I Wish I Could…

Several years ago I was lamenting on Twitter about how I wished I could paint. Something, by the way, I’ve never really put much effort into trying or learning. For all I know, I’m a modern day Picasso in hiding.

Reading my lamenting, a lovely artist on Twitter responded, “You paint with your camera, which means you never have to clean your brushes.”

YES! True!

I love a good abstract color and shape opportunity caught with my camera. It’s why I started shooting boat bottoms, walls of graffiti, and eventually water.

Water at that special time of day when reflections rule and colors pop.

20130916-081640.jpgBoat colors reflecting on water before sunset, Center For Wooden Boats – South Lake Union Seattle

Shall we call it the magical mirror moment? When things that at all other times of the day look pedestrian and less than interesting become magical and artful.

Hmmm…kinda like that moment when someone showed me how my photography was received. Turned my “inefficiencies”and boring talent that I wanted to be more and different into something much more magical and artful: Painting with my camera.

What are you lamenting you “wish you could do”? Maybe you already are doing it, in a different and magical way.

Or maybe you should just TRY to do it with a class or help from someone who can.

Maybe I should take my own advice.

Or maybe I should just embrace not washing brushes.

We’ll see…

Thinking Tree

Since coming to Seattle, I haven’t found “my place”. The place I can go to be alone, breathe, enjoy the sound of the water lapping on the shore. The place I can “hide” with my thoughts or my art journal.

Today, I found it.

By accident.

As all perfect “places” appear.

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It’s not quite Oprah’s tree, but it’s perfect for me!

Quiet beauty…until the pounding began and I met the neighbors.

Woodpeckers!!!

Doodle Lessons – Meet My “Shiny” Inner Critic Buster

Today I kicked off the 2nd “Do The Doodle” 30 Day Challenge.  If you haven’t already, you can sign up here.  It’s going to be great fun and we’ve got a lot of NEW Doodlers joining us.

I have a Doodle routine.  Most days.  I Doodle first thing in the morning.  Before I get my day started.  Opening up to listen from within and coloring out loud with my inner voice’s message.  Some days the Doodle comes late and when it does there is usually a reason for it.  A message that wasn’t ready yet or a day that was sure to need a Doodle sanity break.

This morning I Doodled early.  It wasn’t the usual Doodle experience of relaxation and fun.  I was awash in left brain, “ego” land.

 

My Doodle Superhero in oil pastels.

 

“I don’t like it.”

“The head is the wrong size.  The head is the wrong color.  Why does it even HAVE a head?”

“And, that hair?”  “????????”

“You’re going to post that?  For others to see?  Really?  No, REALLY?”

That led to:

“Why are you doing this?  You can’t do this?  Who do you think you are?”

Then I realized my inner critic has been YELLING at me for days.  I’ve been in this conversation in several areas of my life.

 

WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE, MS. CRITIC. I have something to say to you…“STOP!”

“Stop berating me.  Stop intimidating me.  Just STOP!”

And further…

“I am doing this.  I can do this.  I think I’m a pretty cool and shiny chick.”

 

This morning the Doodle spoke and we KNOW the Doodle doesn’t lie!  Today’s Doodle message from my inner voice was just what I needed.  “Shine Your Light”.

 

Do your thing.

Do it with confidence.

Do it with your unique “color”.

Do it with passion and joy.

That’s what matters!

Shine Your Light….

 

For all you new Doodlers out there who may be struggling with your inner critic (in the Doodle…or in LIFE), just let it go.  Defy it and Doodle.  SHARE your Doodle anyway.  You are coloring out loud and the world wants to hear you!  No matter what!!

 

And truly, do you think any less of me because my Doodle’s head is weird?

I didn’t think so.

 

 

Coloring Out Loud

I was never loud.

 

Quite the opposite actually.  I was quiet, shy, hoping to “fly under the radar”, just fit in and not be noticed.

I rarely raised my hand in class.  I dropped out of choir when I found out I had to sing a solo.  Complete fear set in that I’d be center stage.  All eyes on me.  WHAT?  NO WAY!  I’m OUT!

I battled myself to speak up in meetings as a young adult.  I had things to say…but what if others disagreed, thought I was dumb…

Have you been there?

When I started the “Do The Doodle” 30 Day Challenge a few weeks ago…well, I almost didn’t.  I almost chickened out at the last minute.  It meant I had to put myself out there. I had to “speak out” through my journal drawings. I had to SHARE my personal thoughts and feelings. Dude, really?  That’s SUPER scary! Not just the thoughts and feelings part but my drawings too.

“I SUCK at drawing”.

“My handwriting is so UGLY”!

“People will…[laugh, judge, think I’m strange…]”.

“I’ll share something personal and someone might discover all my secrets”.

But, something pushed me to do it.  To just let go and do it.

 

What You Are Meant To Learn Is What You Are Meant To Teach

 

My voice is important.  It matters.

