a good cry

college friends + kids gathered to celebrate the release of Shane Couch's "Miracle" cd

It's been a strange week. Lots of ups and downs here. I've felt a good cry coming on for a while now, and some of it happened yesterday. Not sure if there's more to come or not, but yesterday was a good day. We drove to Cupertino to go to a church (that we used to go to before and right after we got married). A friend of ours from college was celebrating the release of his first cd and we wanted to go to support him (Shane Couch's "Miracle" album), and it was a good chance to get together with other old friends that we don't see very often.

Justin Fox

was a special guest (he produced the album and also went to college with us). He played/ sang some music, but he also spoke, and what he spoke cut straight to the heart of what I've been feeling/ going through, without even really being able to process it all out yet. I've been to things where it seemed like the message was spoken straight to me, but knowing that it also spoke personally to many others there.... but this time it was like he had read my blog and my thoughts and knew the struggles I was having (which he hadn't). I was in a little room in the back of the church with Judah, since he was a little too noisy to keep in my seat with me. As Justin spoke, I just listened and cried.

He talked about how our art (whether it's music, paintings, etc) are such a personal part of who we are and it's hard sometimes to put it out there for public viewing, but that when it's an original from the heart, God says it's awesome... kind of like a parent with artwork that our kids create for us. We love it and accept it and are proud of it because it's created with love from them. We don't have to feel ashamed that it's messy or made with squiggly lines. We just need to create from our hearts and offer it. There was more, and it was so right where I was... but that's kind of the gist of it. And I really needed that.

This is so new for me. I've never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, and putting art out there feels so personal. When we first thought of and began

The Retrieval Project

, I was excited and thought it was a great idea and that it really could work. But then I started to have doubts, and didn't want my artwork next to Joe's. And then I kind of got over it and did it anyway. The first few days of the project being launched, it seemed like it was a great success. We had sold 5 out of 6 paintings. But then it turned into 5 out of 8, and then 6 out of 12. I felt like it was failing. Like I expected each day to sell out, and have people on pins and needles waiting for the next day's release so they could jump at the chance to purchase before they were gone. I know, super unrealistic. And when that wasn't happening, I felt like the project was failing. Like I was failing.

Again, this is all very new for me. I need to give it time. And chances are, not all of our paintings will sell by the end of this. And that's ok. I decided to think of it like a buffet table. When there are just a few dishes on the table, people are hesitant to fill their plates. They want to wait and see what their options are. Once the table starts to fill up, they will start making their selections. Some things will appeal to them and other dishes will not. It doesn't mean the chef is a terrible cook... it just isn't what that person wants. The next person to come along with a plate will select different options. It's just the way it is. And if at the end, there is some food left over, the chef shouldn't take it personally.

I'm still figuring out just what my painting style is, and experimenting with different things. Some days I'm having fun with it, and other days just feel messy and off. I'm learning that it's all part of the process. And really I need to get out of the way and just let the art out, whatever it is. I feel like messy is part of the style that's developing here. And I like messy. It feels more free. When I cook and sew I'm messy. Not necessarily in making messes, but in not following directions precisely. I like to have a little room to make things more personal, to put my own flavor on it. Imperfections can be beautiful and I'm usually drawn to them.

Anyway, these are the ramblings that I've been feeling lately. Yesterday was a good day. A little release of emotion in the morning, and celebrating with friends. Then we got together with my mom, and then my sister and her family. It was a long, full day. And it was good.

Labels: this is me

art, creativityjenny1 Comment