I really need to make myself a print of this page/painting, and hang it on my wall where I can see it every day.
I remember the pain I was in when I painted her. Sitting in my tattered recliner, I had paint on the end-table next to me and was watching one of my favorite movies (How to Train Your Dragon). She started as a doodle, a swooped line, the flick of a wrist turning into the first layer of eyelashes.
Then, I was trying to distract myself and reinforce a pep talk — this will pass, everything will be okay — but I don’t think I could foresee how much this painting would impact my life.
1. My painting style has radically changed.
In fact, all the ways I approach painting has changed. If you were to page through my current journal, or through the growing pile of completed pieces in my studio space, things look very different than what I have done before. There is much more soul and love in all of them. I’m digging deep into my heart and working on mindful authenticity; my terrible, scary panic attack ripped me open, and I now sit with painful emotions, journal my heart out, and am pouring myself onto the canvas each time I pick up a brush.
Those I’ve shared my work with have been brought to tears or loving what I’m doing. They’ve urged me to share. I’m working through why I’m so afraid to just post everything; one theory is that I’m afraid the pieces won’t resonate, won’t get comments or interest, and I don’t want this crazy ride to end. I don’t want external forces to negatively influence this joy-full and deep time in my life.
(I dream of people wanting to purchase original art from me, of my Etsy shop full of prints that has me running to the post office once a week, and am not detached enough to face reality.)
2. I am facing a turning point in my life.
I am close to having to make a choice. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t have so much of a choice to make, but a way to be.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed with a migraine.
Earlier, I’d had a heartbreaking call concerning Disability. Basically, I am too young. I haven’t worked long enough, or passed that 30-years-milestone, and their office rarely accepts cases for people under 30.
My case is a difficult one, I’ve been told. Because I cannot afford to see a doctor more than 3 times a year, there is little to document how my case has progressed since being denied in 2009 (I realize, now, that while I hinted at what was going on, I never posted the story on my blog). And since I can make a little bit of an income from Journaling Deep and various articles, I can “work” (more specifically, my age means I can do any of the jobs out there…despite my various illnesses and limitations).
Until this afternoon, I was sobbing. I have already given up on two of my life’s biggest dreams and to give up a third would most probably turn me jaded and evil, like a Disney movie villain. But I doubted if I could make enough from my art to actually support me in the way I need.
Now I’m going to try. I’m not going to settle for a visit every three months, I’m not going to settle for small meals, many skipped (I’ve had 2 today, both tiny). I’m not going to allow myself to wither and suffer.
Does that mean I’ll need to step things up? Yes. I’m currently creating 2-3 paintings a week, 1-2 HD tutorial videos a week, as well as writing a new framework to reflect my beautifully imperfect creativity and how I’m quickly discovering what truly dwells behind the walls I’ve had around myself for years and years.
I need to figure out why students don’t interact with me (despite me begging for feedback with each thing I post). I need to find out why anything pre-Art Journal Diary didn’t enroll as much as my heart believed they would. I want to find out what I’m doing wrong. I have seen others craft lives for themselves and I have to believe that can happen for me, too.
Because the alternative — the alternative is greater suffering, more tears, and a broken heart.
So, are you in, or are you out? This only works if a community works to support each other. I’m devoted to changing your lives for the better, to sharing my whole heart and soul and mind. I want to empower the ill, make the sick laugh, and share your story with the world. I’m crafting a program for those with less to still participate and take courses, see content, and thrive, but I can’t do it alone. I make less than those on Disability, currently, but I am willing to put in my all. If I can change your life, ours will be brilliant with purpose.