Taking Inspired Action

We each have our own sources of inspiration — thank goodness! We don’t need to rely on any one person, place, or thing to be inspired.

Each of us is responsible for being aware of our “AHA” moments, and sometimes backtracking to discover their origins.

Sometimes the genesis is clear. We’ve seen an incredibly beautiful sunset or vista and want to capture the way it touched our heart.

Sometimes the source is obscure. Inspiration is a flash of insight, out of the blue.

We can stoke our inspiration by following our heartfelt curiosity.

Being curious is different from being “nosy” or “niele” (Hawaiian word for “nosy”). When curiosity tickles us, it sends us on a journey of discovery.

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I’ve been on such a journey the past few months — one I wasn’t fully aware of until inspiration for my newest painting struck.

Finally! Yippee! It’s felt like F-O-R-E-V-E-R since I’ve felt this level of inspiration. I’ve missed the feeling of eager anticipation that sometimes precludes the start of a new painting.

Yes, every new painting starts with an idea or inspiration.

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Sometimes my inspiration is a piece of coral, or a stone, or a flower — something that catches my eye. These can be great fun to sketch, draw, or paint.

The level of inspiration I received last week is connected to the books I’ve been reading and the questions I’ve been asking in my journal.

This kind of inspiration is a product of my heart working with my brain to give me a visual representation of what I’m learning.

This intensity of inspiration doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I’m hoping that now that I'm more aware of the process, I’ll be able to entice deep inspiration to happen more often.

STEPS TO ENCOURAGE A TRULY INSPIRED, CREATIVE LIFE

1. Make more drawings of the things catching your attention. This can mean making more starts and fewer finished pieces. It can mean making many smaller drawings or paintings.

2. Focus more on what is wanted rather than on the lack of what is wanted. Be more aware of the things that inspire us and nurture the pursuit of them — and be less aware of missing the inspired feeling. (We find what we seek!)

3. Continue to read books that inspire. Recent reads include a novel, “The Luster of Lost Things” by Sophie Chen Keller and “Into the Magic Shop” by James R. Doty, MD.

4. Listen to podcasts that inspire: “On Being”, “New Dimensions”, “Hidden Brain”, “Ted Talks”, “Abraham-Hicks”.

5. Pay attention to the questions we’re asking and look for the sparks that often launch inspirational “AHA Moments”.

6. Keep our hearts and minds open to the possibilities swirling around us —

Trust in Your Possibilities.

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By taking inspired action, I began the creation of this painting — which is almost (but not quite) complete.

If this feels like a formula you’d like to follow, please do! I can’t promise it’ll work for you, but it might. I definitely feel more inspired when I remember to follow these steps!

If you have another way to encourage inspiration into you're your life, please share it with me.

Lost and Found

Sometimes I get lost — not physically lost, I live on an island for goodness sake! I get emotionally lost.

Does that sound weird? It feels weird. How old do I have to be before I always remember “who I am” — on the inside?

I know I’m lost when I forget how to have fun, or what makes me feel good about myself and about life in general.

I get lost when I over-think or over-work or over-worry about anything.

Worry is a product of trying to control life. Control is tricky. It can be a verb or a noun, sometimes it’s “good” and sometimes “not so good”.

Self-control might be the only kind of control we actually have, and that’s not even always true.

We might like to think we can control outcomes. We can’t, not really.

Hopefully, we know we can’t control others! Although that doesn’t stop people from trying!

All we can hope to control is our response or reaction to the world around us.

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My antidote to getting lost is to look for the ever-present magic and mystery in life and to share it with others. These are some of the talismans I keep to remind me that all of life is magical.

Forgetting that magic and mystery ARE ever-present is fatal to my well-being, and, I suspect, to that of others.

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I find the magic and mystery in life when I remember to look!

Last week, when I felt lost, I asked IWS what to paint. She suggested I paint the energy of “Beauty, Magic, Mystery, and Joy”.

