Moving Towards Understanding: Communication is Key

Right now, I must express myself or I may implode like an overdue time bomb. 

It has been a crazy couple of weeks for us all.  I could just say that it's been a hard couple of weeks for me, but every woman that I speak to seems to say the same thing.  Without sharing my most overwhelming feelings right now, which are frankly too confused to put words to, I'll just say that it is so important now more than ever, to support the women in your life.  Ask them how they're doing.  Listen without interruption.  Respect their challenges, past, present and future, without judgement.  We need each other's humanity now.  

This is seeping into my work.  As both a distraction and a motivation.  I want to be strong and grow past this rough moment in my own story.  I want to be a voice that helps to allow others to feel brave enough to use their own.  I want to fight until there is no more of this particular flavor of internal pain, and replace it with knowledge.  Do I know how I'm going to do this?  Not at all.  But just by starting the conversation, I feel I am doing the right thing.  

We should all be sharing our past, present and future with each other. We have more in common than we think.

And maybe that's the how:  by simply starting to talk about it.  I have to be honest...right now, the thoughts are hard to organize.  I often feel paralyzed by the overwhelming amount of thoughts that enter and exit my brain at a rapid fire pace.  I promise to be less vague as I learn more.  But right now, this is all I can offer.  It is all I have.  Just a vow to figure the shit out for myself so that I can share it with you.

And so I paint without parameters.  Just let whatever wants out, out.  This has always been my best form of communication anyway.  And I surf.  Paddling out into surf that is bigger than I'm used to surfing.  Getting my ass handed to me by the waves and then getting right back onto the board, paddling even harder.  To prove my strength to myself.  I am strong.  I am diligent.  I want to learn.

And I'm seeking help to put some order into the chaos that my brain is currently hosting.  In my case, this means visiting my therapist.  Sometimes, I need guidance.  And that's ok too.  Now is the time for me to practice more self-love and compassion than I was giving myself yesterday.

Whatever gets you moving in the direction of understanding, do it.  Whatever allows you to forgive yourself, don't hesitate to dive in.  Whatever support you need from your loved ones to move through this space, ask for it.  Because I guarantee, if you start talking, they will too.  Take care of yourself.  Be kind and gentle. We are the voices of change and no longer will I choose shame over change.

Painting at top is Reflections, 24x24, Paper Clay & Acrylic on Canvas

Join my community and be part of the Artventure!

Other articles:

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.

One Painting with Infinite Personalities: The Process is Not Always a Straight Line

Paintings are like people.  Some have a strong sense of self right away, and some take a while to find themselves.  

 

These past few weeks, I have been working on a series of paintings titled, A Lovely Mess, for my June 7th show in Bend, OR.  My goal is to have 15 paintings for this show and I began 4 of them in a group. It’s been great to get some studio time in while preparing for my big drive to deliver art to the Todd Fischer Gallery in Westport, WA. Todd is going to be showing work from my Naturals series, in his Port Angeles gallery for 3 months and then in at his Westport gallery for another 3 months.  I’m so excited for this opportunity!

Some paintings have an identity that comes out fast and strong.  When this happens, the painting resolves itself quickly.  It feels amazing because it’s as if the painting just flows out of me and onto the canvas, without question.  I hardly need to pause to make decisions in color or composition.  It simply becomes. 

The first painting I did in my A Lovely Mess series happened in that way.  Its identity easily came rushing through as if it just needed to be manifested.  It needed to exist and found an outlet in me, and there it was.

Now I’m onto painting number three and, well, it’s not happening quite as easily.  In fact, it’s the exact opposite.  It’s had at least four extremely different identities already, and it isn’t done yet.  It’s an interesting practice to deal with frustration when this happens, especially coming off of a painting that flowed itself into being without an identity crisis. But I think the fact that the reinvention of self is referred to as a “crisis” may be a large part of the problem.  I believe that paintings are as complex (or as simple) as people. 

I have a childhood friend who came out the womb knowing that she was going to be a veterinarian.  Guess what, she did exactly that and now has her very own practice in our hometown, New Orleans.  She knew what she was and it made the path of higher education and career simple.  We are all not so lucky. 

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a pop singer.  Trouble is, while I can carry a tune just fine, I’m not what you would call a blessed vocalist.  Then I found art and thought that I would end up an artist or art dealer, then a restaurant owner, a pastry chef, a hotel manager, an advertising sales executive, a Yoga teacher, a stock broker, a number cruncher for an accounting firm, an event planner and an executive assistant, all to find that, surprise surprise, I’m an artist again.

I believe that the paintings that flow through me are as complex as people. 

