5 Ways Self-Employed Artists Can Battle Loneliness

After 18 years of working in restaurants, hotels and busy offices, suddenly I find myself able to pursue my passion of abstract painting…working all alone in my kitchen studio and home office and well...loneliness happens.

Sometimes I talk to myself more in one day than I speak to other people.  I’m not kidding.  I talk to myself out loud throughout my work day because, frankly, I get tired of the quiet.  I listen to music pretty much constantly, but sometimes I just want to hear other people’s voices.  I’m not quite desperate enough to have the TV on all day but man, do I yearn for humans sometimes.

Before jumping full time into my career as a West Coast abstract painter, I worked in many different environments.  Happening restaurants, bustling offices, full Yoga studios…I’ve had so many different careers but they all had one thing in common: I was always around people. 

Marigny Goodyear Art Abstract Mixed Media Painting Day DreamWhile I'm in the studio, I often day dream about being outside.  Loneliness can make me wish to be anywhere but where I am.

Now I find myself alone in my house all day.  Sometimes I relish in the quiet.  Sometimes I feel the silence is WAY too loud.  As a person who battles anxiety and depression, that quiet can sometimes feel utterly stifling and although I have a loving family and many friends, I can begin to feel pretty darn lonely.

Compound the physical loneliness with the fact that my daughter just turned 16, now has a car to get herself around and a very busy school and social life…well...I’ll just say that this year has been full of more transition than I was really ready for or expecting to deal with.  Transitions are always harder than I think they will be.  I knew that working from home and being self-employed was going to be challenging to begin with.  But throw in early empty nest syndrome and suddenly I find myself alone in my work AND in my role as a Mom. 

 Marigny Goodyear Abstract Mixed Media Art In the StudioJust me...alone and thinking away. 

Oddly enough, the loneliness can make it hard for me to motivate to be around people.  Weird, huh?  It’s like the sadness can wrap itself around me and I just don’t want to have to talk to anyone, even though all I really want are for people to be around.  I also find that when my friends reach out to me, it’s always at inopportune moments…like in the middle of my work day.  I vacillate between irritation when my friends call to wondering “why is no one calling me?!”  Oh Lord…

I started working with a marketing firm who tells me that I should be posting pictures of me doing fun things with my friends once a week.  I guess potential collectors also like to know that they’re buying from a well-rounded popular artist.  Well guess what…I have lots of photos of me making art alone in my studio but very few of me doing fun things with friends.  Queue violins here.

Oh me oh my! Whatever should a lonely artist do?  Well, having good cries every couple of days is a release, but does that really help me battle the loneliness?  Now, don’t feel too sorry for me.  My life really is great.  I have a loving and supportive family, amazing friends, and an incredible opportunity to follow my dreams.  Unfortunately, knowing this only makes me feel guilty in my loneliness.  So now I’m lonely, sad, AND riddled with guilt.  Oy.

I am an extremely goal oriented, organized, efficient person.  My social life has never needed managing.  I used to have dinners, parties, coffees and live music dates multiple times a week.  It used to be effortless, but life has changed.  I’m older, not drinking anymore and immersed in my art work. Now, 9 months into my new business venture, I am realizing that perhaps I need to apply new strategies when it comes to being around people on a regular basis. 

 Marigny Goodyear Abstract Mixed Media Art In the studio day dreamingWhen THIS is what I'm thinking about while I'm working, it's time to go outside and play. 

5 Ways Artists Can Battle Loneliness:

  1. Schedule a coffee, a hike, a dinner, an anything – Duh. This is so obvious that I’m not sure why it took me so long to do.  I schedule everything from exercise to social media posts so why it took me so long to realize this is beyond me.  I now try to schedule time with a friend at least once a week even if I have to do it a few weeks out.  It’s good just to get dates on the calendar.  

