10. Take a Watercolor Class

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I found my creative practice later in life. Growing up, I was told that perhaps I should stick to endeavors other than art, like athletics. I believed it, and so for years, while I was always interested in art, I shied away from it, telling myself I’m not an artist. I even took an art class in college and it happened to be one of my only B’s, and I fear I only got that because of effort! In my twenties a good friend of mine, Amanda, showed me that keeping even an art journal has nothing to do with talent. It’s creative expression and play; a visual interpretation of your thoughts. It changed my entire perspective on making art, and I didn’t need to be good in order to do something for me. After all, I wasn’t trying to sell my art to support myself.

Creative practice, like spending time in nature, balances and grounds me. I can get lost in it for hours. After the art journal revelation, I started dabbling in mixed media collages, book binding, sewing, and other craft projects. I even started a creative blog called Indigo 26. You can see the archives here.

Whatever reason we all stop doing something we love, over time I simply stopped making space in my schedule to create anything; even though it’s such at important part of healing my psyche. So, upon making my year of the 40 list I knew creative practice would be a priority.

In particular, the art of watercolor. I love the fluidity of the color as it meets the water and the bleeding of it on the page. It’s a media I haven’t played with yet. Knowing, of course, I could not, and did not want to create something that required drawing landscapes or portraits, I sent out in search of a class that fit my interests and abilities.

And voila! I discovered Wildflower Art Studio in Denton. Looking at the amazing photos of their studio, and of course their name speaking to my heart, I instantly knew this is was the place I wanted to go to reignite my passion. The light alone! Browsing through the catalog of workshops, I found one on watercolor lettering, which works well with my art journaling, and I signed up!

When the day of the workshop arrived, it couldn’t have been a more perfect Saturday. We were staying at the lake so the drive into Denton meant passing through horse country. The sun was shining, there was a February crispness in the air and the horses were lazily grazing the morning away as I meandered through the country on my way back to the city. It was peaceful and serene.

What ensued was nothing short of bliss. For two hours I was lost in the process, failing at techniques, trying again, ultimately learning the craft, and loving every minute of it.

You do not have to be an artist to be creative. It requires no skill or talent, despite what your art teacher may have once told you. It’s about the passion of your heart: Playing with color, clay or fabric. It’s for you and you alone. There is no judgment except from yourself, so let it go.

If this studio were closer, there is no doubt I would be there all the time because nothing screams gratitude like the creative expression of self through art. There are more watercolor techniques I want to learn, but for now, it’s been fun to play around. A perfect catalyst for sure! Gift yourself a class.

WILDFLOWER ART STUDIO

Birthday Reflections

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Today is the day: My birthday. I am officially forty years old. Growing up I had developed a stigma about this number, as I mentioned in my earlier post about my mother turning this age. Now that forty is here, it doesn’t feel so bad.

I set off in January intending to start living again with intention and so I created my year of the 40 list. A little less tasking, a little more fun. Five months in, I’m actually surprised at the results. The truth is, forty is better than not so bad. At this moment, I feel like the truest version of my self. I suppose I just needed to be reminded of what already exists.

I didn’t want to feel forty and certainly I didn’t want to act like it; whatever that means. The list was created as a catalyst, and as I am slowly checking things off, I feel more at home in my own skin than I ever have before. The “fun” has only made me more aware, and of course, endlessly grateful.

Wrinkles and all, I find myself the most beautiful (inside and out) right now. I’m certainly more confident at this age, no doubt because I work really hard to stay in my business, and not everyone else’s. Practicing gratitude has helped turn every event, good or bad, into a growth mindset. I am stepping into my own as a guide, a healer, a momma, a wife, a sister, and a friend.

As I move through the next seven months, and the year of the 40 comes to a close, I know it will only be the beginning of another forty years that will, no doubt, be even better. The joy from my indigo life is accumulating and it feels good. I may be over the hill now, but the grass is much greener and lot more exciting. Updates are coming soon on all the things I’ve been up to thus far.

The cake my wife got for me. Ahhh, the mountains!

The cake my wife got for me. Ahhh, the mountains!

One final note. What I find even more surprising, albeit exciting, is that my year of the forty list has inspired so many friends. Over the last few months I’ve been hearing about others that have started their own list in order to live their RAW lives. You don’t have to be hitting a milestone birthday to start. So I want to know about you. Leave me a comment with at least one small thing you plan to do for fun this year!