Please gather your art supplies, a fun munchie to share and/or something to drink, Join me at Create Art 4 Good Studios to create a few 6″ x 6″ pieces of art to support Rochester Contemporary.
Our evening begins at 6pm and ends around 9 ish (5am comes mighty early!) Please RSVP Susan@createart4good.org by tomorrow evening (3/11/14 @ 8PM) Thank you!
The journey isn’t always an easy one. There are good days and more challenging ones. There is new life, death, both life giving events and altering events, and challenges along the way.
It’s interesting. My “bad” days used to rob me of perspective. I’d drop like a rock. Now, (most days) I see that I am able to take that bad day and learn from it. If I cannot learn, I at the least find something to be grateful for. In the darkness I still have the great hope of light. Before this it just seemed like deep darkness. Age and experience seem to have become my friend, at least a little bit.
This is growth.
I am grateful.
This winter has been a very difficult one. As of this writing I been to more funerals in the last four months than I typically go to in an entire year. I try diligently not to be selfish but of course I don’t always succeed. All too often I find myself re-mourning my own intimate losses while trying to help others around me deal with theirs. It’s an interesting process, I am sure I learn something new each time I revisit my own sadness- even though I am quite certain I’d rather not relearn. The darkness isn’t usually as dark as it was the first time.
This is growth,
I am grateful.
This is something I have learned. There are days that ARE very dark, and even though there were times I was certain the sun wouldn’t come up because I felt so broken- It always has. I am reasonably certain it probably always will. (we won’t get into the end of the world or anything this is actually supposed to be a little uplifting) That said, if you KNOW the sun is always going to come up, that should lead you to understand that even on the darkest of moments, a new one is around the corner.
This is growth,
I AM grateful.
So take heart. Daylight will dawn – even after the darkest of days. I KNOW some days (weeks/months….) your heart is broken. But after it cannot get any darker, you will understand that a new day means new opportunity… you have to take the chance on hope. Find what you are grateful for, have perspective, it all invites the light into the darkness- it inspires hope.
I invite you to grow
and be grateful.
It’s about the journey, yes, true. It’s about the moment. Even MORE true. Today has been full of “moments” for me.
I find more and more that I appreciate the “flavor” of a single moment. a breath really. I find it to be nearly a tiny miracle from which I am so filled with awe.
This morning, my granddaughter accompanied my sweet son to visit me at work. I began my work day reading a book to her. It was such an incredible moment to me. It felt like eating a giant delicious cupcake BEFORE dinner. I was able to spend a moment with one of my favorite humans while I was supposed to be WORKING! It was glorious. I suppose it didn’t hurt that she was beyond so damn cute.
The day moved on and there were many moments of wonder. I connected with several co-workers on different topics. Some just needed someone to care about them and their stressful situations, some shared ideas, some relayed a treasured story. I am in awe of the human spirit and how some don’t even realize how incredible they are. It’s an honor to witness.
I received an e-mail from someone who is clearly a benefactor and probably one of my most spirited cheerleaders. She’s simply amazing. She is a fascinating soul, an incredible hostess and a sweet woman. She wants to have yet another luncheon and invite several artists to meet me. She is nearly aggressive in her support. It’s incredibly wonderful. She signed her mail, “among those who adore you”…. how does it get better?
Not all moments of wonder are easy. I lost my mother four years ago this week. Today I find myself missing her dearly, wishing to have another conversation, or serve her a wonderful mother’s day meal with lobster and yummy things. I found a photo of her along with my sister and myself. It was such a PURE moment of joy that even in my sadness, I find joy.
Tonight, I took the night off. No work, no publicity, no nothing… my husband and I took the time to run an errand and have dinner. It took me nearly half of the dinner to sort of decompress. Then I found it wonderful to just take a moment and catch up, enjoy the food and not rush off to the next task. I LOVE the gallery and all that goes with it (well most) but I loved that moment too. Just taking a moment…to breathe.
Tonight I came home to find myself in a wonderful conversation with my son and husband. There was laughter, and connection- a beautiful thing. I found support in my mailbox and texts on my phone. The moment was FULL of wonder.