In the book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says that creativity is a living, breathing entity that we humans enter into a partnership with.  That entity's only purpose in life is to be made manifest and the artist is a channel for it to do just that.  I love this concept.  I have never felt entirely in charge of “my” creativity.  I don’t know where is comes from and this explanation makes sense to me.  

Because of that, I don’t refer to creativity as “mine” anymore.  I buy into the partnership.  I also understand that means that I will have many different partners, as each painting that comes from me is actually coming from its very own creative entity.  That’s a lot of different personalities to work with.  Like my childhood friend, some of them know exactly what they want to be.  Like me, some have a general idea but then want to try being multiple roles before landing on the one that sticks. 

So, how do I know when a painting like this is done?  Simple.  It tells me.  The painting I’m working on right now is telling me that it’s closer to finding itself, but still has a few things to learn.  While the paintings that know what they are right away may come off as “stronger” feeling, the ones that go through multiple reinventions, are often more complex.  They have a history in layers and time.  They have more experiences which, in the end, make them interesting in a complicated way.

Here are the various lives that this painting has lived so far. I can’t wait to see what it ends up being.  The cool thing about the pieces that can tend to be frustrating sometimes is that, in the end, what they become is always joyfully surprising.

 

marigny goodyear art papier mache abstract painting
A detail of the beginning.  Using papier mache, I create a pattern of sorts on a lightly painted canvas.
Marigny goodyear art abstract painting process
This painting got dark, quick, completely covered by a new layer of paint.
marigny goodyear abstract art painting process
Then it decided that it didn't want to take everything so seriously and that it should lighten up.
marigny goodyear art abstract painting stripes process
It wanted a big change, so it tried on some blue and white stripes with a peek-a-boo corner, but it didn't feel right.
Marigny goodyear art abstract painting process
It decided that the stripes should be diluted and turned vertical.  Now that it had a cascading waterfall look, it wanted to be placed within some mysterious cavern.

 

I love that this painting wants to try so many new things and even though, it would be great if it would just find itself already, I know it will in it's own time.  It's a lot like me in this way and so, I find that sympathy rather than frustration is more effective.  Frustration will just stress it out.  It's ok, Little Painting.  You'll know yourself when the time is right.

My friend, the vet, is talented at her job.  I believe it is because she has been clear on her Ikigai from birth, and she followed that straight through to her professional life.  While I don't have the time and experience to go into medicine or law (for example), I can jump into a catering team a the drop of a hat, set up simple sound systems from dipping my toe into DJing, and teach my husband Yoga, like I was yesterday morning.  

Jack of all trades, master of none?   Maybe.  But for me, and for painting number three, it seems that variety is truly the spice of life. 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmonized Chaos: Striving to live with the sweet AND the salty

There cannot be dark without light.  There cannot be light without dark. They are two halves of the same coin.  Only by embracing both, are  we whole.

 

This past week, I finally dove into the series paintings that I’m creating for my June 7th show at Legum Design in Bend, OR.  I started 4 canvases all at once, and managed to finish 1 painting, which also happens to be the largest of the 4.  While painting, I thought about how to explain this series in a statement for the show.  The series may have a long way to go until completion, but the statement is becoming clearer. 

Last fall, I wrote a deeply personal essay that changed my life.  Ever since, my painting has been linked to my emotional state, the genuine nature of which had  been (unbeknownst to me) hiding under the rug, swept there along with the years of trauma that I had been blaming on myself. That, in combination with years of trying to figure out who the world wanted me to be instead of just being myself, left me a little out of touch with the actual emotional nature and root of myself and my art.

After I shared my truth in the form of an open letter, I created a series of small paintings called, Reclaimed Hearts. Each painting in that series has a paper heart, ripped up and then reassembled onto canvas.  This was the purest form of expression I had ever encountered in my work.  It was me healing my broken heart in painting form.

Since then, the image of the broken yet mended heart has stuck.  Now, I have never been all that attracted to hearts. To me, it has always been a trite symbol associated with Valentine’s Day and the doodling of 6-year-olds.  However, now that I know how repairing my own heart has affected me, my art, and my loved ones, the simple image feels different.  I have given the sweet heart a welcome saltiness.

Pair that with the dark colors and dim cavernous spaces that I am placing the hearts within, I feel I am creating pieces that realistically look at the beauty in life, and the darkness that inevitably lives side-by-side.  Now, I am NOT trying to be all doom and gloom, simply realistic.      

Even the most loving and successful relationships have cracks and dark times.  When I’m sitting on my surf board in the ocean marveling at the beauty of nature, I am also aware of the pollution that threatens the sea and the world.  When I’m looking at gorgeous pictures on social media, I can’t help thinking that I am seeing the pretty side of life shared by that person, and I’m aware of the anxiety created for others, who compare their own imperfect lives to those profiles of perfection.

