Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Holiday Blizzard . . .



For those of you who are not familiar with Virginia Beach, Virginia
we aren't used to getting over a foot of snow!!!
What a white Christmas we had. 
It all began quickly Christmas night and continued to come with all of its beauty until seven p.m. the next evening!!! How beautiful and majestic it was.

Isn't it wonderful how life slows you down and makes you enjoy its wonder?? I made snow angels, took photos, made homemade hot cocoa, took naps, and of course took a hot candlelight bath, painted in the studio, played games with my family, watched old movies on TCM (my favorite channel), it was a peaceful time for me.


I was able to spend time with myself and think about all the events, friends, experiences and joys that have molded me in the past year and where I want to see myself in the new year.  I know that I need quiet time to do that and I was given that during this time out.  
I am so excited about where my artistic future is leading me...I feel like I am going to bust out with my creativeness!
I am getting ready to begin Misty Mawn's "Stretching Within Workshop" E-course and I am taking Marisa Haedike's "Life in the Fish Bowl" E-course, 
so I am going to be a very busy and inspired "artiste"!
I look forward to learning from two wonderful women and finding
something through each of their own incredible perspectives. 
What an opportunity this will be for me!

I am so glad for the time I had to slow down and enjoy all of God's beauty.  Nature is amazing in all of it's glory!  I think there are some watercolors coming my way from all of this inspiration!  Love to you and may you enjoy a time of reflection and time of pausing from your busy schedules.  I am happy to know you and be able to share our dreams and inspirations together.  Love to you in the last of our 2010!
My wish for you!!!  Love to You!
Donna



                                                                      








Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Blessings

Peace Love and Joy
Christmas Blessings to you!

I am not able to send each one of you a christmas card so I decided to send you my christmas love and wishes.  I hope that your holiday will be filled with much love, happiness and hope for new beginnings as this year slowly ends.  May all your dreams come true and I hope that you will be surrounded by family and friends, as it should be.
It has been such a wonderful journey, this little blog of mine, and I am enjoying every minute of it.  How wonderful it is to be able to speak from the heart and have it received with open and like-minded friends.  I am so rich to call you friends and the blessing has been all mine.  Isn't the power of words simply amazing?  You truly are a gift to me, 
I wish you love, peace, inner joy, strength, confidence, faith, quiet time, blissfulness, good health, a quiet mind and a creative life! 
                                                                            Donna Lee


    
                                          




                     
                                                                                                                          


                                           
                                                                    
                                                                                                                             







Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas has come to my studio!


Blissful Creative girlie
Creating Christmas Card Love!

The season is filled with all the things we have to do . . . send out the cards, hours and hours of shopping for just the right gift . . . baking those yummy cookies (we only pull out of our recipe boxes once a year) . . . christmas rehearsals and programs . . . wrapping presents . . . attending parties . . . decorating our homes and our offices . . . making those last minute handmade gifts for someone special . . . private gift giving time with our precious and treasured girlfriends . . . the list is never ending!  Let's not also forget the wonderful christmas movies that are playing on the television we don't want to miss!!!!  I know for me, I manage to pull it all together, it looks effortless when you get right down to it, but the amount of energy and effort it took to get there was overwhelming!!
This year I have a new addition to my studio . . . her name is Blissful.  I found her at Pier One Imports while shopping for my store decorations.  I think it is an earring/jewelry holder.  I found the perfect white wings ornament, the perfect red glitter bow for her waist , added some yummy red lights and there she was!!!
Meet my inspiration girlie 
Blissful! 
Is she not smoochy and adorable???   I know I will keep her and keep re-decorating her during the year.  My painting table is right beside her and I get tickled inside just looking at her while I am working.  We all need something like that to gaze at and make us happy while creating.  I know it's the lights wrapped around her giving me happy joy.