I wish you the ability to appreciate every delicious moment of your life. Some are more difficult than others, but all are worthy of your notice.
and I said to myself …what a wonderful world.
I wish you peace-
So…. Why did I begin Create Art 4 Good ? I did so to support you. Your art, your dreams. I did so to invest in people trying to follow their hearts and make a difference. Create art 4 good continues to pay it forward- artists are invited to submit work for the February Show entitled ” For the LOVE of (SUB)urban art ” – a portion of the profits are donated to Dimitri House. Your art, your purchases make a difference. These are real people we will help TOGETHER ! This, my friend, is why I began Create Art 4 Good.
Today many of us find ourselves with a day off from our usual routines. But like other such “legal holidays” I wonder if we pause to reflect on the purpose of that bonus day. There are several posts of facebook referencing quotes by Dr.King, I noticed NPR mentioned several opportunities to honor him, even Sunday’s newspaper listed a few gatherings around the city. Yet, how many of us will truly take the time to honor this great man?
As someone who was only six when Dr. King was assassinated, I can say that I feel his timeless impact. While my knowledge of him obviously does not come first hand, it shines from the powerful recordings of his speeches, history lessons, literature and my own imitative to study the life an actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the things that strikes me most is how horrifically Dr. King was treated as a human being and yet his unwavering faith and conviction on how to live his life, serve others, his code of non-violence and diligent efforts to make a difference. Ultimately he paid the for his convictions with his life, an effort to extinguish his great light- Yet rest assured, his light glows on.
The journey I am on at times seems forever uncertain. I certainly would never compare myself to the incredible Dr. King, however I am trying to do what I believe is right and sometimes it takes more than a pocket full of faith to do so. I hold Dr. King as a profound inspiration as I do find both comfort and courage in his words. Dr. King did what he knew in his soul he should do. He served, he inspired, he walked in the light. This is what any of us could hope to live our lives.
Among the countless inspirations in Dr.King’s legacy I find of late his words truly manifest for me the intentions of my heart. Create Art 4 Good is the way I choose to try to make a difference in the world. Dr. King suggested the smallest of actions could make a difference. Like the pebble thrown in the water, the waves are far reacingl
One of the profound lessons here is that we continue to be inspired by a man who has not walked among us since 1968. I am sad that Dr. King’s dreams are not fully realized, but I am inspired by the fact that he fought without fighting, he inspired countless with his dedication to peace and humility and his legacy lives on.
Take a chance today. Take one step on the staircase- your dreams ARE within your grasp. Have faith, my friend… even if you cannot see the entire staircase, your journey begins with one step.
Happy Birthday, Dr. King- thank you for the inspiration you continue to be.
So this morning, as I prepared for work, I began thinking of all the different facets of my life. Sometimes it all seems like a crazy merry-go-round, other times it feels like a well mapped out journey. Either way, I am confident to say that I am where I am supposed to be.
I haven’t always
Sometimes it is difficult to trust the path we are on. I think for me I was worried I took a side road that really wasn’t meant to be on my path. But now, in this place, I really do believe that everything happens for a reason, everything makes sense, at least at some point and it’s okay to trust that plan even though I don’t seem to know what comes next always. I feel like my life is some orchestrated movie and I am only given the script when I REALLY need to have it. At the end of most of the scenes, I have these little “ah ha” moments and I understand.
Recognizing this has given me the ability to hold on in the dark times. Even since opening this gallery- (which have I mentioned lately that DREAMS COME TRUE?! -but I digress), there have been dark times. Obstacles that seem much bigger than I possess the tools to fix, or moments of doubt- after all who am I to be bold enough to capture and live in my dreams? It’s a process. Sometimes the dark times ARE really, really dark, but the cool thing about the universe is so far the sun comes up every single time. This gives new perspective and new life to whatever challenge we might be facing.
So in any journey there are good and difficult times. bumps in the road and rainbows- it is your mission to just keep holding on. It’s your job to grow from the less desirable moments and make something better of your situation.
It’s up to you, really. Will you throw in the towel every time things get a little rough? Or will you hold on tight to the string that holds the balloon that is your dream and follow it through the darkness.
I promise. Morning light is coming- be faithful, be strong and take the chance – you will be happy you did.