 

  1. Allow social media to boss me around– I mean, I already do. I have to post to social media every day and to do that I have to have content to post.  So, I’d better be getting in my studio to make art every day or else my followers are going to get bored with me.  Since I have been told that I need a friend post once a week, that means that I actually have to be physically next to a friend at least once a week in order to have photographic proof that I’m not an isolated hermit. 

 

  1. Talk to my family when they get home – This is harder than it sounds. The 16-year-old, while she still seems to like me ok, doesn’t want to be bombarded with me talking at her as soon as she walks in…or at all really.  My husband gets an ear full when he comes home.  It continuously surprises me how many words come out of my mouth when I’ve been alone for a whole day or two.  He’s a very patient and kind man and gives me ample time to vomit words before we surrender to exhaustion, fall down and go boom.  Bless him.

 

  1. Talk to a therapist – Yeah yeah yeah.   I went back to her this week after not going for about three years.  I’ve gone on and off since I was 13.  I won’t go way into this except to say that if therapy works for you, as it does for me, every couple of years a check in is a good thing. And let’s face it, talking to a therapist is different than talking to friends or family.  I don’t have to censor myself at all, which can feel really liberating. 

 

  1. Get outside and play – I know…this is on every single one of my “How to cope with _______” lists. But it’s true.  Being outside helps with just about everything.  Sometimes, I get up and go for a morning walk before anyone else in my family is up.  Oddly enough, it’s alone time that I feel is really good for me.  I don’t have to think about work, or anything in particular at all.  I just get outside and get some exercise while the sun is coming up.  I suppose when I’m in tune with nature, I feel I’m closer to something bigger than me and that is very comforting.

 

So yeah…I get lonely working by myself.  I am getting better at applying old strategies to my loneliness, which is merely a new problem that old solutions will work for.  I’ve just never in my life been in tune with this particular issue as much as I am now.  As I’m typing this, new solutions are presenting themselves: I’ve just been invited to a meeting with 6 other professional artists this evening.  So, I can now add to my list of strategies: “Get involved with local artist community.” 

It makes sense…I mean…anyone who works alone is familiar with this particular struggle.  Why should we have to struggle alone? So, I’m going to motivate and reach out more so I freak out less.  Because even though I’m living my dream I’m also going through new experiences and transitions.  Change is hard and loneliness can happen, even in noisy, crowded rooms. 

Join my community and be part of the Artventure!

 

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How Faith is a Path Towards Flow and Away from Fear

I am a former control freak, reformed by faith and flow.

I’d like to take quick a moment today to talk about fear and how it works in relation to faith.  This will be a quick one as I find myself scrambling to get art work ready to bring over to a new gallerist, who has interest in showing my work.  When an artist lives in a city, this probably means getting in the car or an uber and heading across town to said gallery.  When you live in a small town, it can mean a four-hour drive, and that’s a quick jaunt. 

The complication is that I’ve been procrastinating painting (if you can even call what I’m doing painting anymore), and now I have to have examples of my new work ready to show to a gallery owner.  So today will be dedicated to getting a few more small pieces built. 

Last week, I was not in such a motivated place with my art, and threatened to cover it all in joint compound.  Well, as you can see from the above photo, that is exactly what I did, and it’s pretty dang cool looking.  It looks like layers and layers of history being pried from a wall and formed into a square. And the paint!  OMG, when I add paint to the joint compound, amazing things are happening. 

So, I’m finding myself re-invigorated in the studio.  Just in time too, but isn’t that always the way?  I decided last year to put in more time with my surf community because that is one of my main passions and what feels the most nurturing to my soul.  Did that decision have really anything to do with my art?  Not so much but I felt deep down that engaging more with the community I love would lead to awesome things.

That’s called a leap of faith, and for me it was an experiment.  In the past I have been an extremely organized and “ruled by my calendar” type of person.  At the end of every year, I update my business and marketing plans for the year and then calendar out all of the to dos in order to make those plans happen.  I did that at the end of 2018…and then promptly decided to ignore it all.