There is nothing wrong with the dark.  What is wrong is our avoidance of it.  

I could go on and on.  The point is there is no light without the dark.  It doesn’t mean that the dark has to take over, but if there is no light without the dark, then there is certainly a place for the dark.  Don't you think?

The dark should be honored.  It should be discussed out in the open instead of hidden in a therapist’s office (although please, by all means, discuss it there too).  There is nothing wrong with the dark.  What is wrong is our avoidance of it.  

Once, I was at a little league game when another Mom, who is also a friend, asked how I had quit drinking.  When I told her that I had to go and get a few years of help, the smile on her face dropped into one of concern.  She immediately began waving her hands in front of her in a cease and desist motion, and said in a hushed voice, “We don’t have to talk about it.”  It was though the subject had passed over a line, from “friendly self-help topic” to “things not discussed in public”. 

“I don’t care if we talk about it.  I’ll talk to anyone about it.” I said in return.  She changed the subject quickly.  I was embarrassed.  Not by the fact that she asked, but that my response had seemed to embarrass her.  I made her feel uncomfortable by simply speaking my truth. 

What do you think the world would look like if everyone stopped hiding behind their light, and accepted their dark into the mix? 

My truth is, I can’t think of something that I wouldn’t talk honestly about, or someone that I wouldn’t talk honestly to.  I’ve been known to do so at the dinner table in a crowded restaurant, to someone I just met at a party, and on public radio.  I don’t care if you know my darkness.  In a way, I find it disarming, and I think it just makes my light shine a bit brighter.

So, that is what I’m currently working on and what my week has been about.  Visual representation of my acceptance of the dark.  I embrace it and I encourage you to as well.  For me, it has been liberating.  I’m not worried about you finding out about my dark anymore.  Too much of my life’s energy has been spent on hiding it.  It’s exhausting. 

I’m tired of spending my energy that way and frankly, I don’t give a shit anymore if my darkness is judged.  Those who judge it are the very ones who need to take a clearer look at their own.

What do you think the world would look like if everyone stopped hiding behind their light, and accepted their dark into the mix?  What would your world look like if you did?  Or if you have already, what brought you to that acceptance? 

Take a look at the painting at top of this blog post.  That is what my commingling light and dark look like.  I think it’s damn beautiful.  Peaceful.  Harmonized.  I wish that for everyone.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Confusion Sets In, the Tiara Goes On!

Need to make hard decisions?  Put on a thinking wig!

I was in my studio, FINALLY getting into some creative work that has been extremely challenging to get into a rhythm with this year.  Between travel and not really knowing what the heck was happening with a possible show in March, I have felt stagnant.  I hadn’t wanted to expend the energy it would take to get everything ready for a show, because I didn’t know if it was a confirmed show. 

I also couldn’t decide if I wanted to proceed with an online March Pop Up Shop, if I should be going after wholesale accounts for my hats and note cards, if I should be manufacturing new goods at all, if I should incorporate cannabis leaves into the current series I’m working on... 

Also, I couldn’t decide if I should walk or do Yoga, eat meat only a few times a week or not at all, go surfing or not try to battle the winter ocean weather and ski instead, or start jogging again…and on and on we go.  The 2019 hamster officially jumped on its wheel and began running

Meanwhile…back in the studio… 

There I was, prepping all my materials for a series of paintings I was beginning to work on.  It took excruciating effort to get to that point, including a high side-ponytail, tiara and loud music.  I was painting/dancing, high side-pony whipping this way and that, yelling/singing the song Leaving by Yes, when I turned to notice my 17-year-old daughter had walked in and totally busted me in this state of artistic genius/madness.

“Hi Mom!” she said loudly with a perplexed smile.

“Hi Babe!” I yelled back.  “How was your day?!”

“It was good!” she said with confused eyebrows and trying not to smile too big (or break out in embarrassed laughter).

To her credit, she looked more amused than embarrassed. She went into the dining room to do homework.  She never questioned what the hell was happening and she didn’t ask me to turn the music down (which I did anyway due to the homework). It was in this moment that I decided the following:

  1. My daughter is the coolest.

  2. The tiara WITH a high side-ponytail was a stroke of genius.

  3. This series of paintings was going to be awesome with or without the cannabis leaves.

  4. Everything was going to be ok.

 

Two days later, the show was confirmed.  My March Online Pop Up Shop offering was made clear.  I had a game plan.  Now that I have had a couple of days to reflect on this particular bout of tomfoolery, I am positively astounded at how I dealt with my decision making confusion.