She is a reminder to me each day I enter my studio of how I want this season to be.  Happy and joyous, creative and inspired, loving and gentle, whimsical and carefree.
I want to enjoy the experience of getting to Christmas Day and enjoying all the blessings that come along with the holiday.
 I don't want to rush through it to get through it!

I have been reading my many girlfriends blogs lately and we are all on the same wave length!  We are also thinking about what our new creative year will be like.  Some girls giving thought provoking questions as to where we will be and what we want to accomplish.  I was especially touched by my friend Lisa's post from Happymamasjournal.blogspot.com where she wanted us to think about our Dreams, Goals and Wishes, thank you Lisa!  Great words for all of us.




This season I am grateful for the connectedness of girlfriends and how they have inspired me through their written words and their beautiful artwork.    I wish you a season of faith and love, peace and gentleness, precious time with family, love and happiness, creative inspirations, time to rest and restore, self care and most importantly . . .  the gift of inner peace.  Merry Christmas to all of you!  This has been a year of tremendous creative growth for me, stepping out of the box and enjoying the process of it all!!  Thank you for being there with me.

 I can't wait to see where 2011 leads, God willing.





 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What can I say?

At the beach again . . . me and my new Chuck Taylor's




I have so enjoyed having my blog!  I have learned beyond measure and met so many wonderful new creative friends!  My life is richer because I have jumped into the "blog world".  I didn't even know how to put one together before March of this year!  A blog is about sharing your inner thoughts and feelings about anything and everything;  things you are passionate about and feel connected to.    I originally started my blog about knitting and weaving and painting; but I have found that it has grown into so much more.  I have been able to share my feelings about creativity, my thoughts about growing in strength and finding my inner creative girlie.  I have learned far more than I ever thought I would!  What a fun ride this has become!!


The holidays are approaching and it is so easy to get caught up in the business and hustle bustle of this life of ours.  I am determined to slow down, enjoy the holiday and take it all in.  Somewhere during this busy time, I WILL find time to dream, to paint, to create beautiful things, to read, to rest, to think and concentrate on being an artist.  An artist who spends time in her studio, spends time painting and spends time creating fun delicious things.


I want my art to matter and that is my goal for the holiday season and into this new year.  I look forward to what the future holds in store.  I know my blog will be there and I am seriously contemplating opening an Etsy shop . . . any advice from my successful friends will be appreciated!!  It is scary to jump into the unknown and to put your work out there!  I have always sold my handwovens in art galleries, not a problem, but I would like to mix my artwork with my fibers (wooo) I get the shivers just verbalizing it to you.  I have just signed up to take Marisa Anne's e-course "In the Fish Bowl" in January of 2011.  I know I am in for a treat, I have so enjoyed her other e-courses.  I know she will guide me along the path I need to follow and I always appreciate her willingness to share her experiences with so many.  I just love Marisa!  I encourage you to explore her website and take one of her e-courses, you won't be disappointed.


Thank you .  . . for reading my blog, supporting me and just being there.  I honor the artist and friend in all of you.
Donna Lee
(as my closest friends call me)
Just loved this girlie!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude

Some of my favorite things


This has been a month of gratitude.  It all started with a challenge from Amy Furstenau Maher; a beautiful photographer (inside and out) that I got to meet and share a class with at Squam.  She challenged us during the month of November to share in our status updates something we were grateful for on our Facebook pages.  So each day me and several of my artistic friends have been listing something we were  all grateful for!  It has been wonderful and I look forward to the posts each day.  I feel like we have all gotten to know each other more by what we have shared with each other.


It is so important to take the time and think deeply and know what you are thankful for.  I must say each day thinking of something specifically has added an even deeper sense of gratitude for me.  The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful time of year;  certainly it is when family gathers and we are all together sharing our favorite meal  and special time with each other.  It invokes peace, well being and togetherness among family and friends. I have always loved this season more than the hustle and bustle of Christmas.   Perhaps it is because it is a holiday that encourages reflection and gratitude.