Instead, I chose to change my way of thinking, and do more of the things that I love for no other reason than that is what feels good.  It may seem silly and perhaps a bit naïve, but I was testing a theory that by flowing with the things that are placed in front of me, by following the signs that I usually pass daily without much notice, I would grow not only in my personal life, but in my art as well. 

What has that led to?  Within 6 months, a successful community art sale, a nationally listened to podcast interview, an art show at surf art gallery in Washington state and a meeting with another gallery owner in another coastal town.  Also, a new project that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet, but I will say that I’m happy to be working on something that makes me laugh out loud.  I think I need a bit more laughter these days.

Faith has been an interesting thing for me to embrace.  As a control freak, putting faith in anything was like closing my eyes and repeating the words, “It’s all going to work out. It’s all going to be ok,” over and over, regardless of whether or not the room I was sitting in was on fire with the roof caving in.  To me, faith seemed like a practice for people who live in denial with themselves and their situations.  However, I find my relationship with faith is changing. 

It may because I’m tired from “the chase”. Do you know what I’m talking about?  Chasing what you want so hard and fast that we burn out before getting “there”.  Where’s “there” anyway?  [Insert existential crisis here.]  All jokes aside, if life truly is about the journey, not the destination, I realize that I live my journey in a state of fear.  I have felt frozen in fear, efficient in fear, indecisive in fear, clear within my fear and just plain tired of my fear. I don’t want any of that anymore.

For me, faith is a way out of that fear.  Having faith is a way for me to take away control from the control freak, and place it into the hands of something bigger than myself.  I don’t know who or what is in charge, but what I do know is that when I take a moment to ask for guidance, look for answers and then respond when they come, life unfolds with more grace.  Could it really be that easy? 

Ok ok…enough with the spiritual lesson.  I have to go make art now, because that’s what the current road sign says it’s time to do, but I'll leave you with a question: If you suddenly chose to have faith that whatever is currently looming over you will work out, and you used that faith to help you navigate through, how would that change your mind set and/or stress level?  

Peace y'all! 

 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.

 

Art & Emotional Expression: the good, the bad and the WTF

Emotional expression in art is inevitable, whether the artist likes it, or not.

It’s been an admin sort of week here at MKPG Art.  I finally got taxes dealt with.  I organized all of my to do’s for my June art show in Bend, Oregon.  I got all the things from my trip unpacked and put away back in the studio.  I social media’d my little heart out about my artwork’s appearance on HGTV.

 

What’s missing from this picture?  Art creation.  My studio process has been annoyingly “stuck”.  I made some progress with two little 8x10 paintings only to get frustrated and cover them both completely with black paint.  I sanded back some of the dark paint and allowed the bright colors underneath to peak through (see above).  There is something there. I’m just not sure what it is and/or if I like it.

 

All I know is that I’m tempted by building supplies like joint compound right now and I’m a bit worried that I will end up with a bunch of paintings that weight a million pounds and look like they’ve been pried from a falling down piece of architecture…but that also kind of excites me.  I’m choosing to follow my art mantra which is “when in doubt, DO!” and so I am looking forward to heading into the studio this afternoon with the goal of dying and texturizing joint compound to slather all over these two pieces.  I may need a pick ax afterwards…but honestly, that kind of sounds fun as well.

 

I feel like I’ve said “it’s been hard to get into a groove this year” about a hundred times, but damn…it’s been hard to get into a groove this year!   I think that part of the problem is that for the first time, I feel as though I’m stuck working on a series of paintings because of a deadline.  If there is one thing I know about myself, it’s that being forced to complete something is a terrific way to get me to not want to do it. 

 

And what’s up with that?  Is that just a stubborn, independent person’s problem?  I feel like I’m the kind of person that will get stupid excited for something, until someone tells me that I HAVE to do it.  Then I just want to move onto the next thing.  I’ve not had that creep up in a series of paintings though, until now.

