30-Day Blog Love Affair:: Day #8!

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The image above is just a small bit of a painting that I’m working on right now, but I decided to post it on Instagram last night with the caption, “Digging more quiet space in my paintings these days…perhaps a reflection of what’s goin on inside? Probably so.”

It was one of those quick fleeting thoughts, but it kept creeping back into my mind all day today.  You see, I’ve been occupying this really rare and beautiful space lately where I actually…get this…HAVE TIME.  After two and a half years of insane busyness (for those of you who have been following my world, you KNOW what I’m talking about here), I have carved out some sweet downtime for myself.  It definitely did not just *happen.*  Nothing has slowed down for me, in fact, opportunities are presenting themselves like never before {insert moment of gratitude right here}, but I have consciously chosen to say no to many things in order to give myself the gift of TIME…sweet sweet unscheduled time.  Time in my studio, time to take walks and ride my bike, time to have tea dates with friends, time to do yoga, time to take baths and listen to the rain in my skylights.  Time to mediate.  Time to play.

Just plain ol’ simple time.

With all this luxurious time on my hands, I’m noticing a straight-up shift inside my being.  It’s like my nervous system is relaxing.  My thoughts are softening and because of all the time to exercise, my body is feeling stronger.  I’m spinning out and feeling overwhelmed much less, and the time I am spending with people feels deeper, more present. All in all, life is just really good right now.  There, I said it, and didn’t even feel guilty ;)

And…..I’m totally seeing this shift inside myself reflected in my paintings.  Generally speaking, they are lighter, more quiet and more…simple.  They are flowing out effortlessly and I’m not fussing over them in the way I usually do.  Basically, I’m letting them BE EASY.

So, here’s the big AHA moment I had today.  I realized that I have this tendency to want to “fill up” my canvases with a lot of information—so many different marks, colors, layers, images, etc…all in order to “make it interesting,”  ie: to make it worthy, pretty, enough, complex, amazing, surprising _________ (fill in the superlative blank).  EEK!

So what happens when I allow there to be SPACE in my paintings/life?  What happens when I allow for easy, simple and breathable?  Well, my friends, what seems to be happening is that I’m creating some really lovely, almost meditative paintings, and I’m also experiencing more sweet simple moments in my life.  I keep referring to these sweet simple moments as “the space between” moments.  They are the moments that happen in-between the big flashy moments of excitement.  They are: slowing picking out fruit at the grocery store,  taking walks in my neighborhood park, picking fresh daffodils from my front yard, watching flower petals drop, making soup…

As for the paintings, I see that the new ones are different, yes, but they are not lacking in their simplicity.  Instead, they simply possess an entirely different quality—much like the inside of my head feels right about now.  That said, I’m really not interested in labeling my current state of being or my current state of painting better or worse than how things were before, but I am very willing to note the difference.  It’s all just kinda interesting in my opinion.  Art reflects life.  Life reflects art.  The main point I’m getting here is that…

More is not always more.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that right now, for me anyways, less is actually more.  I think I could remain quite happy in this slowed down quiet space for quite some time—until the next big flashy moment of excitement is ready to pop, of course.

xo flora

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21 Comments

  1. really loving your posts! thank you for sharing…

  2. I love the concept of “the space between moments”. Life is truly beautiful when we can recognize that space and allow our busy selves to live there! Thank you for inspiring me and so many others!

  3. Wondering if your inner space is softened and expanded as you are teaching and traveling less?

  4. Wow! I completely get this. I had a similar experience recently, albeit back to front. I noticed how busy & full my canvases were. Although I lived them, they gave me no sense of calm, instead, heightening excitement. I wanted calm, craved calm. As much as I tried, I couldn’t get there. Eventually, I sought the calm space in mylife instead, & badabing, there it appeared on my canvas. You are right Flora, art is life, life is art.
    And we are our own creation.

  5. Lovely. Peaceful. Whole.

    Here’s to living in the moment. ;-)

  6. This is your time to breathe. Nice when you have you/me time, everything is seen differently. Flora it is good you have done this. xoxo

  7. Thank you for writing this blog ang giving so much. :-)

  8. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am in the same place as you right now, love to be a human BEING not a human doing…living in the moment..

  9. Fabulous, Flora!
    Pretty simple is Pretty simple.
    It means loving and appreciating every fleeting moment.
    And, not seeing life as fleeting. Or time as fleeting.
    Or, thinking about age and getting it all done.
    It is about being in the moment and not caring what anybody else thinks. Leaving self behind. Soulful and sensitive.

  10. Loving your blog, I learned a long time ago that in order to make your best art works you need down time too, peaks and troughs I call it. In the down times I reflect, collect and write in my visual a lot!
    Thanyou for all your giving….you are so inspiring!

  11. Here Now Beautiful – Love the wellies !

  12. ah, beautifully said…ox

  13. Wrote about time today in my “morning pages” – good to be following your blog as we are all connected, all one…..

  14. I love your blog and the daily reminder to live in the present and appreciated the simple things. I forget I am not just a human doing – I am a human being who can just be. Thank you for your daily inspiration.

  15. What a lovely and inspiring post. A good reminder to all of us to slow down and enjoy! Thanks as always for your inspiration!

  16. Great post. Have to admit I am so envious of your downtime – good for you! Hoping to do some of that myself. I love how the downtime is transforming your work.

  17. You seem really happy right now, and I’m happy for you :)

    It’s so very true about just letting simplicity exist in our lives instead of trying to “control” how anything works out. It makes for a much more joyful existence, and is something I’m always striving for, being a definite Type A personality!

  18. Thank you for articulating this… it’s so lovely when someone does that – hands me my own experience wrapped up in a perfect word package. So pleasant to unwrap, fold by fold, slowly illuminating my own truth to me.

    I have a strong feeling that the work we create comes through as our teachers, and like you said art reflects life and life reflects art.

    Thank you!

  19. Hi,

    Ok. YESSSS!!! So this is EXACTLY why I am taking a leave next year – to have some TIME. I have not had any time for 8 years!! and I used to have LOTS of it.

    And I do agree that the art reflects the inside. Just like “My Many Colored Days”, by Dr. Seuss.

    xo
    Emily

  20. Love this post. I am trying to work on more is less with my own work. Hard to do.

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