I'm discovering more about myself and what it is I like - what I like to paint, who I like to spend time with, what gives me energy and lights me up. I have spent a lot of my life wondering how to please everyone else, hiding behind an exterior of "pleasantness" to avoid being perceived as too different. I now make an effort to live the life I want, but there's still so much of myself hidden beneath the surface which I'm afraid to reveal.
And I'm talking about very mundane things here like the clothes I would really love to wear, or the way I speak to people, or how I express joy. I get caught up in "what would people think if I...."
I had a conversation with a friend last week and we talked about dance and self expression, and choosing experiences which may be uncomfortable, but which also bring us joy and energy. I was so uncomfortable talking about dancing, even though I love it. I often crave dance and movement but I sometimes end up feeling embarrassed and avoid it. That's not always the case though, sometimes with my favorite trusted people I'll go a bit crazy. And I have taken on a challenge from my friend to try out a Dancing Freedom class!
Yes, I feel extremely uncomfortable even just writing that.
I'm learning to say yes to more experiences which challenge and excite me, and a big NO to those which just don't resonate.
So, part of this means taking on new projects to challenge myself. I have been a bit quiet on here lately. I did some brainstorming last week and asked myself "what do I love to paint?" I filled a giant piece of paper with scribbles about BIRDS, beautiful things from nature and animals.
OK so I really like painting birds, so I'm just going to paint more birds!
My latest project is called Take Flight and is an exploration of how totally ordinary backyard birds are actually quite beautiful in there own way. In the same way I might hide parts of myself from people who aren't closest to me, these birds go unnoticed because they're not as flashy and beautiful as exotic birds. But if you stop and observe them, you will see their unique beauty, their specific melodic singing and be impressed by their "birdly skills".
And also, even though I love hummingbirds, some of the other thousands of birds deserve some attention too!
I've been inspired to create a series of oil and acrylic paintings on wood panels depicting ordinary backyard birds made spectacular.
Wood and oil are both totally new mediums to me so right now I'm just trialing these ideas to see what works. I'll have some work to show you very soon!