Sunday, May 23, 2010

Big Girl Shoes

8 x 16 Oil on Canvas

Did your parents make you eat your vegtables, did you rebel?  Last week I was having one of those weeks when I had not done much painting, if any at all.   Why is it that the thing I want to do; I don't do? So I had a little pow-wow with myself.  Amazing what you can find out when you check in.

I figured out it all goes back to not wanting to eat my vegetables, not wanting to clean my room, not wanting to do "whatever" it was my parents wanted me to do. That was over 35 years ago, but that little rebel was still alive and well and still kicking. It was the unconscious instinct to rebel against whatever I was  being told to do, never mind it was ME telling me what to do.

So I decided then and there I was going to change this up a bit, put a new song on my i-pod. So here's my new plan.  Right after my 10 year old plays her little rebellion game, the adult Amy will remind her she wants to do it and how much she enjoys doing it.  I see it as the difference between feeling forced or pushed and feeling joyously pulled. I still hate rutabaga, but this week I had no trouble bringing myself to the easel.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


18 x 14 Oil on Canvas

Have you heard the saying if you continue to hear the same message repeated over and over, it is God trying to tell you something. Well I think he/she is turning up the volume. 

This past weekend I went to a class given by outstanding Austin artist Jan Heaton (gorgegous watercolors) called The Business of Art.  She had a special guest, Wally Workman of the Wally Workman Gallery join us during  the last hour so the class could just pick her brain.  Don't worry Wally left with her brain intact.

My question to Wally: if you had to narrow it down to only one piece of advice for artists what would that be?  Without one second of hesitation she said "paint from your heart, if you feel compelled to paint that thing (whatever your thing is), then you will do lots of it and if you are going to be selling your art you need to create a lot of it". I almost felt the little lighting bolt from God hit my chair and the little side message of how many ways can I say this to you?  I did have an audible little giggle slip out.

I do feel fortunate that I hear my messages (not that I act on them right away), but if you don't hear yours I have a suggestion for you. My good friend, Celeste has written a mini-book on helping you hear your specific messages. She has outlined many easy tools to hear that inner voice. You too could have you lighting bolt.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Shadow Performance

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas

Blogging and Painting, Painting and Blogging which came first the chicken or the egg? Well I did paint before I started blogging, but I have to admit it just wasn't as fun.  Blogging added a new  element--other people!  The painting is the expression of me being my me-ness, but without the blogging platform I would be in my own little vacuum being me, whoop-te-do. On the other hand, I really can't imagine blogging without showing my paintings. 

 I heard recently that the show or the performance is what completes the creative process and is essential to nourishing the creative juices.  I really can't imagine a comedian or actor getting very good at their craft (or having as much fun) if they just did their performance in the bathroom mirror by themselves all the time, day after day, week after week.  The audience is needed isn't it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Hearts

8 x 6  Oil on canvas board

Listen to your heart, not your head or other peoples heads.  This seems to be the theme for me these last couple of posts and from reading your  comments this hits home for a lot of people, including Ellen DeGeneres.  What's this have to do with Ellen you ask. 

 While I took a little painting break today, I turned on a biography of Ellen's professional life.  She had lots of up and downs in her career and after her 4th sitcom was cancelled after just 13 episodes she decided to do a talk show.  "They" said why are you  doing that, so many people have failed trying to do a talk show, don't do that, use your head.  She knew in her heart she did her best work when she had someone she could feed off of, you know, like a guest on a talk show.  Against all odds she listened to her heart. So after winning the daytime Emmy 4 times, I would say her heart was right. 

This little painting is a close-up of the beautiful wildflowers that are in full bloom down here in the Texas hill country.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sitting Pretty

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas
©Amy Hillenbrand
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
Bernice Johnson Reagon

This is the quote I needed today since yesteday I learned that I did not get accepted into a exhibit that I thought may be a really good opportunity.  It did leave me feeling a little paralyzed and bummed, but this really did perk me up.  I had submitted some pieces that really weren't me, but I thought that is what they wanted so that is what I did.  You just can't be all things to all people, can ya?   

Monday, May 3, 2010

Worthy Friends

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas

Are we worthy enough to be abundant through our art, do we deserve it?  This past week I went to a lecture given by International Artist Edward Povey.  He coaches and consults many artists,  many that struggle with this same underlying question. Somewhere deep down this may be a question that plagues many of us, no matter what the goal.  I loved his perspective on this topic.  If your reading this post you  have eyes and have the sense of sight. If you didn't have that sense, how much would you pay for a day,  a week, a year of sight? Would you deserve it?  Many are blessed with two legs and the handy transportation they enable us. How much would you pay for a day, a week, a year of these useful limbs? Do we deserve those? We have hands that allow us many many uses - how much would get the drift.

We really don't sit around and contemplate if we deserve eyes, legs or hands, but we do this with having abundance...whether it is conscious or un-conconscious.  What would it be like if we stopped having the "do I deserve self-talk" and had the whole idea be a "non-thing". know, just like using those body parts. Is this as big a revelation for you as it is for me?