1/23/23 - From my chicken-scratched Art journal
I'm not the best at keeping a journal as I've shared before. However, I'm going to dedicate this beautiful handmade journal my daughter Katie made for me, to jot down my thoughts about this new process. This year I'm moving into a different creative phase. I'll still be writing, just adding a little color to it!
I have a friend, who owns a store in town that I frequent often. She has these huge vibrant colorful paintings on the wall. The first time I entered her store, I let her know how beautiful the paintings were and asked who the artist was. She said, "I am!" I took a deep sigh and my eyes widened. "Wow!" I said. "They are incredible!" She graciously said thank you. I asked her how she did this. She then shared her art journey with me. I was intrigued. She jotted down the website of an artist of inspiration that she resonated with. I tucked the little slip of paper in my purse to research later. Well, that later - was a year later. I think life got in the way a little and I totally forgot about it.
Somehow, the little slip of paper got moved from one purse to another and then finally got sandwiched in between two business cards. Forgotten. Not really. It just wasn't the right time.
During the Fall of 2022, when I was focusing on purging things in drawers, shelves, and such in my house, I was sorting through the pile of collective slips of paper, business cards, receipts, and gift certificates from my accumulated paraphernalia. I unfolded a crisp white paper with florabowley.com written on it. I was a bit perplexed. I said, "What is this?" So, I took a break from sorting and flipped open my laptop to look it up. As soon as I saw the website details I remembered my conversation with my friend. "Oh my gosh! This! This is so awesome!" I found myself on a ride into a different creative world that resonated with me. No rules. Just paint - intuitively. Use what you have and let the canvas speak to you. Simple and not fussy. I loved it! Abstract art has always spoke to me. I thought maybe this would be a great thing to start in January 2023. I was so excited, the next week I bought some canvases, sponges, a painting palette, paints, brushes, and dug out brushes my daughter Katie left behind. A few weeks later I randomly found a wooden easel at a thrift shop. I was ready. Ready to paint. This was September.
The clean white canvas sat propped up on the easel just waiting for the color to flow. September, October, November, and then deep into December all went by. I was scared. I was afraid to start. Had no idea what I was doing.
As January rolled in. New year. New focus. I remembered that I told myself January would be a great time to start. So, I did. I pushed away the fear and switched my thinking to playing with paint. I turned on the music and wrote my intentions on the canvas. Then dipped my brush in the color and started this new journey.
During this process, I recalled a memory back in 3rd grade. Art class. My art didn't look anything like what the teacher had demonstrated. It didn't look anything like what my friends made. It was messy, sloppy, and not uniform. Art should be neat and tidy. So I thought. I was embarrassed and began the comparison path at that young age that we humans find ourselves on at some point in life. Not good enough. I really didn't like doing art. It was too complicated. You had to follow directions! If you know me well enough, you will know I don't like to follow directions. I will throw the directions aside and try to figure it out. Then, finally reaching back to the directions to give me some guidance. LOL! Anyone else out there like that?
It was very interesting to recall this memory and work through it. It was actually very freeing. I felt like my 3rd grade little self was right there watching my present 55 year old self tap into a place that freed her to play and not worry so much about staying in the lines or pasting the tissue or construction paper perfectly.
My first piece is called "Breathe, Heal, Love, Act."
This was therapeutic and I actually got emotional when I finished it. I found it incredibly healing and it gave me a profound sense of peace. A white canvas with the words Breathe, Heal, Love, Act written in black paint. Layered on top was filled with colors, textures, circles, infinity knots and love.
There are many other thoughts during the process; you must breathe to heal, heal to love, love to act - serve.
Breathe. Because we need oxygen. To calm our minds, hearts, bodies from stress, worry, and anxiety. Breathe to ground us, center us, and feel.
Heal. Through breathing. We are dynamic and beautiful creatures. We all have stories and hurts - inside and out through words, actions, or circumstances. Healing takes time. One breath at a time.
Love. There is only one you! One must love themselves first. Not in a selfish way. Take care by nurturing our mind, heart, and body in a healthy way. That inner love will radiate out of us - to the rest of the world. The world needs more love. Lots more love!
Breathing, Healing, Loving - then gives us the ability to...
Act. To propel us forward.
Action to breathe
Action to rest
Action to heal
Action to reset
Action to love
Action to restore
Action to create
Action to enjoy
Action to serve
"Breathe, Heal, Love, Act"
Thanks for being part of this journey with me!