Speaking up feels good.  It’s empowering.

But most important, I’m learning, is that it makes a difference.  To OTHERS!

When I silence my voice, I silence others too.  When I don’t share my thoughts, I don’t fully show up.  Others don’t benefit from my contribution.  And I, in turn, don’t benefit from theirs.

 

F/A Train Doodle with colored pencils! Doodling on the subway is fun...but challenging!

 

 

It’s JUST A Doodle….

 

I know.  It’s just some colors on a page.  Maybe a few words.  But really, it isn’t.  It’s so much more.

Yesterday I drew 3 Doodles.  I judged each of them.  I didn’t like any of them.  Most of my Doodles weren’t about listening to what that inner voice was saying.  They were about my image and your acceptance of it.  I hesitated about posting anything.  But in the end I did.  I posted the “worst” one (visual judgement again).  The first one.  The one that really carried my message and where I was in my life at that moment.

It resonated.  With several people.  But for one person, it resonated in a big way.  It touched on an emotional level something really challenging that she’s dealing with in her life.  It became a dedication to someone she loves.

Just a simple little Doodle.  Done while sitting on my bed like a teenager.  Expressing a message from inside. Making a difference in someone else’s life.  A message that almost didn’t reach her because of my own self judgement.  How sad that would have been!

I contributed.  She benefited.  I benefited.  Maybe you are benefiting too?

But, it’s JUST a Doodle.  🙂

 

Colored pencils and pastel Doodle inspired by a conversation with a friend about rooting ourselves. When I finally got around to doodling at the end of the day, my first mark looked like a foot!

 

 

Coloring Out Loud

 

However you decide to share your message and use your voice, do it!  Don’t hold back.  Don’t hide.  You are important.  You are here for a reason.

Me, I’m going to continue “coloring out loud” because it works.  For me.  For others.

It’s about to get LOUD in here!

 

Getting DARING! Pastels, colored pencils, AND magazine clipping (GLUE STICK) doodle! I started with the clipping and when I read it the word "color" jumped in there.

 

A BIG thank you to “Team Doodle” for joining me on this adventure!  If you didn’t join the Challenge, no worries!  You can start doodling NOW.  Here’s how I got started.  And, I’ve been asked to do another Challenge when the 30 days are up.  I think the Doodle is here to stay for a while.

 

My favorite Doodle yet. A vision of freedom and joy in pastels.

 

 

Recapturing A Childhood Love

Here’s what I know:

 

I love art, color and creativity.

Somewhere along the childhood path something happened and that passion was lost.   The love affair ended.  The romance died.

I guess over time I got used to “living without it”.  I suppose I told myself I didn’t need it.  Accepted it and moved on.  Until one day….

BOOM…a memory.

I felt a tiny spark of rekindled passion and then a “sweep me off my feet” kind of love.   That was 3 years ago. Today, our love affair lives on and we continue to rediscover each other every day.

There are the moments, as we rekindle the old relationship, when memories of the “old times” surface and beg to be integrated with the new.  Recently I had one of those “old times” resurface and “hang around”.   It seemed to beg me to take action, and re-experience its wonder from a new, grown up place.

 

A little girl and a box…

I don’t know what made me think of it, but the memory that appeared was that of a favorite childhood book.  I couldn’t remember the title so I Googled words like “girl” “box” “creativity”.    That’s what I remembered.   As a little girl I read a book, a lot, that had a cardboard box that became exciting new things through a fun little girl’s imagination.

 

A cardboard box.

A precociously creative little girl who was one of my childhood heroes.

 

Christina Katerina & The Box

That’s IT! Christina Katerina And The Box.  I found it. And last week, I ordered it!

Yesterday I read it on the stoop with the same magical, child-like fascination I did way back in Routh Roach Elementary School. It didn’t look quite like I remembered it, but it felt EXACTLY the same!

Christina Katerina, in all her Creative Divaness, is still my hero. Christina Katerina who turns a simple cardboard box into magical fantasy worlds. Launching her creative ideas into the world…

 

Right in the front yard.

Under the apple tree.

For all to see.

 

Christina Katerina turned box-related disasters into opportunities to stretch her imagination and create fantasy worlds anew. She was the ultimate problem-solver and creativity queen.

She’s inspired me anew to get out in the yard. Find my apple tree. Bring my “box”. Go with my gut. Use MY imagination. Create my vision in the world. Ignore those who try to “throw away the box” (some days that might even mean ignoring myself!). Embrace MY Creative Divaness and get on with the love affair that almost got away. We don’t always get a second chance at love, after all.

 

What’s your “book”?

 

Do you have a favorite book from childhood? Do you have a copy of it? When was the last time you read it?

Is there a message in it for you? A reminder from your inner child of who you are? What you need?

Share your book and how it relates to you today in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear about it…

 

 

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