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Likelihood | 2/101

1. Likelihood

What is the likelihood that I will finish this 101 word paintings series I set up for myself?

Pretty dang high, I would say!

As I write this little diddy, I’m already 1/4 done with this project and it’s become quite an obsession.

But this isn’t about the destination or even about stacking up paintings a mile high. This is about me and my ever evolving marriage to painting.  This is about picking up the pieces while letting the sand sift through my fingers. 

At the beginning of January my intention was pretty simple: get the brush moving as a way of preparing for my Paint FEARLESS Mexico retreat that starts next week and to do some deep listening for my Spring session of Painting The Feminine that starts in March.

But quickly in I knew this wasn’t any warm up — no painting prep.

This is unashamedly about me…and painting…and how things are changing so, so fast and I’m ready to finally listen…and it’s about time for me to stretch as an artist, while also deepening my understanding.

Yesterday didn’t feel like the best time to tell you about the word thing and  how I’m approaching each of these little paintings — it’s all pretty systematic (and kind of nerdy!).

First, I sit down with my studio log and just riff on how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking and what exactly is surfacing for me. My intention is not to vomit, but rather to be slow and meditative.  Let the pen pulse as I take inventory of my heart, my soul, my existence right here.

Second, I start painting. No image in mind — purely FEARLESS.  What color feels good?  What line wants to surface?  What place on the paper needs my touch — what areas need to breathe?

Then, when I feel the painting is coming close to an end, I reach for my old, yellowed dictionary that I carried in my backpack as a teenager. (I told you I was nerdy!)

I hold it softly with my eyes close and then with a long deep inhale, I flip through and choose the first word I see.

This is becoming my favorite new part of the process.  The cherry on the cupcake.

Sometimes it feels like that moment you tip over the first hill on a roller coaster with your hands stretched high and the wind stinging your eyes.  Other times it’s like seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time – head bent back and the space around your heart stretching open.

I’m already a bit into this journey so I can tell you that it’s been pretty wild to see how these three facets tie seamlessly together — my studio log, the painting, and the little drop of faith that seals the process at the end.

That one little word becomes the medicine — the magic — the deeper meaning I’m digging for and lately, the one thing I’ve been trying the hardest to ignore.

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