I know, I know… … it’s a cliché. I suggest to you that cliché or not, it is true, it takes a village to ________ Fill in the blank. In my experience- it takes a village to do pretty much anything of size beyond making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (hmmm but someone had to harvest the peanuts, and grind them up and, then the jam…. I digress)
It is safe to say that I have shared with you my awe of life at this moment. If I never had faith before, I sure as heck would now. I am in complete amazement at all the little things I have noticed that become puzzle pieces that later I would understand why they fit together the way they do. There MUST be someone orchestrating it all. The cool thing about all of that is I have learned (okay to be fair I think you never stop learning) that if I trust, especially when it’s scary to do so it all works out in the end.
Yep, it takes a village.
Create Art 4 Good has been a life time in forming. It is the result of my experiences, paths crossed, people I have had the honor to meet, discussions had and dreams realized. Each piece of the puzzle was important.
When I was a little girl, my grandfather who was not always known for his sensitivity ALWAYS gave me a new set of crayolas for Christmas (nearly every year WITH a sharpener), and a profound seed was planted. The art teacher who told me I COULD NOT do something baiting me into proving her wrong, nurtured the seed. Since then the journey has been nurtured by countless people, fellow artists, patrons, friends and strangers alike. Upon setting foot into the dream of having my own studio, again, countless people were involved. From the established artist from whom I sought advice, the kind caretaker of the building that has become the home to Create Art 4 Good, to countless souls who offered an encouraging word, or perhaps something that assisted facilitating something that progressed my dream- my treasured artists, the kind soul at the Hungerford who let me borrow his ladder so I could make clouds, the other studio members – HUA, need I go on?
It’s important to note here that in my opinion, each person along the way has been an important piece to the puzzle. I am completely amazed at how it all fits together. Suddenly my entire life makes sense, it all feels right and I understand most every experience I have ever had because NOW has become a tool in my toolbox.
All of this said- I ask of you one thing- continue being who you are to the best of your ability. Do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. Encourage others, follow your dreams, do whatever it is that you know is important for you to do. You DO make a difference. You don’t have to cure cancer, or build an empire- you have to BE you. Be the best YOU that you know how and you will find that YOU are a part of countless villages. You will make a difference. Isn’t that what every one of us wishes?
I wish you peace-
and a wonder filled 2014
Yes, today is the day- countless people have been up since 5 am preparing an amazing meal that their family and friends who will gather to and devour it inside of an hour. This is the busiest travel holiday of the year- the struggle between man and the elements is clear (snow storms and such) and it is the day where we are to take a step back and celebrate all that is amazing in our lives.
This can be a challenging day. As a parent of children who are all capable and some actually ARE out of the house, I am distinctly aware that sometimes it doesn’t work out that everyone is home for the holidays. There can be great heart ache in change. Holidays are about family and friends. A few years ago I could not fathom that idea. As the sister/aunt of those who serve in the military, I learned early on that it is rare for everyone you love to be sitting around the same table for every holiday. Further, when that missing loved one is in danger, it make the holiday almost painful. You are distinctly aware that not only were they not in attendance, but they could be in harms way. It can be a heart ache like no other without doubt.
This day is inspired by our ancestors who took huge risks coming to a new land. Without getting into the gory details, I think it is safe to say that many sacrifices were made to venture to the unknown and establish a new life. It’s not easy you know, taking what you know and leaving it behind in hopes of a better life.
I think about our lives today. We are busy, so busy that we rarely sleep 5-6 hours let alone 8. We juggle commitments enough for three humans and we dine on fast food and whatever is convenient. Taking time for a family dinner is not easy and gets pushed back on the priority scale. We are miserable at times because frankly humans are not built to be moving constantly. We ache for down time as we fill out our day-timers with yet one more obligation. We gripe about how poorly we feel, we regret and we forget about everything that is great in our lives.
Each of us has an opportunity today- to connect with people we love, to be grateful, to honor the spirit of the day. It doesn’t matter if you have one or twenty around your table today. It doesn’t matter if you have an extravagant meal or grilled cheese. I promise you DO have something to be grateful for. If you are unable to speak to those you love in person, write a note, make a phone call, send a text or even just whisper to the universe your sentiments.