This life of ours is rich in so many ways.  I speak for myself and probably some of you here . . .  we do get so caught up in the business of our lives, that we do forget to mindfully think of the blessings that have been given to us.  We tend to see right in front of us and complain about what is not good, or what we have not been given or what we don't have. It is what I think they call human nature.  I am thankful to Amy for starting our month long challenge, something we should all have been doing anyway!


I am grateful for:  my precious family, my husband of thirty three years, health, friendships, my home and my comforts, my faith which goes beyond measure, girlie friendships, good times, delicious food, quiet time, good reads, my talents, being an Optician, journal writing, candlelight, the ocean, my herbs that grow, baking, memories of my mommy and daddy, vacations, yoga, God's word, knowing myself and liking me, art supplies, great music to dance by, birds in my backyard, flowers, nature, watching my boys surf, having two beautiful daughter n laws, two hands that can knit and weave and paint, learning and creating a blog, a mind that is focused and clear . . . I could go on and on.


I am grateful for new friendships this year . . . through my blog and from Squam I have discovered an incredible artistic community.   I am richer for having met so many wonderful new people and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and talents so freely.  This life is a great ride . . . don't miss out on it!


I hope that you have a place to put out some of your favorite things.   When I go to my studio they are a constant source of joy for me.  I am reminded of where and when and who gave me those things!    It just is a small happy place for me and another source of gratitude.  This wonderful time of year please  think about all you have been given, not what you haven't been given.  Look around you and see all the wonderful blessings.  I wish you love and happiness this week my friends.


















Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creating Grace

After attending Squam by the Sea . . .
my creative heart and mind have been swirling with ideas of what I wanted to accomplish ... I so don't want to lose that magical feeling that came with Squam!  I learned so much about myself as an artist, a person and a creative soul that it is still hard to put into words even two weeks later!  The door to my heart was opened and I am leaping through it.



So my first project was to finish my small collage piece I had started in Sarah Ahearn Bellemare's Mix it up class.  I  had painted the gesso board with my own mixture of sea colors using Golden Heavy Body Acrylics at Squam;  I wanted it to represent the beautiful ocean I saw every moment in the Outer Banks.   I  then used the picture of myself as a little girl which I had created with a technique called image transfer.  I had never tried this technique and learned Sarah's way;  she was easy to understand and she was very sharing of her techniques as well!  I wasn't able to finish my piece in class and wanted to finish it when I came home.  It was a fun little piece and everything I put in the piece had to do with "little donna lee" my inner child who came out to play at Squam.  What an adventure that was!  Here it is two weeks later and I am still feeling excited and moved from that entire experience!'
"At Squam by the Sea her heart spilled open wide"
I have been reading a book "Taking Flight" by Kelly Rae Roberts for quite sometime now.  I pick it up and I put it down;  read another book and come back to it.  Her link is here on my website;  I encourage you to read her book, she is quite an encourager and is so willing to share her inspired techniques with you.  She inspires the artist in all of us. 

So here is my first attempt to creating a female character with mixed collage.  I am happy with my results and I really enjoyed the process.  There were definitely lots of creative steps to get there and I decided to name her Grace.  Just wanted to share with you...can't wait to start another one.
Girlie #1


So Grace is a work in progress much like me and my artistic journey!  Yes she can be tweeked and refined, but I kinda like her just the way she is!  I am evolving as an artist and I enjoy the quiet and special time I spend in my studio.  Thank you Squam, for teaching me that it is okay to just play and relax in my artistic playtime.
  It is never about the finished product but about the journey it took to get there!



Monday, November 1, 2010

Finshed my Shawl!!!


Okay friends . . . I promised to post when I finished my shawl!
My Ishbel lace shawl is completed!
I finished it at my Squam by the Sea Art Retreat
(I was determined to add sentiment to the piece)
I had never blocked a piece before, so I learned from that experience too!
Now I have this pretty beautiful piece to wear
with my new leather coat for the winter! 
Yea and Yea some more!!!

