Painting in Sunshine on this Monday as I come in from a walk in freezing temperatures here in Connecticut….I did this painting last Wednesday after not painting for 10 years.
Impetus: I had a business arrangement with a vendor go bad. My business partner and I were disappointed, angry and frustrated as it put us back significantly on a deadline. I was sharing this with my dear friend, Dianne, (we go back to high school, many moons ago!), and she said, “you need to paint. You need to connect with the feel of the brush and smell of the paint on canvas.” She knows me well and my artwork and my history with painting. She knows how much it heals and feeds my soul.
I was originally trained as an expressive arts therapist. In my teenage years, and in my twenties, I very much identified myself as an artist. Since, in business and the corporate world for over 25 years, I consider myself a creative type, channeling that art into innovative people and business solutions. As Dianne spoke about the feel of the paint and brush, I was suddenly connected to the visceral feel of the painting experience. The longing to paint welled up inside me and my excuses of no time melted away.
Waiting to Paint
As Covid hit last year, my partner, Dan and I cleaned out our finished basement and divided it into his and her art studio space. I found the photo below on my phone April 18, 2020. I set up some old paintings from college and graduate school to inspire me. Signs my daughter made sealed the space: “To Infinity & Beyond” and “Dream”. The blank canvas sat like this for 11 months with the idea to paint a starburst. I rarely even walked over to the canvas so the idea stayed stuck in my head.
It was 7 pm by the time I got to my studio, while Dan made dinner. I was done within one hour. I DID LOVE the feel of the brush on canvas. It was a deep coming home… And I felt so nourished by releasing the vision I carried for at least five years. I was so energized that I carried this canvas up the flight of stars and immediately hung it in my living room replacing the painting I did from ten years prior. It was hung with the paint still wet.
The Making of Sunshine…
Sunshine in the midst of winter! I’ve been living with the painting all week and it vibrates and speaks to me. I walk by this sunburst multiple times a day and it gives me a lift and a mindset shift. This was an act of self care: So little time and so much fulfillment! The next day and beyond, I have been energized and re-inspired, so much so, I decided to paint a series and bought canvases of all sizes. May the sunshine expand! Stay tuned….
Where can you bring sunshine into your day or week? What has been calling you that you’ve not acted on? What simple pleasures can you engage in that help you work through frustrations and disappointments? What activities fuel your passion, sense of fulfillment? Pick one activity and do it – just for one hour. Notice how you feel and the outcome.
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Suze Shaner is an executive coach and leadership & organization effectiveness consultant. She also teaches yoga and meditation – tools to keep one sane in uncertain times. She helps professionals step up to their fullest leadership, life, and growth potential. At times this means getting out of their own way in getting important stuff accomplished. www.sagelead.com.