Tips for Motivation

Over the last several years I have made art-making a priority along-side everything else. Some weeks are easier than others and it’s important to me to stay disciplined and motivated.

The artist Chuck Close says, “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Here are some ways I stay motivated…

I write about it.

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I like to write, I write morning pages when I wake up. Sometimes they make no sense and that’s all good. If I am trying something new I’ll write about it. I include any thoughts that come up for me in that moment. I believe getting things down on paper helps make it tangible and as a visual person I like to see it there in front of me.

 

I’ll pick up a good book.

I like to pick up books that can motivate me and get me thinking creatively. I even started a book club recently. Getting into a quiet space with a book is a peaceful thing. When there is some peace around me new ideas can have space to pop up.

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I do something little everyday.

This week I needed new motivation. I decided to play with texture and use some mediums that have been sitting on my shelf for months untouched.

Here is a small piece that I played with.

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I used tar gel, acrylic skins, coarse textured medium, and modeling paste. The new materials brought me the excitement I was seeking.

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After I started playing with these mediums I felt I was in a flow and now I am excited to see where these pieces will go from here.

I think of it like everyday a drop of water in a bucket, eventually those drops will turn into a bucket full of water.

Lastly, I like to set goals.

I decided to enter a juried show in November this year for artist’s who work with paper. This will be something I look forward to and because there is a deadline, I have to stay on schedule.

What do you do to stay motivated? What are you working on? Lemme know in the comment section below :-)

Nature, Art, & Meditation…is so Us!

Guys, what do you do when you need a boost of confidence? What do you do to reconnect to yourself and find that inner peace? When that damn self-doubt creeps in?
A blank canvas sometimes can stir up these feelings… all that white space just starring back at you. What will you create? What will happen? How will you do?
I mean seriously, I almost created a workshop called, “Let’s make mistakes!”
I am laughing just thinking about it. Hell I will probably still hold this workshop, cause I need it too! It would be a class specifically for the practice of creating & letting go the attachment to get it right.

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Ever notice in a painting class how everyone makes something different? It’s so very special.
When we are connected to our own uniqueness self-doubts become a whisper instead of a loud voice, they won’t hook us (like Pema Chodrun would say). The route back to our own inner peace becomes easier to navigate.

A blank canvas can turn into an epic adventure of exploring ones soul.

Nature, art, and meditation can free up some of those blocks we come up against. Or I’ll just say it does for me.
Nature stirs up a lot of awe in me. This article by Christopher Bergland describes awe as “that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” Click here to read more.
The article asks; “When was the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that made you say…

“WOW!”?”

I’ll show you one of mine and I’ll never forget it. The moment I laid my eyes on the Grand Tetons back in 2008:

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 (image from web, I wish I could say I took this picture!)
All of a sudden I was very small in comparison to these giant mountains. I felt an expansion, peace, and a connection.

I felt connected to something bigger.

The same article mentions William James an American philosopher and psychologist, who would hiking adventures in the Adirondaks:
“After his epiphanies on the hiking trails, he had a new appreciation for spiritual “openings” as a universal key-hole to higher consciousness accessible to anyone.”

Epiphanies guys… Epiphanies.

Last week I went hiking in the Adirondaks, here I am on Algonquin Mountain (can we say ‘perfect weather’):

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Sometimes I like to raise my hands to the sky. I imagine that I am receiving all there is to receive from the abundance of mother-nature. I also imagine that the universe is opening my heart more while I am opened up like this. It feels good.
This is how I reconnect in nature. It’s inspiration, its glory, its magnitude, its reminder to go with the flow, and to give my gifts to the world. Because that is all she does for us, is give and give and give. And if I end up with any epiphanies then awesome.

It’s quite beautiful…

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A tiny flower can bring a sense of awe. (my pic of a Lady Slipper in the forest.)
The point I am getting at is nature is a good coach. Get in nature to feel the flow and inspiration. Its all around us and there for us whenever we need it.

While creating I find that I go to a place inside that is quiet.

Quiet but also very active, active with inspiration. Where time collapses and all my surface thoughts fade. I connect with the consciousness that is me which is why its feels so good to create. It’s why a lot of my friends who regularly make art can’t not make art.  That freedom allows a r-econnection to ‘Self’.
I recently finished the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. I recommend this book to get an idea of what I mean here when I say ‘Self’. He is refers to the ‘Self’ without a name, character, or personality… its deep.
The end product of my painting doesn’t matter. Maybe I will create something I will love, maybe I won’t. But the act of letting go during the process is what matters. It’s a place of letting the creativity inside me come through. No blocks, no judgements, it’s free. I feel a high state of re-connection to myself after I paint.
Here are two new paintings that I worked on side by side. I didn’t stop working on them until I felt they were finished. It was exhilarating to paint these, I really let myself go!

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

I have been practicing meditation for 3 years. This year I made meditation part of my daily intentions and usually do it in the morning. I don’t fuss about how long, how I sit, when I do it, or even if I miss a day or two. I have grown a love for it. It has many benefits as most people by now know, one of which is re-connection to oneself. If there is a block, meditation helps me in not holding resistance to it.
Here is what sometimes happens during my meditation, my sweet girl Mossie (Mah-see) likes to plop herself right here on my leg – She looks out the window that I sit nearby. As my friend said “our pets know when we are on a good vibe”.

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Here are beginner instructions for meditation from the book “Waking Up” By Sam Harris.  “The goal is to awaken from our trance of discursive thinking—and from the habit of ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant—so that we can enjoy a mind that is undisturbed by worry, merely open like the sky, and effortlessly aware of the flow of experience in the present.
  1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
  2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting—feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
  3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly—either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
  4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
  5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
  6. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
  7. The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath—or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
  8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness—sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves—as they arise and pass away.
It’s all a practice just like with meditation. But as my curiosity about all this increases life keeps getting more and more interesting. The blocks tend to be more flexible.

Try a creative project, go for a walk outside, and please try meditation -make the time – its worth it.

If you are interested in practicing with me check out my upcoming event Art & Inspiration at the Inn ~ A Day for the Artist in You I would love to have you!
Thanks for reading and being a part of this community of creators. I don’t take any of you for granted.
Please share your thoughts, what’s new in your world?
To opening and being,
xox Rebecca
P.S. Check out the work by Christy! Created at my most recent workshop where we used script along with mixed media.

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