63 Breakfast After Dark

63 Breakfast After Dark - Original Abstract Expressionist Painting Open Acrylic Lisa Cohen

63 Breakfast After Dark

6" x 6" original acrylic painting on paper - $60

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I ended up hauling all of my painting supplies needed for this, including my portable tabletop easel up to the dining room for this one. I didn't have time to paint earlier in the day so this was painted in highly questionable lighting at my dining room table. The reflections on the spoon didn't quite work out as I intended and I ended up overworking things in that area but I do LOVE the colors and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to snack on Ruby Red grapefruit halves for a few days after this was completed. I had two grapefruits out, as I was playing around with various compositions. Only one half had it's day in the spotlight; the others rest happily in my belly.

I'm slowly feeling back to normal. I credit that to two restorative yoga sessions, more breaks in my day, and taking two things off of my to do list that really don't to be need to be completed today. My floors aren't going anywhere and I can mop them later today or tomorrow as my energy returns.

I completed my first painting from the Dream Love Paint class that I'm taking and I can't wait to show it to you. I think I may even do another version of the demo this week just to get more practice with oil paints. The vibrancy of colors and how Dreama uses the transparents and opaques is so JUICY and FUN. You can't help but paint with a smile on your face! Her class is giving me confirmation of what I've known all along but that only last year I gave myself permission to do... honoring the time and space for stillness each day and making a practice of gathering words that inspire and uplift. It's how I was able to realize my longing to create. It helped me slow down and realize what was important and made room for art in my life. I've been collecting quotes and passages to which I find connection in a digital Evernote file but the words usually just sit there in that file almost as if locked away. This class has encouraged me to revisit and continue to grow and cultivate my quote collection and allow the words to enrich my days by visiting with them often. Today, I'm going to read one of the quotes and give myself a few minutes to really ponder it and allow it to sink down deep.

62 Open Climb

62 Open Climb - Original Abstract Expressionist Painting Open Acrylic Lisa Cohen

62 Open Climb

$45 - 4" x 6" original acrylic painting on paper

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I'm taking a few days to recover from a weekend away from home at my daughter's dance convention/competition. I can't say that I thrive with sleep deprivation, heart-pounding music, flashing lights, lots of time spent sitting in a chair, and hundreds of people in too-crowded of a space all at once. So today, in addition to the 2-hour school delay two days running after a week of school closings due to the blizzard, I'm taking a couple of days to recalibrate. I'm cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors (the house needs a bit of attention after my 30 in 30 project - ha!), watching some online class videos for art classes that are underway, and making quesadillas for the second night in a row for dinner because I'm really CRAVING them and they never disappoint. My son dropped what he was doing and ran over to give me a gigantic hug me when I announced that we'd be having quesadillas two nights in a row... like I was the best mom ever.

Having warm/hot food after eating food from a cooler for 2.5 days was a revelation! That Thai fried rice never tasted so delicious! It's not that I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (fur dinners for the weekend) or my chickpea, artichoke hearts, and red pepper salad (it's my favorite - and also my lunches for the weekend). It's just nice to have some variety again. I also missed my morning breakfast green smoothies! They are such a great start to my day and keep me nourished and satisfied until lunch. My daughter asked me to buy Cheerios for her for breakfast (we haven't had cereal in the house in years and I haven't eaten Cheerios myself since I was a teenager). Since it was there I had a unexpected, last-minute doctors appointment before we were supposed to leave for Baltimore on Friday morning I thought it'd be easier to just eat the same thing as her so and I ate Cheerios as well (with some sliced bananas) and wouldn't you know it, I was hungry like an hour later!? Maybe next time I will pack some green smoothies to go! I'll have a chance to give that a try at the beginning of April and let you know how it goes.

Tonight is the parent's meeting for middle school orientation. For my baby. How did my youngest grow old enough to be going in to middle school? I'm going to ponder that some more today, make time to savor a cup of tea (rooibos chai or green tea - big decisions, I know), do some yoga, and find some inspirational reading to peruse from a bit each day... think Rumi, Rilke, and Emerson.

Project recalibration in effect. What's your favorite way to get re-centered again? If you have any favorite books or quotes to share that inspire you, please do.

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Reflections

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Jan 2016 What a month it has been. Looking back over all of the joy-filled art and happy (mostly) flowers I am so glad that I had the courage and dedication to embark on this project. Whenever I'm feeling like I can't do something or that I don't have the time I will look back at this collection of art and be reminded that I can. I absolutely can.

What I learned in this last 30 days of daily painting:

  • Showing up really does work. I created 30 paintings that didn't exist in this world before I willed each one to be. That's BIG.
  • Not every painting will turn out how I want. Thanks okay. If I remember to enjoy the process and the lesson of each painting session, then it is all worth it.
  • Sometimes the paintings that I don't love are other's favorites. How strange but also unexpectedly delightful. It's an unpredictable world out there and I'm glad that I didn't throw some paintings in the garbage that I wanted to because they brought joy to someone else.
  • It's completely okay to gesso over something and allow for something else to be reborn on an old canvas. Sun Blooms is proof of this. I gessoed over an old mixed media collage canvas panel and it became another layer but a beginning to something entirely new. The underlying texture of that painting is a result of my art recycling efforts and I'm so glad that I don't have to look at what was covered up ever again.
  • Some days I won't want to show up even though I know it works. There will be a heavy resistance to do something else but when I go downstairs and stand in front of my easel anyway, put on some music, and let things flow as they will... magic happens. Sometimes colors blend into one another is a way that I hadn't seen before. Sometimes it's just a lightening in my spirit that makes it worthwhile. Each day is different. But there's a sense of exploration and wonder that keeps me coming back for more.
  • The days that have struggle and pain make me appreciate the days where things gel effortlessly that much more.
  • When in doubt or when frustrated, paint an abstract. No rules. No expectations. Just C R E A T E.
  • On those resistance-filled days, put on some Coldplay, pick up a brush, and see what happens. There's an alchemy in the combination of music and painting. Thank you, Chris Martin.
  • Making time for rest is incredibly important. Resting my gaze, resting my mind, resting my body, and resting my soul. It gives me the time and space for filling up the well of inspiration.