 

What is it about this series that has me feeling so bogged down?  For one, I suspect the difficult subject matter has something to do with it.  I’ve been focused on my past sexual trauma and it has been thrust into the spotlight once again this month, for various reasons, one being that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Look, I’m glad to be talking about the subject matter and it has helped me in processing difficult shyte.  However, I’d like to find a balance between expressing what has been locked up for years, and wanting to detach and move on.

 

There are a few challenges surrounding this for me.  For one, I like talking about it…until I can’t stand it anymore.  Honestly, I am grateful for this conversation and honored that I have become a voice within it.  Every time I hear from someone who thanks me for my raw honesty, tells me that they now know they aren’t alone, and connects the dots between past trauma and current emotional issues, I feel as though I have created positive change.  OMG THAT’S AWESOME.

 

However, I do occasionally find myself wanting to run and hide in the bathroom with the door locked and all the water running so no one can hear me curse and cry. Usually this happens after hearing from trolls, (I know there is nothing I can do about those nasty people.) but this has also been happening after particularly hard truths are expressed by others. More than once, people have said that the things they are telling me have never been said out loud before.  That’s amazing, yet terrifying.  I find myself in a place of “authority” on the matter and for that I feel humbled, burdened, grateful and like I want to throw up. 

 

I say this not to make those who have spoken their own truths to me feel bad.  That’s not it at all.  I guess it’s just important to me that the entire picture is seen.  Just because I’ve opened up about this in a public way doesn’t mean that I’m not still highly effected by it.  I still cry.  Not daily anymore as I was last Fall, but multiple times a week.  I think it’s because I’m still raw and maybe it’s difficult to heal entirely while still taking in the pain of others that's similar to my own.

 

Perhaps that’s why this series of paintings is difficult and my instinct is to literally burry it under construction materials.  I should experiment with my art and yet, I’m terrified by the metaphor.  Am I just finding new ways to burry my old pain?  Am I wanting to put it back now that it’s out in the open?  Does part of me wish I had never opened this Pandora’s box? 

 

I am finally doing what, as an artist, I've been striving to do: connecting my creations with my emotions.  I am expressing what has been hiding deep within me through words (easier) and images (waaaaaay more challenging).  Why is one so much easier than the other?  Maybe it’s because within essays, I can hide behind snarky sarcasm and self-deprecation and within the abstract painting, there is nowhere for me to hide.  What comes out, comes out, and frankly, it’s not always easy for me to look at. 

 

Truth be told, I kind of like what’s happening in the black paintings.  I like that the bright colors are popping through, almost in revolt.  Like it’s a “can’t hold me down!” kind of moment. But the colors also look as though they are trying not to be re-hidden.  They are struggling to stay bright and present.  They are nearly drowning in the darkness.  Both are perfect descriptions of how I feel and I can’t hide from that nor can I say that one is more powerful than the other. 

 

I know one thing, when weeding the yard looks more fun to me than painting, I’m either on the wrong path with what I’m working on, or absolutely spot on the right path of something that needs further (yet scary) discovery.  Oy…I think I just have to press on and get through this period.  Hopefully something powerful comes from it as I would like this to resolve with a bang rather than a whimper.  Frankly, the whimpering is a bit out of control these days and I’m realizing how scared I am.

 

I hate admitting that I’m scared.  I would like to think that freedom from my denial means that I’m all fixed now, but that’s not the truth.  I live in various forms of fear splattered with blood, sweat, tears and unpredictable yet incredibly empowering brave moments.  I believe that those moments are happening with more frequency, but when I’m in fear, they're hard to see. All I see is weakness and I find that dang annoying.  Today, I’m going to choose a different reaction to feeling weak.  Rather than hiding under black paint, blankets and Law & Order, I’m going to approach it head on…with joint compound…and a freakin’ pick axe.

 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.

