Sunday, January 27, 2008


"The woman who works with her hands only is a laborer; the woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftswoman; the woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an artist." - St. Francis of Assisi

END OF THE MONTH It's worth blogging on as we savor the last four days of January. Where does the time go? I would love to think that 2008 will be a more relaxed year, one that moves a little slower but the reality is that time really does fly. I am challenged this year to do at least one painting a week. BUT there are endless things to do and my painting project is always interrupted. I find myself driving from place to place and spending more time inside my Beamer, doctor's office, bank and grocery store, than I care to do. Thankfully, interruptions and errands didn't stop me from sketching. Even the very cold weather and non-stop rain this past week. It was so cold that when I go to our garage it felt like I am inside a big freezer. Yesterday, when I woke up, the view from our backyard is so beautiful and refreshing. I am blanketed with mountains covered with snows. This sight is rare in our city. I like to look at the white mountains but not live among snow. The colors of our plants and trees are suddenly bursting with all shades of green. The colorful roses are refresh and breathing well after drinking lots of rain. The myriad rains were showers of blessings too. I was able to work on many preliminary sketches. I tried to focus and concentrate on my painting ideas and not think about hundred other things that need to be done in life. Although life is rushing, when it comes to doing a painting, I take my time. I always start w/ a sketch and don't just throw my oil paints on my canvas and hope for the best. Like a good traveler, I have a road map for my artistic journey this year.
A PAINTING WITH A HEART This year, I am working on few small and many large paintings. This month, I finished 2 huge paintings. When dry, I will post some of my paintings. Mean while, here's a favorite Southwest oil painting ( 18" x 24"). I worked on this painting many years ago and gave it to my son Ryan when he moved to his own condo. This is a labor of love. I painted it with passion. I noticed that when I put my heart into my painting, there are many unexpected compliments and gratitude. When my painting touched others, I know it got a HEART.
THREE LAYERS TO CREATIVITY As an artist, I discovered that there are three very different layers to creation: the labor, the craft and the elevation. St. Francis explained the creative process beautifully in the quotation above. Labor in creation is showing up to do the work. Craft is how you go about doing it. Whatever I am doing- painting, blogging, scrap booking, and cooking, I am there in mind, body and spirit. Do I hum while working with the.... ING and KING, enjoying the process of creating? Yes, I do! Passion is present. Passion is the creative energy that induces elevation- that high -five moment in creation when craft becomes an art. Whatever I do, when I put my hands, head and heart into it, I am an ARTIST according to St. Francis. This new year, he inspired me, not to be just an ordinary artist. I'd like to be a St. Francis woman artist, one with a HEART.
PAINTING IN FAITH To keep me motivated, I also read daily inspirational blog like "Writing In Faith" by Sandy Carlson. She's one of my latest blog-mates. Her blog elevates and keeps me going. She often dropped me beautiful comments that are so uplifting. It has some spiritual overtones but not preachy. She's writes beautifully with her hands and heart, plus she puts her heart into it. She embodies the ideal artist of St. Francis. Please check it out here:

I realized that my artistic dreams and goals in life couldn't be achieved with my own efforts and skills. I needed God's help and the support of my family, friends and art-blog-mates.