant of light-and-shadows that fell across my living-room-studio, the way it illuminated paint floating transparent on paper, glinted off of bright, slim pencils gathered on my desk, warmed the worn gingham of favorite quilts almost new again, freshly arrived (thanks to the generosity of dear friends) from the U.S., and brightened the mess of colorful blocks, scattered across floor in a happy display of chaos.

"Creativity is God energy flowing through us, shaped by us, like light flowing through a crystal prism. When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain." 
                                  --Julia Cameron

As I made my "done" list, I realized that "productivity" is such a relative term.  In wandering around my sun-bathed apartment, seemingly doing nothing at all, I was really admiring and giving thanks for all of this light reflected in the joys of my heart and the people I love. And I felt home like I haven't felt in a year--both here in this little apartment and in my own skin that tingles and aches as I stretch for the stars.



- - - - -
Thank you, friends, for all of your lovely comments on my first artist interview this week!  A few brave souls decided to link-up too, despite my very vague explanation ;).  If you're interested in the new "Storytellers on Tuesdays" link party, please peek at the about page and please PLEASE don't feel shy about sharing anything on your blog--old post or new--that you feel has an element of "story," even if it's not what you consider "art."  It could even be a single photo--it's up to you.  I'm looking forward to seeing an encouraging little community grow here, people who listen and learn from each other's stories.

Finally--the giveaway news.  Last Friday your insights and interpretations of my newest painting, "A Prayer" just blew me away!  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.  The randomly selected winner of an A4 print from my Etsy shop is . . . Kristin Dudish!  Yay!

Thanks to you all again, and thanks to Studio JRU,  Paint Party and Artists in Blogland for some great Friday link-ups!

34 comments:

  1. you are doing what you need to do right now ~ even that is creative ~ Great post ~ a reminder to all of us ~ enjoy ~thanks, namaste, Carol (Share the Creative Journey) and HPPF ^_^

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  2. your space really does look like a picture book life! i love seeing your art mingle with your coffee, lemonade, kiddie stuff, home stuff... it all just looks perfect.

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  3. I love the colors in the paintings you've worked on that lie on your desk. Have a happy weekend.

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  4. Well said, Sadee! The quilts especially say "quietness and rest" to me!

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  5. Lovely reflective post Sadee. My eye was taken by the beautiful quilts. Did you make these?

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  6. oh what a beautiful space to create- I love my little space too..... glad you are feeling at home, in your apt. and your skin!I too am so thankful for the new groups I am finding to encourage me to create, people that appreciate my little bits of effort. I am amazed at all the creating I have gotten done since bringing my little one home. Youd think it would be less, but its so so much more. Keep up the good work, the mothering and savoring the moments, the sands of time do quickly slip through our hands

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  7. A lovely post to read. Don't feel guilty of wandering around in lovely sun filled day. The creative spirit needs the warm energy for recharges.

    Glad to know that I'm not the only one who's feeling a bit overwhelm (including emotional overdrive!)about the Creative Courage course material. :) Still processing it.

    Shall see how my schedule go ... love to link up with your "Storyteller".

    Cheers and have a wonderful day!

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  8. I would be distracted too.... I just wish I had that kind of light flooding into my everyday work spaces.... but it gives me some great ideas.
    Thank you for inspiring me today!
    T

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  9. I love your thoughtful posts and this one really spoke to me... I like the idea of writing down the things that you accomplish in a single day... celebrating the small things. Having big dreams and working toward them can sometimes feel overwhelming - I think that might help.

    (It is also wonderful to get a glimpse of your creative space bathed in sunlight.)

    Wheee!!! How lucky am I?!? I am absolutely over-the-moon thrilled to win one of your beautiful prints! Thank you :)

    Big Hugs (and squeals of delight)!!!
    xo
    Kristin

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  10. Your photos of the light falling in your home are just as beautiful as your paintings. I especially love the Kafka quote, it give a new depth to sitting quietly.