 

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I Have ALL the Emotions

After ten days of solo travel, one hell of a podcast interview, and once again being contacted by many sexual trauma survivors, I am feeling free, sad, compassionate, burdened, happy, grateful, and like I need more coffee. 

It’s true.  I have ALL the feels right now.  After my interview on the podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour, I have been contacted by sexual trauma survivors who are grateful to me for speaking out on the gray area of sexual assault that isn’t discussed much. 

I have had multiple hour phone conversations with multiple people who are speaking to me about their own experiences, struggles, and pain.  I wish I could say that all of that is easy for me, but I don’t lie.  It’s hard, triggering and saddening…and I’m so glad that it is happening

It’s amazing to me that by sharing my most shameful moments, others feel they can too.  I’d like to just say, “My job here is done! Time to move on!” but it’s not quite that simple.  This conversation is just getting started and it is clear to me that I have a role.  What the hell my actual role is, I’m not sure.  But I cannot ignore that my voice has given strength to others and they keep coming back for encouragement, to tell me what they have been able to get beyond, and what they still struggle with the most.

I won’t hide from it, but I admit that I do have to have boundaries as well.  I am one who is sensitive to the emotions of others.  Talking to people about this stuff is freeing and yet difficult and exhausting all at the same time.  Please don’t take that the wrong way.  I am beyond grateful for this ride.  I told my husband yesterday that I am not sure where this journey is taking me, but I am DEFINITELY on a journey.

I believe that when the Universe puts me on a path, that I should honor it and see it through.  That is what I’m doing.  I’m putting one foot in front of the other, making sure to be on the lookout for roadmaps and signs, and following where they lead me.  It feels right.  It feels good.  It feels like it is bigger than just me and that is something that I’ve longed for my whole life…to be part of something. 

Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that this thing that has brought me the most shame, humiliation, sadness and anger would turn into a large part of my journey.  But now that I think about it, why wouldn’t it?  It is actually quiet poetic that my burden has become my quest.  I can’t imagine a more fulfilling way to deal with struggle.  The struggle has become a source of strength. 

A few days ago, I started a private Facebook group called, Sexual Trauma Survivors: We are not alone.  I’m no specialist, but from all who I’ve heard from, it seems that no matter what the specific trauma was, it leads to the same emotional sickness in people.  I hear the same words used over and over again: shame, embarrassment, humiliation, anger, anxiety, depression, inability to trust, fear of abandonment, self-hate, loneliness.  I, myself, have felt all of it.

I am so sorry for all of the pain that each and every one of us dealing with sexual trauma has had to endure.  My heart aches for you all, and for myself.  But underneath that heartache is something that I rarely felt before I wrote that letter last Fall: a deep sense of hope.  Hope that we can continue to find each other and talk to each other so that we can feel less isolated and alone.  Hope that we can all heal. The most powerful thing that I have learned over the past six months is that we are not unique, we are not alone, and we are stronger together. 

This month especially, let us be open to listening to others who are in pain.  Let us make compassion our guides.  Let us sympathize and empathize.  Please join the Facebook group or share this link: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/358482458098027/

If you are dealing with sexual trauma, I encourage you to reach out for help and I urge you to encourage others who are in need of support to do the same.

Hopefully we can help each other heal and learn how to treat ourselves with the same compassion, kindness and sympathy that we so easily give others but are unable to give to ourselves.

We can learn to love ourselves.

Change is happening.    

We got this.  

  

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.

 

 

 

Marigny Goodyear on The Mental Illness Happy Hour

I would like to give a HUGE shout out and thank you to Paul Gilmartin for having on his podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour.  The segment is called, "Trading Sex for Love", and we discuss my essay, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, including sex, objectification, consent, alcoholism and many more totally uncomfortable topics.  Paul is a generous listener and wonderful interviewer and his podcast can make me laugh and cry within the same 30 seconds.  Download the Mental Illness Happy Hour app or listen on the website: 
https://mentalpod.com/archives/5168

How Surrender is the Best Anti-Anxiety Tool

The anxiety cycle begins slowly, and then hits like a freight train.  Ability to function drops to zero.  Feelings of incompetence and guilt ramp up to a ten.  At least I'm now aware of the cycle.  Awareness is always the first step, right?