I just had to sit still and finish the edging,
 which I did on the deck of my Beach Divas cottage at Squam.
Hmmm . . . knitting in the early am . . . watching the sun rise . . . 
drinking my tea  . . . 
in the Outer Banks . . . at Squam by the Sea . . .
those were magical and creative mornings!
Can I say now that  I am ready to go back already????

Monday, October 25, 2010

Squam by the Sea . . .

My thoughts on Squam . . .



Magical 
Inspiring
Getting my hands filled with paints
Creative
Renewal
Beautiful Cottage
Loving
Finding my Inner Mermaid
Creative McCabe

    New friendships
                                                                        Painting
                                                                   Writing

                                                                        Hugging
                                                                    I was a Beach Diva
                                                                      Tears
                                                             Blissfulness
                                                                  Delicious Food
                                                          Unblocked and Untangled



Mix it up! 
Sweet Sarah
New Ideas
Incredible Elizabeth!
Yogini Michelle
Finding Creative Self
Bonfire and Hooping
Full Moon Beauty
Caring and Keeping of Creative Souls

An experience I will never forget!
I am grateful for the opportunity
Relaxing and Peaceful
Special Friendships made
Beautiful Outer Banks
Awesome new necklace to wear by Kelly!
Circle of Friends
Quiet Rest
No fear....just create

Artistic
Delicious
Awesome Squash Soup and Mushroom Lasagna
Soul searching Jen Lee
Loving
Happy
Sharing
Giving



Thank you Squam by the Sea for teaching me to let go and play!
I will remember this experience for a long time and I can't wait
to return again someday.
I was gifted this past week in so many ways.  Truly I returned
home changed and in awe of the experience!!!!

Thank you Elizabeth for having the vision and
 then sharing it with the rest of us creative spirits!









Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Healing through Collage





Birthday Collage for Angel

Good Morning Friends!!

I have just completed this collage for my sister's birthday and wanted to share it.  I am very pleased with the result and everytime I finish something I have never tried before and like it, I am still amazed! I used all kinds of different techniques on this piece.  I have been reading a wonderful book I picked up at Borders a few weeks ago . . .  The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole.  It is a practical guide about fitting creativity into your life.  I picked it up and loved her written word and was drawn to her many projects.  Although my two boys are now 30 and 27, married and on their own, I could still relate to what she was talking about . . . fitting creativity into your life (I just no longer have the little ones running around the house to fit in time for creativity!!!) I surely miss those times and they pass by so quickly!  I do remember raising my babies and never had time to dream about being artistic!!!  Now being all grown up and working full time, I still find it hard to carve out time to be artistic.

That word creativity keeps creeping up into our lives doesn't it?  Making time to do what we love, away from distractions of life, away from jobs, family and life obligations. It is the place we go to where we can carve time out of our busy lives to play, create, paint, knit, weave, design, read, collage, write and blog; to do whatever it is that brings us happiness and fullfilment in seeing something come to life right before our eyes.  

I created this collage piece for my sister; her birthday was fast approaching and I wanted to give her a piece that would matter. I wanted to create a piece that she could look at in her studio and be reminded that she was special and her little sis loved her.  With each color I used to paint the canvas, to the words and pictures I chose for her collage;  all of it was well thought out and applied meaning to the piece.  You see in the center is a picture of myself with my brother and sister, I being the middle child (the little blonde in the picture) always played the peacemaker.  I lost my mother to a long journey of Dementia a year ago this week and I am dealing with natural emotions and remembrances of what was.  My brother and sister are still struggling with each other and I don't know if they will ever come together, but at least for this collage, there is the three of us!  I wanted my sister to remember our childhood and that there was a time in our lives that it was the three of us!

Creating art goes way deeper than the finished product . . . it is about the process it took to get there!  I learned so much in working on this piece, I hope it is received well by my sister, if it is not that is okay too!  The pleasure was in the time it took making it for her.  