I gathered all the magical objects I’ve been saving — the kinds of things that evoke questions or are beautiful in and of themselves (at least to me).

Then I closed my eyes and waited to see what my mind’s eye suggested.

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This involves getting out of the way and trusting that whatever comes to mind is the “right” thing to paint.

My “Hide-N-Seek” painting process is perfect for this magical task and the painting was begun.

“Beauty, Magic, Mystery, and Joy” has been evolving for the past two weeks.

I remind myself often to “only paint what I know to paint”. This means I take my time to “Stop, Look, and Listen” to my painting between brushstrokes.

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Part of painting magic and mystery is to not “over explain.”

That way the viewer can find their own levels of mystery and magic within the painting.

Once you find your magic and mystery in my paintings, please email me to tell me what you’ve found: patrice@artofaloha.com

Growing Pains = Growing Gains

In the last 18 years, I’ve learned a lot about these wonderful islands and all that grows here. My painting style continues to evolve along with my vision of what I want to paint.

Along the way, I’ve developed a passion for writing and have begun to nurture this skill.

My creative writing began with an idea for a children’s story that popped into my head a few years ago.

Federspiel-Stately-MouseWeb.jpg, Meet Mouse Childrens Book

I’ve never had kids, so where did this come from? I’m not sure and who cares!

Whenever we start something new, we face a new learning curve. It starts out pretty steep. It takes perseverance and trust to keep us facing that uphill slope.

It doesn’t matter how often we’ve faced a similar slope, each new incline brings a fresh set of inner and outer challenges and opportunities to be met.

Have you heard of Inner Critics? I learned about them from SARK last year.

Inner Critics are the voices in our head trying to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, they do so by telling us that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing, or that we don’t have time to learn what we want to do or myriad other problems that are sure to get in our way.

Inner Critics flourish in times of growth. Fortunately, I learned methods to handle them.

In addition to a diverse band of inner critics, I've got an insatiable drive to learn, to grow, and to expand out of my creative comfort zone.

I bore easily.

My race to mastery of anything is futile. Once within touching distance of reaching a goal, I start to look for a new creative mountain to climb, or a new way to paint something or a new subject matter to tackle.

I’m currently facing challenges on several fronts: subject matter, creative skill sets, and internal “upper limit issues”.

AND my desire to have FUN is more important than being consumed with my ingrained Midwestern work ethic.

How can I have fun doing all that I want to do?

Be on the lookout for something “new-ish” in the months to come.

Telling you something new is "afoot" is my way of ensuring that I stick to my new adventures and continue this current uphill climb on my life-long rollercoaster ride of living life creatively, from the inside out.

Weaving a Journey

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Meet Stuart

Stuart is always ready to play — ball or just about anything else. His little body is filled with love and he was a joy to paint!

When entrusted to paint a member of anyone's fur family, I start with a good pencil drawing. I want to get him or her situated on the page just right.

First I paint the eyes. Next I paint the nose and add a little more love to the eyes.

The eyes, those windows to the soul, really need to shine forth.

You'll see me smile while I paint these loving pets. I feel their love and I express my love for them back into the painting.

When I'm pleased with the realistic features of the pet, I begin to play with color for the rest of the body. This is done in stages.

Sometimes I'm asked to paint a pet in realistic colors. These are just as much fun and as much of a challenge as the colorful portraits; I love painting them just as much as the colorful pets.

When painting in "Hawaiian-style" colors, I work to capture the nature of the pet with a joyful rainbow of colors.

Any white lines between the colors show where the pencil lines were. They help me to remember the different planes of the face and the shifting of the color value I want to paint. I carefully paint around the lines so they can be erased when the painting is dry.

The background comes last and is meant to highlight the portrait of the pet.

If you can feel the love of the pet, and the love I felt for and from the pet while I was painting it, the portrait is a success.

Stuart is one tiny, compact bundle of BIG loving energy!