Filling empty spaces

Gouache and ink of farm fields

To create is to struggle with the empty spaces
of the canvas,
the blank page,
or the void of the empty stage.

To live is to do the same.

The Creative Tao, Pamela K. Metz }

This is a little note to say ‘hello’ and wish you a happy spring. I hope you’re doing well and that your world is looking sunny and bright.

Our lives have resumed a little more normalcy over here, as I hope yours have over there. The people in my life who are most vulnerable and exposed have been vaccinated. My husband’s back teaching in the classroom. I’ve been busy, busy with fun projects and kind clients, and I’m so grateful for that. This past week we even planted the backyard veggie garden.

We had a rough fall and winter with the sudden death of a dear friend and the loss of a beloved dog. And now, somehow, it’s already April, and spring is in full leap.

As we tiptoe into the next chapter, I have to say that there are a few habits from the dark days of this winter (and this past year) that I’m hoping to hold onto. Like long walks to keep our solo pup entertained, planning and prepping home-cooked meals, staying in close contact with good friends, and making space for personal creative projects.

This winter, I felt like I needed a little extra support to get my creative legs under me, so I signed up for a creative support group. We set goals and intentions together and shared our progress in texts and video meetings. The women in the group were editing novels, writing poetry, painting with acrylics, collaging, drawing on chalkboards, and fully honoring being artists of their chosen mediums, as well as of life itself.

My creative goal was to learn to paint with gouache. At first, I hoped I’d be able to paint an hour a day, but that goal shifted to a handful of hours on the weekends. Despite this, I got a lot more painting in than I would have otherwise. Creating is healing and helps me out of my darker moods, and I loved getting into a more regular practice. The support group experience reminded me how helpful it is to be inspired by others and use shared expectations as motivation to do the things I want to do.

All this is to say that, if you’re struggling with something you want to do but can’t seem to (especially if you have a hunch that the ‘something’ might bring more joy and fulfillment into your life), here’s a friendly nudge to go out and find a little extra support to get you going.

Meanwhile, I’m still here. I’m thinking of you and hoping you weathered the past year with a few of your own reminders of how to fill (or make peace with) empty spaces and live well.


Gouache and ink of vegetable rows

4 Responses

  1. What a wonderful painting and what what an inspiring post. I needed to read that!!

    I hope you’re still painting, and I can’t wait to read your book!

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