 

A few days ago, I was exhausted, sprawled on the sofa, tears running down my face.  It was the worst bout with anxiety I’ve had in a few months.  I’m not naïve enough to think that the anxiety won’t return when it has stayed at bay for as long as it had, but I suppose I’m still waiting for the day that my awareness of my anxiety causes it to feel less powerful.  It is still as powerful, but because I now know the cycle, it doesn’t come with the side of hopelessness that it used to come with.

A lovely friend came by the house with a green smoothie “boost” and an hour of his time to sit with me, listen, and just be there.  Thank the Gods for generous friends.  Just the gesture made me feel better.  I was raw enough that in just writing about it now, I feel the tears welling up.  I don’t have control over that, and it’s ok.  Although I’m feeling better now, the rawness stays for a while. 

What made the anxiety attack?  Well, a few things.  During the first quarter of this year, I have been talking to you a good bit about having trouble gaining momentum.  I keep waiting for my high gear to kick in and remove me from this place of feeling stagnant.  I write these words now with the knowledge that I have finished 3 paintings this year, sold one, was told my work is going to be on HGTV, and landed an interview on one of the most listened to metal wellness podcasts in the country (more on that later).

I delivered a body of work, 29 pieces of art, to Westport Washington, made a new gallery connection in Newport Oregon, and I’ve been working on my Online March Pop Up Shop, which I swear is coming but apparently 2019 is the year of slow motion.  All that, and I’ve kept up with writing my blog, posting to social media and for the most part, staying on target with my calendar.  Plus, in dealing with my taxes, I noted that my sales for 2018 were nearly double what they were in 2017.  When I think about what I have accomplished in actuality, the list looks pretty damn good.

 

"Complete and total overwhelm took over my brain, which made making a cup of tea a difficult task."

 

However, on Saturday, I felt a bad headache creeping in.  By Monday, blinded and tired from the multi-day migraine, all I could see is what ISN’T happening and HASN’T been accomplished.  From there, I found myself unable to move.  Complete and total overwhelm took over my brain, which made making a cup of tea a difficult task.  Guilt began to creep in because I had become completely unproductive, thus I felt as though I was failing at life.  Around 11:00am, I called my husband and asked permission to take the day off. 

I know I don’t need his permission, but when I get into the anxiety-fuck-space that I had plummeted into, it becomes very difficult to think that anything I decide is correct.  In fact, it’s the opposite…my perception is that everything I decide is wrong and so I need an outside source to tell me that it’s ok for me to rest.  (I can hear my Mom’s eye balls roll as I write this.  She tells me to rest all the time.)

The issue is that the actual anxiety attack usually follows days/weeks/months of struggling through mental stagnation and so I already felt as though I was not doing enough.  Hell, I've been talking about that stagnation all year.  So by the time I could no longer physically move, I already felt as though I was failing.  The only thing left to do was to either panic, or turn off.  Thankfully, Hubbie told me to bag the day.  

I sat on the sofa, sipping green smoothie, allowing the tears to do what they must, explaining to my friend that I knew this would pass and that I just needed to let it run its course.  I knew what was happening.  I’ve been there enough times to know that I simply needed to stop, rest, watch the documentary on Studio 54, and give myself a general break.  I did just that and then slept nearly 11 hours that night.  Sometimes, I just need to turn off. 

Here’s the deal: When this happens, I know what is happening.  However, having that knowledge does not mean that it stops any part the anxiety cycle that happens when I have an anxiety attack.  All it means is that I’m better able to surrender and let it run its course, although sometimes I need someone to tell me that surrender is ok.  At least now I ask.

