Thursday, July 28, 2016

Operation Joy!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to share with you my "Operation Joy" project this month. I have recently been reading Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project, which I highly recommend.  You can also get acquainted with her studies and lectures for free on You Tube to see if you are interested.

I think this is going to be a great month of joy for me.  Don't worry I'm not depressed or anything like that, but I am always looking for ways to make my life better and  trying to discover what might be keeping me from living at my most fulfilled.  There are tons of things that bring me joy every day and trust me I've come a long way in the last 9 years! The biggest decision that has brought me the most joy - and the most struggle- was to make my way as an artist. 

However, I tend to be a real worker bee, a get things done cross off the daily checklist, always planning for the future kind of person.  This is mostly because of the examples I had from my parents, especially my Mother.  She moved from task to task. Which instilled in me a great work ethic and I am forever grateful for that, but as I have become an adult there are times when I feel like my days are flying by and I'm not truly enjoying them - I'm just getting things done.  In growing up and trying to accomplish my goals I have lost some touch with that young girl who was adventurous, a discoverer, an inventor of fantastical make believe play. When we were kids I would come up with an adventure for me and my siblings to do. Something as simple as walking down the train tracks until we reached a pond where we could see turtles and huge sunflowers (something we weren't suppose to do mind you because we lived in a rough neighborhood and my parents were at work).  I would risk getting found out or getting in trouble because darn it doing the same thing as yesterday was just boring.

Anyways, this month I'm trying to be more mindful about my days and not let them slip into the abyss of  "to-dos". This is also a protective device for me creatively because if your creative process gets on the list of to-dos, why bother.   So each week this month, I am focusing on one specific way to incorporate more en-JOY-ment into my daily life.  These are not humongous life altering changes by the way, they are simple bite size additions that pack a punch.  This week my challenge is do something for 30 minutes each day that I don't normally do, that isn't on the to -do list and that won't benefit me in any other way than sheer enjoyment.  For example, yesterday I played the banjo to an online banjo lesson for 30 minutes.   I love the sound of the banjo and I've always wanted to learn and yes I even have a banjo to play, but it just sits there because it isn't on the list of things I must do. So guess what, I played it, had fun and even played it some more that night with my boyfriend. JOY!

What can you do this week to get more joy out of your day?  Life is short right? I'm more afraid of getting to the end of my life having successfully completed daily to-do's without joy and being present, than not getting everything "done".

Also, since I am an are a couple  of my recent paintings completed that really did give me great joy!

"Red Plums and a Moroccan Jar", 16"x20", oil on linen

"Farm Country", 10"x30", oil on linen
I'm pleased to announce that this painting will be exhibited in this years Oil Painters of America's National Salon Juried Exhibition
This years Salon is going to be held at The Castle Gallery of Fine Art in Fort Wayne, IN
It is always an honor for my work to be accepted among so many of the top artists in the country!