For one, I didn’t totally melt down!  HOORAAAAYYYYY!!!!  I have to admit, I’m not sure where the side ponytail came from.  It was an accident while rushing to throw my hair up that immediately made me feel lighter, so I rolled with it.  That lightness made me grab my studio tiara, and the combination of the two was nothing short of amazing.  

At its most basic level, I think that this was me telling me not to slip into taking everything too seriously.  It will, indeed, all work out.  My world will not end based on the outcome of any of this shit.  In fact, no one’s world will end.  Everything will continue.  More decisions will need to be made once these are figured out and the livelihood of the universe will not be dependent on those choices either. 

I found that I was able to do what my heart told me I needed to do in order to avoid going bats in the belfry crazy, and thus collapse from over-thinking.  If that meant screaming 80’s pop-rock while flinging a tiara clad side-pony around, so be it.  THAT, my friend, is freakin’ progress.

I urge you to do something silly today.  It may not be as silly as you think.  It may, actually, bring clarity and joy.  It may lead to productivity.  It may show others, such as younger people who are we are supposed to be setting a good example for, that laughter is not only medicine, but an organizational tool as well. I plan on urging her to wear a tiara while taking the SATs. I may have done better on them had I owned one at the time.

If I ever have a business with employees, I shall have a costume closet in the office.  Feeling down? Grab a boa.  Frustrated and unmotivated? Dress in drag.  Feeling as though you’re stuck in molasses?  A purple wig is just the ticket.  Coffee not kicking in? Face paint!  It shall be part of my employee manual.  Prospects who find this ridiculous need not apply. 

Who wants to work for me?   

Marigny Goodyear Art Tiara

 

 

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.

 

The photo at top is the finished painting titled, "A Lovely Mess".  It got snatched up before the finishing coat was even applied, but stay in touch for info of how to get a smaller photo reproduction.  Join my Artventure for early access to the March Online Pop Up Shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Panda and Dragon Within

I feel that I have two distinct personalities.  One who longs for attention and accolades, and one who blushes and instinctively hides the moment the spotlight is turned on her.

 

In the past, this has made me feel insecure.  How is it that I desire attention and simultaneously want to run from it?  I have told myself that I must be the most self-conscious, arrogant person in the world. I thought that this dichotomy made me weak and wishy-washy, as if it meant that I didn’t know myself enough to be solid in either role.  However, I now see that each side serves a purpose that allows the other to live and flourish. 

When I began to write about this, the children’s book lover in me translated this subject into a fable of sorts. The moral being acceptance and appreciation of ourselves as complex beings, who at times, may not seem to make much sense.  I believe that each part of me nurtures the other parts, and each cannot healthily exist without the others. 

Here is the story of Panda and Dragon.

 

Once upon a time Panda and Dragon lived together in a small room with only one window.  Dazzling and fiery Dragon, who thrived on attention, spent her days sticking her head out the window, breathing fire, blowing smoke rings and showing off her glittering scales and wings.  Shy, clumsy and self-conscious Panda could usually be found in the corner of the room, quietly chewing on bamboo, or meditating in Dragon’s shadow.  

One day, a girl walked by the window and Dragon said, “Hey!  Over here! Look at me! I am the fierce and beautiful dragon.  Let me amaze you with my beautiful wings!” The girl looked over, and was mesmerized by Dragon’s beauty, elegance and allure.  

“Wow!” said the girl, “You are a magnificent beast!”

“I know!” said Dragon.

 Panda sat quietly in the corner, enjoying the cool breeze from Dragon’s wings. 

The next day, the girl walked by the window and Dragon said, “Hey!  Over here!  Look at me! I am the fierce and beautiful dragon!  Let me amazing you with my breath of fire!”

The girl looked over as Dragon breathed a river of fire out the window.  “Wow!” said the girl. “You light up the world! I wish I could be just like you!” Dragon grinned smugly at the complement.  Panda, seated in the corner, began to feel a little bit warm and broke out in a sweat.

The day after that, the girl walked by the window and Dragon said, “Hey! Over here!  Look at me! I am the fierce and beautiful dragon!  Let me amaze you with my smoke rings!” The girl stopped to marvel at the perfect rings that puffed from Dragon’s nose. 

“Wow!” said the girl.  “You must be the most talented beast in the world!” 

Dragon, nose lifted to the sky, said, “Yes.  I must be!” Panda let out a little cough.  The room was beginning to feel small. 

