"calm" watercolor by lynne medsker
"calm" watercolor © lynne medsker

I recently took an “Intro to Art Therapy” class (taught by Liza Hyatt @ the Lawrence Art Center – go if you get a chance!) and for one of the exercises we painted  pictures of our emotions. We were to use the basic emotions (mad, glad, sad and scared) and then choose one other emotion to illustrate. It was a learning experience to paint them, share the results with others and talk about our feelings and how we express them (or don’t). My choice for another emotion to paint was “calm” shown above. The more I look at it and think about it, I really need some calm in my life! Especially as the holiday season rolls around with extra activities I can feel the extra tension in my body. SO, I am taking a step back for the next month or two. I’m giving myself permission to NOT do the things that I feel I “have” to do as an artist. I may or may not spend as much time in the studio. If I do I am giving myself permission to explore, to scribble, to doodle, to test different medias together and see what happens. NOT to be driven to create finished works of art. They may happen, but that won’t be my goal. I am also giving myself permission to step back from my online “work”, this blog, updating the website, tweeting, posting on Facebook. Again, that’s not to say I won’t do these things, I’m just removing the pressure. One way I’ve done that is to write multiple blog posts in advance and schedule them to post at intervals through the weeks. If there’s something new and exciting to share I’ll do so but I’ve eliminated the stress of thinking “oh, no, I’ve not posted on the blog today!”

I hope that I’ll also carry over the quest for calm during our holiday gatherings and celebrations so that I can truly enjoy the blessings of the season.

How do you find your calm?