Then please, put down your cell phones, turn off the screens and just be. These are treasured days, my friends- you have an invitation to create new memories and celebrate all you have to be thankful for.
I wish you the courage to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving- I am grateful for you.
In Peace & gratitude-
Since late September and opening the door to Create Art 4 Good Studios you would be correct if you suggested that MOST of my time has been occupied by 1115 East Main Street, Suite #201. I would venture to say that this isn’t actually a bad thing.
One of the things I have said repeatedly- and I suppose I could blog all day about this, but I intend to keep it simple- this journey has been about putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
I feel like I have been gathering the puzzle pieces for my entire life. Suddenly I actually know where they belong. How simply amazing is that? It has become about listening and working- paying attention and hearing what happens next. I don’t always know what I am supposed to do when I walk through the door of my studio. Most of the time it becomes obvious almost immediately. While my studio is sort of like a spoiled child (you know the type- positively adorable but needing oodles of attention) it is such a source of peaceful joy for me.
Tonight one of my artists called to offer assistance for the Grand Opening on Sunday. He then asked me, “Are you getting excited?” I replied, “hmmm no, not really.” This confused him. “Are you nervous?” he questioned. “Nope.” I replied.
So for any of you that know me I am reasonably certain that you are just as shocked as Tom was. I am usually little kid on Christmas excited when something wonderful is going on in my life. I also get EXTREMELY nervous about big events, especially social ones. But these days- the pieces all fit together. I am moving forward with my entire heart doing what I KNOW I should be doing.
I am grateful, I am calm, I am in awe.
As if I needed further proof- today I was signing a song from “Les Mis” in my head for the ENTIRE day. I thought it was sort of quaint at work. I then sang it all evening at the studio. Upon coming home I thought, ” what a lovely facebook status that would be.” So I looked up the lyrics of what I had been singing to insure they were correct.
“A heart full of love
No fear, no regret”
Yep…. all the pieces fit.
I wish you peace and unending joy-
So, you have a dream. You know dreams- Hollywood builds much of our entertainment about people finding their dreams. The thing about Hollywood is even though there is some sort of struggle (there always has to be a bad guy you know) in the end, almost always the main character realizes his dream and then the credits roll on. I would be that ordinary humans struggle a bit more to make their dreams a reality. We usually accept that our lives are full of good things and struggles, but yes, many of us dare to work diligently toward our dreams.
I will admit to you that I haven’t always been diligent. I have allowed self-doubt to rob me of my ability to be consistently tenacious. Interestingly enough I feel like even that is part of the journey to this actualization. Dreams are not always realized as easy as 1-2-3. For me it’s been more like 1, 2. x, 7, coast, 43, t, now get back on track…. yet here we are.
I believe that dreams don’t realize themselves, but I also believe that every tool we are able to pick up on the journey actually helps build that dream. I understand now that every piece of the puzzle stands alone and doesn’t make sense, but when carefully placed it all works to create something real, tangible and fantastic.
It’s happened, for me- I have the keys to one of my dream right here in my hand. I visit it almost every day- I finally have my own studio.
Historically when I am excited about something I am like a seven year old on Christmas. Now don’t shake your head, I try to think of it is one of my charming characteristics rather than blatant immaturity at my ripe old age. Yet these days, as I realize my dreams and they unfold like a red carpet in my life, I find that the bloom is not upon my face, it is just this peaceful amazing moment. Each step along the way has been full of grace and yes, bliss.
Opening Create Art 4 Good Studios has truly been a lifelong dream. When I opened the door last Friday evening, I opened it realizing that it was far from perfect, yet my heart was full, my soul was open and I was able to invite total strangers into my world and fill with gratitude for their mere presence.
The thing I am understanding about bliss is that it is strength, peace and joy all rolled into one. Suddenly you understand all those random thoughts that have been rolling around in your head for decades. You are able to give from this endless well, understand what needs to happen next and breathe in each moment as it creates a new treasured memory.
So, my advice to you, dear ones- FIND YOUR BLISS- chase your dreams. Work hard and steadfastly, do not allow anyone to fill your heart with doubt.
It is upon you- to not only chase your dreams- but to make them happen
I wish you everything the strength and courage to do so.