Monday, March 29, 2010

Awe*some Friday!

Last Friday night was a bit surreal. I was one of the featured artists in the Working Artists Show at the Art Mill in town. I was so nervous to go there for the opening. I started to doubt what I was wearing, who would show up, where the art show director would put my stuff. I thought for sure I would be in a lonely, dark, corner in the back hallway. To my surprise, I was pleased to see my artwork in the front window of the shop! You can see it even if the shop is closed! YOWZA! (Not sure how to spell that one, as I don't put it in many emails :)) The sweetest thing I have to say is when my aunt brought my grandpa to the show. Here's a picture of some of my family that came, my mom and dad, grandpa and aunt, and mother-in-law!

I was so surprised and it was the best surprise of the night! I let go of my fears and apprehensions as soon as my parents walked in and I thought to myself...they are here for me! My husband on the other hand had to wait for the "its okay to come in and peak at the artwork with the 3 small children that have the capabilities of doing some serious damage now" . That lasted for a brief moment as they quickly discovered pretzels and M&Ms in the back of the place. Who needed mom anymore?

I am still in the "please pinch me, I must be dreaming" mode. I will have the artwork for sale in the shop until the end of April. I have about 8 pieces in there and 3 sold opening night! I am blessed to be a part of this opportunity. I hope to have more updates as the month goes on. Needless to say its an "AWE"some experience...get it...part of my vision for the blog...capturing "awe" filled moments and this ranks right up there!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Art Show Opening!

I am humbly letting you all know that I am one of the featured artists for a show at the Omaha Art Mill called "Working Artists"!!! Squealing within, composed on the outside of course :) I didn't tell anyone I submitted anything for fear it wouldn't be seen as "artwork". So, when Jane let me know that she accepted my submission and I'd be a part of the took a few more weeks to sink in!

I am thrilled to be a part of this show and look forward to opening night. The show opens this Friday, March 26th. My artwork will be on display and for sale through the month of April. This is another whisper that I am excited to share with you all! I will post pictures of the opening this weekend. I'm learning all kinds of lessons about making yourself a little vulnerable in these areas in order to move in the direction of your dreams!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Too much writing for a Saturday

Today, Saturday, I am knee deep in research articles and writing. I wish I was knee deep in gel medium and acrylics or surrounded by chocolate chip handprints and juice boxes from my kids! But no, in front of the computer, as a scholarly writer today, Saturday. This is such a perfect example of where my heart is vs. where my job is. Where my priorities are in my head and heart vs. where my physical body spends its' time. I have approaching deadlines to finish a book chapter and a journal article. Both on topics I enjoy. Both very much on my academic scholarship to do list...but right now it feels like too much. I'd rather be painting, creating, recreating with my family. My husband is so kind that he left me with a quiet house to work today. He took all three kids to an indoor bounce house place and lunch and then to grandpa's to visit. What a great daddy! I just wish I was there with them. This too shall pass. I have been saying no to a lot more these days. Now I just have to wait for the things I said yes to many many months ago, get turned in and completed! I am so looking forward to having these 2 huge projects done!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Empty Bowls

Yesterday I purchased an empty bowl for a good cause. For the past several years, the university I work for has had fine arts majors create ceramic bowls during a class and donate them as part of the Empty Bowls Project fund raiser for one of our local homeless shelters, the Sienna Francis House.

You purchase a one of a kind bowl and you get soup! And, all the proceeds go to the shelter. It is such a cool project that I enjoyed being a part of. The bowl that I chose, or that chose me, is the one with the hearts in the middle on the left! The others are beautiful bowls that some of my friends chose.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Artsy Professor

Most of you know that I love creating things and being "artsy" any chance I get. The struggle I have with my creative artsy side is I also have a very structured academic side teaching occupational therapy full time at a university. More importantly I have a husband, and 3 little ones 6 and under! It can be a struggle to make time to create as we all know.
However....a funny little email crept into my inbox at work (GO BLUEJAYS)yesterday that I believe was a whisper to me.
An email from alumni and faculty relations sent out to find what professors do in their down time, outside of work...

First reaction, uh, eat and sleep, and change clothes for the next day at work! Second reaction, I don't want to bring my artistic side to the table and feel vulnerable about "what they are looking for" or what "someone would deem as art".
Third reaction, maybe this is something that will acklowledge who I am fully instead of the part of me that shows up for work in front of my students.

