When holiday stress threatens my sanity, I search for inspiration in what brings me joy.
And with a strike of lightening and a crash of thunder, the holidays arrived.
Ok ok…it’s not THAT dramatic. But does anyone else feel like the anxiety tornado triples in size this time of year? I suppose I could talk about all the things I usually talk about starting around Thanksgiving…gratitude, self-care, being of service, and yes, all of those things are important.
But I also talk about those things all year long and frankly, I’m a little tired of listening to myself. Sometimes I feel like all I do is bitch, forgive myself for bitching, come up with strategies so there is less to bitch about, repeat.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some fun! The holidays are here. My local’s only holiday sale, and my online holiday pop up sale are both in 3 weeks, and I have a lot to do. I was going to make a shit ton of Love Clubs for the sale, but to be honest, I’m kind of tired about thinking about how women don’t feel safe in the world. Yes, they’re funny, but also not at all (plus I have enough of them pre-made already to offer, and I’m going to have a “build your own” custom Love Club option at the local’s sale).
Love, laughs, and joy is all I want to surround myself with right now.
Instead, I’m focusing on joy. What brings me joy without question every single time? Surfing. So, for my holiday sale, I’m making a series of (I hope) fifteen surfboard relief paintings based on my old sketches of surfboard art that I did years ago in the mornings between dropping my kiddo off at school, and heading into work.
For months, I sat and drew surfboard art. It was (and still is) a dream job of mine. By the time I stopped, I probably had something like 40 different designs, from abstract, to ocean life inspired. I knew that I would do something with them one day and it seems that now is the time. I went way back into my Instagram feed and chose the 15 most “liked” designs to use for the project.
These relief paintings are a new style for me. As you know, I love changing things up and keeping myself interested. I didn’t think that just painting the surfboards on a canvas would make the impact that I wanted them to make. I want them to POP off the canvas, literally.
So, I am using a light acrylic molding paste to actually build the surfboard on the canvas so that they are three dimensional. Each surf board is given a few layers of the paste so that they are noticeably built up off the canvas. I sand and shape them by hand. No molds are used. Each is unique.
Then I paint my design on the board. I was adding complex backgrounds but quickly realized that the surfboard itself was the star of the show, and was more powerful of an image with solid color backgrounds. So, solid colors backgrounds it is, with a few subtle additions here and there.
They are charming and they make me smile. The art that I will offer at the beginning of December, both at my local’s only holiday sale and my online holiday pop up sale, are focusing on the bright side of life. Heart Flower paintings for love, Love Clubs for laughs, and Surfboards for joy.
Love, laughs, and joy is all I want to surround myself with right now. I want reminders of the light. I need to be nurtured by positivity. My art for the holidays is all about that nurturing, especially heading into the new year.
And with that, I have to go and do stuff. I know it’s a short blog today, but time is of the essence and I have SO MUCH to do.
Are you starting to feel that “holiday dread”? In the comments, tell me one thing that you could do for yourself during this season that would help you sustain your energy and positive attitude. It ain’t all poinsettias and gingerbread men, no matter what the Costco display says.
Love and light to you,
The image at top is a grouping of the surfboard designs that I would sketch, sitting in a cafe early in the morning, before heading into my jobby-job.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, 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.