Now I am off to the Squam by the Sea art retreat in the Outer Banks.  I get to play and rest and meet new friends and be totally immersed in an artistic environment!!  This is the first time for the Squam retreat to be in the OBX, I can hardly wait to get there.  Lots of photos and stories when I return. 


Until then, be well, be creative and be at peace with all things!
Donna

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Knitting and Yoga...

I promised to post my finished piece!  Here she is!
                                                                                 


I have been working on lace knitting for awhile now.  I have been an avid sock knitter for years and at the encouragement of my sister Angel, I have begun knitting lace.  I am a member of an amazing knitting community (much like facebook) call Ravelry.  This is an online site where knitters, spinners, weavers, designers gather to share their amazing work, patterns, yarn sources and make new friends.  Amazingly, knitters are friendly people and we all get joy in sharing our patterns, where we purchased them and the beautiful yarns and needles we used.  It is nothing to see over 1700 members online when you log in!  Seriously, the knitting community is amazingly large!  I have included a link above if you want to check it out  on my Ravelry page...warning...it will lead you to page after page of amazing knitters, visit when you have the time to explore it all.

When I started my blog over seven months ago,  I wanted to create a place where I could write down my thoughts and share my inspirations about living the creative life.  As I look back at my journey so far, I am happy with where it has lead me. I have grown in word and in my confidence that others want to hear what I have to say.  So when I find a good place to take you like Ravelry, I want to share it with you.  Perhaps some of you don't know that a place like that exists!

So the title of my entry today was knitting and yoga!  Hmmm, how can I blog about wonderful things that have touched my life without mentioning my yoga practice!  I am in love with yoga and have been practicing  yoga for many years.  I thought about this post after I had returned home from a workout at my local Hot Yoga studio and I was feeling relaxed and energized.  I picked up my knitting to finish my shawl.  As the time was flying by, and the needles were clicking away with a quiet rhythm, I began to think about what these two "arts" did for me that day.  They both created a place of healing, contentment and calmness.  I have always heard the term that "Knitting is the new Yoga",  I do believe they are connected, at least for me they are.

Yoga gives me a sense of health and well being in order to complete whatever I have to do for the day. It gives me a sense of quietness of the mind.   My yoga practice carries me into my day, I do not leave it at the studio or on my yoga mat!  Knitting gives me a sense of accomplishment, calmness, meditativeness and pure and simple joy...the two are connected for my life.  The two correlate to my wellness and quiet mind.  I am lucky to be able to recognize what these two arts do for me, but I always feel that my yoga practice adds to any creative avenue that I pursue.  It is hard to put into words... I am a spiritually healthy person and my faith in God carries me through at all times. When we live in balance, we live more freely.  My yoga practice helps me to balance out the rest of my comings and goings in this adventure we call life.

So if you have never tried a yoga class before, get out there and try.  There is strength in trying something new and if you walk away from a yoga class not feeling euphoric, come let me know!  I know it works for me and my lifestyle, it will work for you.

So I will not choose between yoga and knitting...it is a combination that works for me!  I promise to post a picture of my completed and soon to be  blocked Ishbel shawl soon....I had to finish it in time for fall to wear with my new black leather coat my hubby bought for me!  See...sometimes having a creative deadline is a good thing!




Namaste my friends



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Harvest

God's Beauty!
Delicious!

