I feel very, very fortunate that tomorrow, I begin mixed-media artist Kelly Rae Robert's e-course, Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks to Help Your Creative Biz Soar.
I'm especially grateful for this right now because I'm at a crossroads. Living in Myanmar is providing me the opportunity to make big decisions about the direction of my career. I'm scared. But I know I
want to need to write.
I need to learn how to make a living doing this, think long-term. I want to get the children's picture book published, yet I have to think beyond that. How will I supplement my income, but doing what I love?
This ecourse will inspire, create community, and provide solid business advice.
I found Kelly Rae Robert's art and blog while living in the Washington, DC area about five years ago. Her art touched my heart. It spoke to me.
Each piece had a message of hope, of encouragement. Reminders that you're good enough, that you matter. They were messages I needed to hear.
I loved that many of her pieces were themed around women. This resonated with me because of my long-term career providing direct service in women's reproductive health. I was (am) passionate about women's stories. Each piece of Kelly Rae's art told a story.
I continued following her progress and success. After just under two years of living in DC, I moved back to Washington state. It was a tumultuous time.
I needed something - an outlet - to help. Yes, I was writing, but...writing cut deep and I was achy and sensitive. Kelly Rae's book, Taking Flight, was a salve to that ache. It also inspired me to play. To try painting again.
I hadn't ever thought of myself as an artist. I can't draw for the life of me. There have been a few times - long ago - that I'd painted successfully: a large mural spanning two huge walls at work (of all women) and a painting I did for my dad (of a woman).
Both of these occurred completely out of the blue. I just had a feeling one day that I could do it. That's all it was: a feeling.
It had been years since I had felt it. But upon looking at Kelly Rae's art + reading her book, the feeling came back. I started painting.
Look, I am not trained. I don't know a lot. I love art. Always have. But, my talent is...probably quite limited and rudimentary.
Still, like when I write, I get lost in the art. The process. Hours pass and I have no clue. There's a rhythm. Calmness. Peace. It's like meditation. Or something.
I created several pieces I gave away as gifts. I found immense pleasure doing this.
I was proud my piece, "Taking Root" was selected for a group art exhibition at the Peggy Lewis Gallery (Allied Arts) in Washington state during April 2011 called "Survivor."
All I know is that it feels good to paint. To create. I feel the same way about writing...but when I can't put words down, I paint. However much I fumble through it.
It's about creating the story (the painting). It's about making it meaningful (often in a somewhat personal/cryptic way) with layers.