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  11. Gorgeous photos and I love seeing the light stream through your apartment too - it is so much like the light right now in Munich! And I'm so glad you are enjoying the class and the exercises - including making a "done" list ;)
    Thank you for all your kind comments and I'm happy to hear that you are truly feeling at home now. Hugs from Munich! xo

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  12. simply wait and be quiet...i need to remind myself of this! enjoyed your post! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  13. To every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecc.

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  14. This is my first visit and I loved your open and honest sharing. The weeks do fly by and the days blend but it is so nice to have someone to tell you to stop and look at your day. Looking forward to following your blog xx

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  15. I love that your skin 'tingles and aches as you reach for the stars"!! Mine does that too and it is an awesome feeling! I am so happy to meet you. Another creative soul in this circle of connectivity.
    xokp

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  16. Sometimes a little rest is the perfect journey to creative adventure! And even at rest you are creating, thinking, dreaming! POP ART MINIS

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  17. Sorry to hear your family has been sick. Sometimes we just need total rest. :) The dreaming and doing are both such hard work. Isn't that the wonderful truth!?! Exercises for dealing with "dream overload"... goodness... that is exactly what I need! So happy to hear you feel home. Beautiful. Congrats to the lucky winner! :)

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  18. Sometimes these moments are future inspirations when painting so enjoy the memories while you can and paint when the days are dreary with rain.

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  19. Productivity is a relative term, Sadee! I can have a day like you described when I don't check anything off my to-do list. But being quiet, watching a bird out my window or listening to a story my son is retelling to me fills me up, gives me a satisfied feeling. Being quiet, being present is a way of drawing close to God and I think that is why I don't feel like my day was a waste. Oh, here I am rambling, letting my thoughts run-on. I just happen to love days like you described. They restore me.

    Glad home is feeling like home :)

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  20. @aimee Thanks Aimee! Although my life certainly is far from perfect, I love when the camera captures these moments that FEEL perfect! :)

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  21. @Tracey Fletcher King Thank you so much for stopping by, Tracey! :) The days blend together far to often, you're right. It's so important to do SOMETHING to slow down and to make them memorable!

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  22. @Paulie You are so right, Paulie! Days like this come far too seldom in Germany. I'm soaking them in while I can!

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  23. I am taking the Creative Courage e-course with you and I found your link. I have to tell you that you are a wonderful writer. You captured the emotion of the first week that I felt as well. Glad I found your work and blog.

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  24. Soaking up the same rare sun near Amsterdam and - I can only say 'how very true!' as your words touch & land... You have captured this all so eloquently - how beautiful!

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  25. This is beautiful! And I love how the sun nits your desk through the window. :) Quotes are awesome and inspiring.

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  26. I love this post! I love how you said productivity is relative. So true! I did some dreaming exercises last year, and I remember someone telling me that it was dreaming and didn't mean I was going to be doing all of these things. That really helped me to dream without inhibition. It's been awesome to see dreams unfolding!

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  27. Another wonderful post Sadee. Stephanie's class sounds wonderful & I look forward to reading more about it. What a great idea - to write down what you have done for the day...even the smallest task. It would really give me something to reflect upon because I am always feeling like I am "behind" or not getting to what I "need" to. :)

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  28. Lots of creativity here in photo and art and writing!

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  29. Beautiful and inspiring post! The photos are awesome! You're right about the light, it's dazzling! And oh those colors, everything dances around the room in celebration!!!! Deb

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  30. Your words are as beautiful as your paintings. I always leave feeling refreshed when I come here. Even when you share your woes, I connect and feel affirmed. This post is no different and it's a delight to see your space--airy and whimsical. I can see why you felt at home.
    My Blog

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  31. I love the quote about being like a prism. And the toys on the floor, what endless inspiration they are :)
    Beautiful post!

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  32. i hear you...at times our definition of productivity hets skewwed...moments of stillness and doing nothing get a bad rap...and there are some things that have much greater eternal value...

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  33. oh sadee. you don't know, you don't know how this encouraged me. i'm so addicted to productivity. i just need to let myself enjoy. thank you.

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  34. "But even big dreams happen in small steps." Much needed words for me today, love how your words illustrate your day.

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!