Having awareness of the cycle does manage to take away the feeling of hopelessness that used to lead me into a depressive state.  I know it will end and that knowledge means that at least the anxiety isn't plaguing me with the "what the hell is wrong with me" debate that used to send me into despair. So there's that.  

When I get a physical illness like a cold, I sit down and rest, and I manage to do so without (much) guilt.  When I have to sit down and wait the anxiety out, why oh why do I allow the stigma of my mental health issue make me feel as though I’m failing at life ?  I know I’m not going to be productive within that mind set.  All I'll end up doing to staring blankly at a computer screen or at my art supply shelves in paralysis. 

For lack of a better word, it makes me feel incompetent.  You know what?  Maybe I am for that moment and maybe that’s ok.  It’s difficult for me because my racing mind gets so angry at our society that tells me I need to be producing at all times.  So not only do I get frustrated with myself, but I parlay that into being mad at the world for the image of the seemingly unattainable wealth and status that equates success within our culture. 

The hamster wheel was operating in 5th gear.  Soon after getting mad at our capitalistic culture, I thought about moving elsewhere in the world only to get bogged down in the inescapable environmental issues that plague the world, the challenges that I fear my daughter will have, the future, the future, the future…

It has passed for the most part.  I woke this morning and motivated to start the day with Yoga (exercise in the morning always makes me feel better when I can actually get up and do it).  I’ve also begun preparing for my upcoming work retreat which evolved from a college visit that my kiddo is no longer interested in.  She isn’t going, but I had made a few plans and so I’m still going to head down to Southern California for a week of work. 

To be honest, I’m not really sure if a geographical change will help with my stagnation issue.  I think I know myself well enough to know that after the anxious panic, a surge of productivity follows close behind (although, I have been waiting for it all year).  I’m hoping to use the time to myself to dive into that work.  It’s a test.  I don’t know if it will make a difference, but it’s worth a shot and I’ll be staying just a few blocks from the beach so I can have a morning swim, surf or beach walk and then get to work. 

My hope is that the simple change will break me free from the bungees that seem to be attached to my ankles.  They allow me to walk forward only to snap me back to where I started.  What I would really like is to give myself a mental break.  I would NEVER talk to my friends the way I’ve been talking to myself, and I know that is a big part of the cycle.  At least I’m aware of it.  Awareness is the first step, right? I wonder how many years of awareness will lead to an actual change.

All I can do is try my best to move forward and judge my progress with more kindness.  So come on, Girlfriend.  You got this.  You’re doing awesome.  One foot in front of the other. 

 

The photo at top is the productivity that came from deciding to go on a work retreat.  It forced me to prep materials, which was a welcome change from wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do next.

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.

 

 

 

 

 

Art Delivery and Numb Extremities: A Travel Recap

The more I explore the Pacific Northwest, the more my love for it grows, cold ocean, numb feet and all. 

 

This past week was quite the adventure!   The drive north started on Thursday, the car packed with art for the Todd Fischer Gallery, all my surf gear and my kiddo, bound for our first stop, Portland.  We ate yummy brunch, bought her first pair of Dr. Martens, browsed Powell’s Books and went on the Portland State University tour (which was so cool!).

After I put her on a plane back to Medford, I continued on north to Westport, Washington to meet up with Todd Fischer.  He is taking a bunch of art back with him to his new gallery in Port Angeles, WA where I will be part of the March 22nd grand opening celebration.  If you happen to be in that area, stop by.  It’s sure to be a party.  He said 150 people showed up for the soft opening so he’s expecting a big turnout.  

I then drove the 101 South all the way to Newport, Oregon, which was a GORGEOUS drive.  I mean, holy smokes that was beautiful.  I wish I had photos to show you, but it’s a funny thing… When I am blown away by what I’m seeing, my first thought is NOT to grab my camera and take photos.  In retrospect, I wish I had more to show you but all I can do is encourage you to go on some adventures and see some beauty with your own eyes.

