I left every meeting during my duty day today with my mouth hanging open in awe. I am in awe of the challenges ahead for Fiscal Year 2014 and the radical cuts that are coming in the programs my squadron owns and manages. I've been in the job a little over four months and today it became clear that the rest of my tenure will be focused on managing the cuts. My worklife will be focused on coming up with options and priorities...what activities are more important to readiness and which ones can we do without? And I thought I was feeling stressed lately...it's only the beginning!
But, that leads me to my set of pics for today. In an effort to find healthy stress relief, I have been digging into my massive hoard of art supplies. I spend a couple of nights every week at my work table painting, glueing, drawing, coloring, studying, cutting, imagining, writing, and all-around escaping from the "real world" into a world of color, texture, mistakes, messes, fonts, brushes, markers, and joy.
It really all started a few weeks ago when I met up with my friend, Michelle, for a day of art play. We totally took over her kitchen table and for almost eight hours never really took a break from just playing. She got me started with inspiration from artist Mindy Lacefield. Mindy is all about getting back to basics...making art is like making magic and should be fun and exciting and serious and frivolous all in one. She has a particular way of painting a face and share's the technique in her new book, Wild Surrender. There's really no one who could copy her spirit, but I looooove the basics of the faces and have wildly surrendered into making lots of them!!
Michelle pushed me to go with the flow and at the end of the day I had several little people added to my life! Their personalities are all different, but they all look back at me as if to say...you are a pretty cool chick and these bright colors and textures Rock! :) I respond with a generous thank you and a sink full of wet, rinsed paint brushes and a stack of journals in the works. Oh, and then I take them all in for show and tell at the office in the morning. It's probably weird that I'm the boss and I want people to tell me my stuff is cool, but I do it anyway! haaaaaaaaaaaaa
Here's one that's based on my feelings of freedom and escape while running on the beach at the Isle of Palms.
In reality, it's just this table that is my magic making studio and my wands are the brushes and pens that are becoming more and more familiar to me. I may not be a master artist by most standards, but I am certainly mastering how art can bring peace and joy into an otherwise overwhelming world of decisions, stress, and unbelievable challenges. These little journals provide a window that I can jump through into another time and place.