Monday, June 20, 2011

Overwhelmed by so much good!

Some days it's harder than others to paint.  So often it's all I want to do, and today I have all day to do it, and it's a little bit like pulling teeth.  I like the image I'm working on, and it's still hard.

I woke up with a ton of anxiety crashing through my sleepy eyelids.  I have taken on too much, don't know how I can do it all, and the overwhelm is grinding down on me pretty hard.  I get to this place every so often.  It usually means I need some sleep, but that isn't really the case this time. 

I'm sitting in my famous red chair, facing our line of bird feeders watching the 10-15 birds and several squirrels take their turns for food, sunflower seeds and suet.  A big blue jay has figured out how to get his place on each feeders and frequently comes, causing the other birds to flee.  The squirrels try to get to the feeders but seem to still be daunted by our very fancy jerry-rigged anti-squirrel bird feeder line.  It's an idyllic setting and should help me take a deep breath and let go of all my anxiety.  Right?

My show, Not Barbie: A Celebration of Real Women, is coming along well.  I have 2 of the 8 pieces finished and another is well on its way towards being done.  That's what I'm tyring to paint today.  I feel like I'm painting to get it done though, rather than because it feeds my soul.  That's what happens sometimes when I'm getting ready for a show.  I forget to enjoy the process.  Painting is all about process.  The product hardly matters to me once it's done.  I enjoy the final product, but, really, it's the process of painting which is the reason I do it.

I've realized lately that my work isn't all about the painting though.  I am passionate, as well, about women's body issues.  I truly want to change the way people perceive women and beauty.  I want the media to begin to portray normal women, not just overly-thin ones.  And I would dearly love for all women to love themselves.  Wouldn't that be amazing?  I feel so drawn to those intentions that I can barely get myself to sleep at night, and I wake up with all sorts of new ideas each morning.  That is a blessing.

And I'm a little bit tired!  It's tricky trying to slow myself down enough that I can relax and enjoy the process.

As part of my upcoming art show, I am also organizing a performance series called Beyond Barbie: Piecing Together Today's Woman.  I realized a while ago that the vast majority of my models are talented, gifted performers, writers, dancers, etc., so I thought it would be amazing to showcase their talents.  This series was born out of that desire.  I didn't quite realize quite how much work it would be!  There are women who have taken on organizing each night so I'm not having to do the nitty-gritty of each night, but it's still astonishing to me how much thought it takes to pull it all together - marketing, program, tickets, press releases, etc., etc., etc.  The gorgeous thing about it, though, is that almost everyone I've mentioned it to wants to take part in some way - helping, performing, organizing, attending.  This series seems to have struck a chord in the most wonderful way.

So here I am with fabulous ideas being realized all around me and feeling overwhelmed because there's so much good!  That seems a little bit ludicrous, but I guess life is like that sometimes. 

My desire now is to get a bit of rest, remember to relax and breathe, and trust that all is well.  All is very well.  All is happening exactly as it should.

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