Sure, it’s a little cold and the weather is particularly moody but like they say, if you don’t like the weather out here, wait 5 minutes. 

The drive was filled with dramatic coastal views and lush green mountain valleys.  I spent the time listening to music, singing loudly/badly with a perma-grin on my face due to how spectacular the Pacific Northwest is.  Y’all…it’s friggin’ sublime out here.  Sure, it’s a little cold and the weather is particularly moody but like they say, if you don’t like the weather out here, wait 5 minutes. 

I didn’t stop much because I was excited to meet up with one of my lovely surf sisters in Newport.  We met for a surf that evening and then I stayed for another surf in the morning.  Where I normally surf is about 240 miles South of Newport and let me tell you, temperature wise, that 240 miles makes a big difference 

The air temperature in Newport was 39 degrees.  The ocean temp was 45.  We got half into our wetsuits at the house, which I’ve never done before, but I quickly realized why after getting my board waxed to find that my fingers were already numb from the cold.  Stepping into the ocean was a relief because it was actually warmer than the air. 

I got a good paddle warm up after getting caught in the strongest rip tide I’ve ever experienced.  For the first time, I totally understood how people get taken away by rips.  It was powerful. I thought for a minute that I was going to have to paddle over to the jetty and climb out, but the day before, my surf sister had referred to this as “the walk of shame” and so I stubbornly paddled parallel to the shore and finally got out of the rip. Then I got into shallower water where I spent the rest of my session standing so I could stay in position.     

I caught a few waves and had a great time, but at about an hour in, I could no longer feel my hands or my feet, and I was having trouble talking because my lips were numb and didn’t work anymore.  I thought I was tough, but that water was DAMN COLD.  As I was walking back to the car, a gentleman who was about to paddle out asked me how it was.  I went to say, “It was fun” but what came out was, “immwuzfn”.  That was about what my lips could articulate.  Did I say it was cold?

I changed on the side of the car that was blocked from the nuking wind, and watched in awe as I saw a woman walk from the beach to her truck, throw her board in the back, and jump in the driver’s seat, soaking wetsuit and all.  It seems the additional 240 miles North also means that you don’t give a f*ck if your car’s upholstery gets wet.  Just jump in and blast the heat as quickly as possible.

After fumbling through the getting dressed process (which is challenging with numb fingers), I “walked” over the bathrooms which honestly felt straight from Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.  Numb feet walking is hilarious.  I felt that I was bending my knees in an over exaggerated manner, and my feet were slapping flatly on the ground.  The awkwardness of it all made me laugh out loud.  I was careful though, especially walking up from the beach in my booties, as in the past I have given myself a few bad stone bruises from walking over rocks with numb feet. 

From there I had a lovely brunch with my friend and then met with a gallery owner who I hope to work with in the future, and then began the drive home.  I’ll be back in Newport a few times this Spring and Summer to volunteer at surf camps.  It is a place that I’m psyched to be tapping into more.  Great people, art, surfing and community.  All the things that make life fun for me. 

I arrived back in the valley to a full inbox, a painting in (frustrating) progress, and many home-sickening photos from Mardi Gras day. I found myself dreaming of those coastal views and hearing the ocean waves in my ears.  I can’t wait to go back but I have much to do here.  I have 14 paintings to complete before the first week of June and more travel to come between now and then. 

It’s time to hunker down for a few weeks and work.  I need to allow myself to get into the studio and just explode creatively.  I feel that all the distractions from travel have made it hard to get into a groove, but I need to embrace this new flow as I have signed up from multiple interruptions over the next 4 months. 

I did manage to make progress on my frustrating painting by taking a huge chance and painting over 90% of it.  The image at top is a detail from it.  It got dark and moody but with a colorful glow coming from underneath.  I suppose that is a pretty good self portrait of me, at times.  Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have this one and the two other small paintings that are in progress done.  Stay tuned!

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.