Friday, October 19, 2012

Inside my haunted head is a magic wand

Spooky Tree / pastel / 11x7
Olive Trees Study by Claude Monet
Halloween is almost here! I often sit around thinking, "I want to paint/create something! What can I paint? Look at that (object/scene/person)! How (intriguing/beautiful/colorful)! Which part of it would I focus on? What color is that? What color's next to it? Where's the shadow? Where's the highlight?" Those thoughts are pleasurable. Other thoughts, more ghostly and haunting, include: "I should my studio working...outside painting...finding an exhibit to enter...attending a life drawing session...dealing with business matters...working harder to sell my art." Then an evil spirit takes hold and casts a spell of inertia and negativity: "I'm tired. It seems like too much effort. I don't know where to begin. My studio is messy. I'm  hungry. Is it wine time? Better check my emails." The only way to exorcise these demons is to refocus on my goals and then take action in a positive direction. The operative word is action. Fortunately, I have a tool that works almost like a magic wand; it's called My Vision and Purpose Statement. I developed it over a four month period during a personal effectiveness seminar I took through Wings Seminars.   I put a lot of effort into identifying my strengths and values and learning tools to create the kind of life I want. The result is a written document that I created stating: "My vision, in brief, is to be a creatively productive artist, living a healthy and abundant life, strongly connected to my spirit, family, friends and community." The statement identifies in specific detail my vision for myself and my life. And when I stop, look, and choose to take action on one of the goals I've already identified for myself, voila! the magic happens! 


  1. Sarah, You're a great inspiration. I love to hear about your process and dailiness as well as seeing your beautiful paintings. Some years ago (more than a decade), as part of some set of exercises I was doing at the time, I wrote something like the Vision and Purpose Statement you mention. I forgot about the document for a while, but when I came upon it recently I could see that much in my life has aligned with what I wrote. Your post is a good reminder to revisit and revise again. It's a beautiful fall day here in Wisconsin! I like to imagine how you would paint it. Mary

    1. There is a lot of power in returning our focus time and again to what matters most.


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