On the fourth day, as the sun lifted over the mountains, Panda woke to find Dragon still fast asleep.  Panda let out a relieved sigh, put on a tea kettle, and heaved herself up to the windowsill (which was not easy for Panda). Panda inhaled the fresh air as the birds began to sing.  She looked over at sleeping Dragon and noted that her flashy personality was getting tiresome.  

The girl walked by the window. 

“Hello,” she said. 

“Hello,” said Panda. 

“What tricks can you do?” asked the girl.

“I can sit quietly for long periods of time and chew bamboo,” said Panda.

The girl was puzzled. “Those aren’t tricks,” she said.  “Do you have glittery wings?”

“No,” said Panda.

“Can you breathe a river of fire?”

“Nope,” said Panda.

“Can you make smoke rings?”

“Sorry, no,” said Panda, feeling a little embarrassed.  What exactly was she good at?  Just then the kettle began to whistle. 

Dragon stirred, feeling irritated that her beauty sleep was being interrupted by the kettle.  She thought to herself, “Why is Panda even at the window? She can’t do anything but chew bamboo and sit quietly! What does she think she has to show the world?”

She began to lift herself from her sleeping spot and noticed that her wings looked dull and felt heavy.  She eagerly approached the window to nudge Panda out of her way and take her rightful place, but when she went to open her mouth to tell Panda to move, she found her throat was sore.  She attempted to blow a smoke ring at Panda to puff her out the way, but her nose was stopped up. Dragon had caught a cold.   

“Cough.  Sniff.”

Panda turned to look at her. “What’s wrong, Dragon?”

“I don’t feel very well,” Dragon said.

Panda, attempting to dismount from the windowsill, fell over and tumbled to the ground. Blushing, she got up, dusted herself off and waddled to the kettle.

“I’m sorry you don’t feel well, Dragon.” she said, handing Dragon a cup of tea with honey. “Maybe you should rest today?” 

Dragon took a sip of tea and felt her throat soothe.  She looked at Panda who, in her opinion, was never much to look at.  She had no color; only black and white.  She had no wings; only stumpy legs.  She spent her time quietly in the corner where no one would notice her.  She couldn’t breathe fire or blow smoke rings.  

Then Dragon’s eyes met Panda’s, and for the first time, Dragon noticed Panda’s eyes, turning self-consciously downward, had a kind and nurturing quality.  “Thank you for the tea, Panda. I think I will rest.”  

Panda looked over Dragon.  Sure, she was flashy and arrogant, but even flashy and arrogant beings need to be taken care of sometimes, right? Panda put on a pot of bamboo stew. 

“That will make Dragon all better,” she thought to herself.

Later on, that day, the girl came to the window.  “Hello?” she called out.  “What’s that amazing smell?”

“Hi!” said Panda.  “That’s my bamboo stew.  Would you like a bowl?”

“Sure!” said the girl and reached over to take a steaming bowl of stew from Panda.  Looking through the window, she noticed Dragon on the floor.  “What’s wrong with Dragon?  Will she wake up soon and do tricks for me?”

“I don’t think today,” said Panda.  “She a little under the weather.  I’m taking care of her.” 

“Oh,” said the girl, clearly disappointed.  “She’s lucky she has you.  Tell her I’ll come back when she’s better!” The girl happily slurped her stew and skipped away. 

Dragon, overhearing the conversation, thought to herself, “I sure am lucky to have Panda.  Who else would take care of me when I’m sick?”  

For the next few days, Panda fed Dragon stew and tea until she was healthy again.  The morning she was finally feeling better, Dragon went to the window, careful to be quiet and not wake Panda, who was exhausted from all the care-taking. The girl noticed Dragon and came running up to the window.

“Hi Dragon! Are you better?! Can you breathe fire for me?” 

Without thinking twice, Dragon took a deep breath in and let out a crimson bolt of fire.  The deafening noise immediately woke up Panda who had been sleeping deeply.  Panda sat up, reached over for a bamboo stalk and began to chew while watching Dragon put on a show for the giggling girl.

“I’m glad Dragon’s feeling better”, Panda thought, as the cool breeze from Dragon’s wings tickled Panda’s fur.  As the air turned warm from the smoke and fire, Panda rolled her eyes and shook her head while smiling at her friend’s magnificence.   She was inspiring.

Panda began to meditate in the corner, a small smile remaining on her lips, as Dragon entertained every passer-by. When she opened her eyes, she found that Dragon had placed a cup of tea on the ground next to her.  

“Thanks, Dragon,” she said quietly, knowing that Dragon couldn’t hear anything at that moment outside of her own brilliance. Dragon did hear Panda, but ignored her, completely focused on her fans.  She would tell her how much she appreciated her later...

 

 

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.

 

The image at topic is an older piece that I created in 2013 called BAMBOOM!