I responded back to the email simply saying, I like to create stuff anything from painting, scrapbooking, quilting, jewelry making.

You name it, and I bet I have a few supplies from every aisle at the craft store!

We'll see what comes of it! Today I have the luck o' the Irish backing me!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Explore your Iceberg

Last night my husband and I attended a talk by "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" author Peter Scazzero and his wife Geri. They are from Queens, NY and have church planted there since 1988 I believe. Anyway they shared about their path to emotionally healthy spirituality.

We read the book last year and really enjoyed it, it has some brutally honest pieces that are a bit scary, but really push you forward into exploring your iceberg so that you can be a more emotionally healthy person for you, for your loved ones, etc...

We re-did the "Explore your Iceberg" exercise last night and new things cropped to the top. We were to answer 4 questions by writing whatever comes to mind in 1 minute, seemed simple enough.
Q1: What is making you mad right now?
Q2: What is making you sad right now?
Q3: What is making you fearful or anxious right now?
Q4: What is making you happy right now?

So we write in solitude (in a room of 800 people) for 1 minute on each question. Then she asks us to turn to the person next to you and ask how the experience was for them. A little awkward as I suddenly felt like turning my paper over and tucking it into my purse. My husband had jotted down one word bullet points for each question, while I wrote paragraphs under each! That is just one example of how we communicate a little differently and it made us laugh!

Geri, Mrs Scazzero, went on to talk about the iceberg analogy which I'm sure most of you have heard of....

The tip of the iceberg is the top 10% of what is going on in/with the people around us in our perspective. What is going on in the other 90% is beneath the surface. What I picked up on last night that I don't recall reading in the book, was what she said next.

She talked about anger, hurt, and fear being the top layers, followed by depression, disappointment, and shame. I know its an uplifting thought :) What really hit home is that the layers of life, joy, hope, health, creativity, pleasure and love are "below" the top layer and are often suppressed becasue we do not acknowledge and process through the top layers!

Totally resonated with me. If I am angry or disappointed, I may put on a happy face and go on as if "everything is just fine" But when that one moment of stress hits, the iceberg, for me, can turn into a volcano, spilling and spewing. Can anyone relate?

I want to chip away at the tip of the iceberg by talking about my disappointment or frustration, so I can get to the good stuff! She goes on to say, if we have unaddressed top layers of hurt or fear,etc., it does not mean that we cannot experience pleasure, creativity, and love. It just means that we may not be fully experiencing these emotions.

For me it made sense and provides a visual analogy of what I work towards, simplifying my life!
If we are too busy and have too much activity, how are we going to stop and make time to answer those 4 questions to check in with yourself? I think the 4 questions are something I'd like to look back at on a more regular basis with myself, my husband, and kids.

Can you hear the theme song from Titanic in the distance? I can!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Best Day

WHOA! Way too long since I posted last. Too much to talk about so I'll just pick one thing.

I have to tell you a cute little story about my 6 year old that happened this morning. I had just finished getting all 3 little ones dressed and ready to go downstairs for breakfast, when Em said "Mommy, wait a second I have a song I want you to hear". This happens so frequently as she is a music junkie! But this morning she had a different insistancy in her voice, so I stopped and said, "OK, Em, hit it"

And on came Taylor Swift, which I hear way too often these days :)

But, she said, "Wait for it mom, your part's coming up" And the words sang and tears just started running down my face. "Mommy, its all right" "Mommy you are crying because you're happy right?" "Mommy, say something".

I was crying my eyes out because I was happy yes, but the lyrics really touched me this morning. And Taylor Swift's lyrics usually are not a tear jerker for me!

The lyrics were from The Best Day and they go,

"I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run and I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three

you set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me,

its the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs,

daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

Now I know why all the trees change in the Fall

I know you were on my side even when I was wrong

and I love you for giving me your eyes

Staying back and watching me shine and I didn't know if you knw

So I'm taking this chance to say that I had the best day with you today"
I am so thankful for an sensitive little 6 year old that loves her mommy and tells me as often as she thinks it! I was crying not only because of her way of telling me "thank you" but because it also makes me think of my mom and how I need to tell her too!

Hope you have The Best Day! Andrea