A Collection of Objects in Restful Tones:
from my nightstand and hearth, carved wooden bird by my uncle, Emel Smith
What inspiration can we find in the gusty cold of winter? Looking through my journals I found what I want to share as an artist.
In November, I wrote the following (and have added a few revisions):
As I approach 2019, my goal is truly to set priorities. In many ways 2018 has been a very good year: travel, workshops, refining my work and realizing how short time on this planet is.
For 2019: Set goals, schedule time with thought and be a blessing.
Tonight, we turn back our clocks. We know we cannot turn back time, but we can be in charge of our future. Although we are a part of a larger community, ultimately it is only ourselves we are in full command of. So much clutter has appeared in my life, and as the leaves begin to fall—I, too, wish to shed extra things in my home, in cyberspace, and time-consuming tasks that lead to nowhere.
Instead— (I want to) strengthen my core being—a winter tree is not dead; it is in a restorative mode.
What a great word! re-store
Restore relationships, health-exercise practice, recharge my heart attitude and seek worthwhile plans. Seek less ego.
- Family bonds
- Which friendships
- Hearth and home-ambiance as well as material stuff
- Volunteer tasks
- Heart’s desire – painting, writing, creating
Like the leafless tree in a restorative winter mode, I am collecting the things that strengthen me, gathering kernels of wisdom and truth, reaching deep within my roots for nutrients, and sinking my roots into rich soil.
I could not resist an acrostic:
Real - the relationships to air, sun, wind, and rain are intense; with no extra baggage, the real me is exposed.
Energy - quiet, stillness, to absorb
Soul - store up, nurture, conserve
Truth - shed the excess, seek reality - for me, faith is real: Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Open - to elements, ideas, God, true friends
Read – reward, revitalize
Epiphany – eureka! light at the end of the tunnel, springtime
As an artist, I am again deciding to embrace the winter light: the clear, crisp, casting shadows from low in the southern sky, but illuminating the darkness. In embrace the quiet restorative time. I’m not a leafless tree, I am storing up nutrients and wisdom.
Use this time to reskindle energy, knowledge, friendships and creative habits! I know many of you have busy schedules and it is hard to create a space, time and the resources for a restorative practice. As in restorative yoga, which typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest, your activities should do the same.
Surround yourself with restful colors.
- Associate (on purpose) with people who nurture you and allow you to relax. Your life may include those who deplete and unnerve you.
- Read material that will relax and transform you mind. Listen to words of wisdom. Oddly, I listen to news in small bites because it relaxes me to know what’s going on—we all have our comfort zones.
- Invite a good friend to tea or coffee. Choose someone with whom time spent together is a joy.
- Visit Home Depot and choose color paint chips that you like—save them for a rainy day.
- Clear a creative space to write, paint, dance, stretch, plant winter bulbs, watch the raindrops, dream….
In my quiet winter, I have been quietly creating on a series of paintings which explore the relationship between my figurative and landscape paintings. In need of rest, today I took a noon nap! I awoke, knowing that, like a hibernating animal, restorative time is crucial. Hmmm...my show opens February 2nd, Groundhog Day—is that symbolic?