I love the fall...it is my favorite season and my favorite time of the year!
I have just gotten my first pick from my pomegranate tree and I am constantly amazed at God's beauty!
Not only is the fruit beautiful to look at but delicious to eat as well!
As I photographed the tree with the different fruits growing, I began knowing that this would be the perfect watercolor picture!
Isn't it interesting how the mind of an artist works?  We view something we think is beautiful and take it a step further!  I am already trying to decide what colors to use, what paper to paint it on and how to capture this beautiful piece of fruit's beauty.
Fall is a time to slow down, rest and contemplate.  It is a time for pots of soup, homemade breads and nesting in our homes.  Our gardens slowly begin to fade away and the freshness of summer has passed.  We have vacationed, been lazy and had lots of time to play.
With fall comes schedules and settling in.  Settling in to whatever we need to do.  I am in a new season of life; my children are both married and have homes of their own and my husband and I are settling in to a life with just the two of us!  It does take some getting used to!
I do have more time now to paint and pursue new creative avenues!  I have enjoyed exploring collage, something I haven't done in years.  You will always find with something to knit in my hands.
So I say hello to fall and I welcome it here.
My pomegranate tree always reminds me in October that fall is here and it is time to settle in to my home, my arts and my blessing called life.  I never set New Year goals, my goals are always set in the fall;  for that is my new beginning.  I love it!
I urge you to think about areas of your life that you can slow down and settle in.  Welcome fall in with all of its fresh new potential. 
 Explore all of the wonderful creative possibilites it brings along with it!
For me....I need to finish this watercolor sketch!



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beach thoughts to ponder . . .

How can you simplify your life?
Think of ten ways!
What new technique can you learn this week?
What have you been working on that you put aside awhile ago?
What is your favorite thing to create?
Where do you like to create?
Who do you love?
How do you love?
What do you love to do?
Where do you love to go?
What does love mean to you?
What makes you laugh?
What do you think is funny?
Are you happy?
How do you find your bliss?
What does bliss mean to you?
Can you find bliss all around you?
Describe a blissful moment.
Friends are a rare gift.
Who are your closest friends?
How do you appreciate your friends?
Can you be yourself with your friends?
What do you need most in a friendship?
What does peace mean to you?
Do you have inner peace?
Are you at peace with yourself and your life?
Are you at peace with God?
Does peace exist within you heart?
How do you find your peace?
How will you live?
What will you do?
Live and take care of others.
Live for love.
Live by your faith and beliefs.
Live unselfishly.













Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New exploration with collage!

Creative in the Outer Banks!

I have just returned from a long weekend in Corolla, North Carolina.  I had another great weekend of rest and retreat.  I find myself seeking those weekends of rest and retreat more and more these days!  I think it has to be working at a demanding full time job and I realize that my time is not my own unless I grab special times like I did this weekend.  I was able to go with my girlfriend Toni and we were determined to get some creative juices flowing!
I wanted to try something I had never tried before and so I brought everything to begin a collage project.  I had been reading Kelly Rae Roberts book "Taking Flight" as I have mentioned in a previous blog entry and I was anxious to get something started.  So off to the OBX . . . I was loaded with my specialty papers, rubber stamps, gel medium, watercolors, words I had been cutting out and saving for months and so much more!!!
Of course starting to create late at night with some good music playing, friendship and great conversation, the mood was set for a creative experience.  I just started playing with speciality papers.  The creative juices were flowing and I created the collage above.  I used a wonderful new art board called The Artist Panel by Ampersand from Jerry's Artarama to mount my work on.  I just kept playing and adding and arranging.  It really became addictive and I had  very good time.  I also created the three little collages below.  They still need a little tweeking, but I am happy with the results.
Getting away and having the time to create was a gift.  Time with my "sister girlfriend" was priceless.   How wonderful it is to have a friend who loves to spend time creating as much as I do!  The idea now will be to continue as I return home in between life's demands.  Creativity is a lifestyle, not something we should fit in when we can.  
I am just beginning to explore this new media and I love the fact that I can incorporate all of my artistic supplies together.  My mind is already ticking with the possibilities of what I can create in the near future.
Let's see. . . Outer Banks:  time with my precious friend, the mighty ocean to watch, a beautiful beach to walk and embrace, great food and shopping, rest, knitting, bible study, yoga on the beach, girlie movie, getting to see my son and his wife, prayer and contemplation....all the makings of a wonderful time away.
Life truly is a blessing!





Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inspiration from Monet



Ode to Monet
My last class from Creative Thursday with Marisa was this past week.  Our assignment was to create something or anything we wanted to.  It was called a wild card project.  We could try any medium and do anything we wanted to.  I wasn't sure what I was going to create, until I stumbled across a picture of me standing in front of Monet's Water Lilies painting in my journal.  My heart stopped and I remembered when I actually stood next to a Monet Water Lily in the Metroplitan Museum of Art two years ago on a wonderful Sunday morning.   It was many years before that when I had the privilege to see the triptych of  "Clouds on the Water Lily Pond" paintings in the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), also in New York City.

For my last project with Creative Thursday I chose to finger paint a Monet Waterlillies painting.  I had actually taken a finger painting workshop at my local Jerry's Artarama a while back with Allen Montague, a finger painting maestro. (You can find him demonstrating on YouTube).  It was fun to learn a new technique on a Friday afternoon. I took lots of notes, I bought the paints and canvas but I never did anything with it after the workshop.  Does this sound familiar?  How many art projects are we going to get to someday!  We collect art stuff and more art stuff!

Monet has truly been my painting inspiration my whole watercolor artistic life (that sounds silly doesn't it?)  I love his choice of colors, his style of impressionistic painting.  I have read as much about Monet as I possibly can and have truly fallen in love with his Waterlilly series of paintings.  In fact, Monet truly was the leader of the impressionistic movement in France.  No one else compared! When I was attending a Vision conference in New York City I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Modern Art.   I saw lots of paintings and unusual photographs that I didn't understand and did not find impressive.  I know that all art is interpreted to individual tastes; so I know someone appreciated the exhibits I saw, I truly did not!

I then stumbled into one room that was filled with Monet's Waterlilies.  In this large room was a series of three large panels of oil paintings depicting Japanese style ponds covered in water lilies.  I truly felt an overwhelming flood of emotions.  I stood in awe! The three canvases were displayed on three separate walls.  Monet had always specified that they be displayed on curved walls so that it would feel like water.   Please believe me when I say I that I sat there for hours in peaceful meditation just feeling the presence of Monet; my favorite artist of all time.  I sketched with my journal, wrote my observations of his techniques and color choices.  If only I could speak to him, watch him with paintbrush in hand, meet him face to face; heck how about study with him...a girl can dream can't she???

Photos courtesy of MoMA website

As I listened to the audio commenting on these wonderful paintings, I learned that Monet completed these paintings in 1920.  He painted these paintings with failing eyesight in the last years of his life. Being an Optician, my heart felt for him with his failing eyesight and his desire to continue painting.  He truly wasn't finished with all he wanted to accomplish.   In fact, his color choices were greatly criticized by others.  That is exactly what I love and am drawn to the most in these paintings; his choice of muted and gentle colors.  I also learned that these three large canvases were stored for over twenty years after his death before they were exhibited in any museum. I can just envision a stuffy room full of Monet's paintings all over and no one tending to these precious treasures. The MoMA acquired all three canvases in 1959 and have remained there ever since.  I urge you to see them if you find yourself in New York City.  I came home with a large poster of that exhibit and it is a reminder for me of that wonderful Sunday morning experience.

So my little finger painting was completed in just a few hours.  I played classical music by Debussy and began the creative process.  It was fun to try something new and it is amazing what your fingers can do with some acrylic paint.  I am used to painting with watercolors, but acrylic was fun and different for me.  So another lesson learned:  Don't be afraid to step out of your creative box! Thank you for the challenge Marisa.  What a wonderful course that was for six weeks.  If she offers it again, please consider taking it, you will not be disappointed.  It is important to be with a community of creatives.
My creative thursday!
So I now have a new addition to my art studio and as I look at it I am reminded of many things:  trying something new is good for you . . . I am still in awe of Monet the man and his work . . . Museums on a Sunday morning are awesome . . . fill your eyes with good art . . . be inspired by others . . .   study your mentors  and learn about them . . . and most of all enjoy your wonderful artistic life.