Tag Archives: happiness

New Day Mountainscape Triptych

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Mountainscape  triptych have been gaining momentum. I find these fun to paint, especially since I live up on a hill that overlooks the valley. On clear days, views of the Cascades mountain range in the east and the Oregon Coast mountain range (which our hill is part) in the west.  Mt. Rainier likes to showcase its beauty on some clear days. It’s amazing! With all that inspiration, these mountainscapes keep appearing.

These paintings are prepped and ready to hang on your wall.

Currently, this painting is being displayed at the 3rd Street Flats in McMinnville, Oregon as featured art for one of their rental units themed, “The Pearl”.

{ Click on image for larger view }

Week 8 — A Sense of Strength

Week 8 - Creativity is a downhill sled away

This week tackles another major creative block: time.  You will explore the ways in which you have used your perception of time to preclude taking creative risks.  You will identify immediate and practical changes you can make in your current life.  You will excavate the early conditioning that may have encourage you to settle for far less than you desire creatively.

Reading this week’s synopsis, my thinking was this week will focus on time management. In fact, I led myself to believe that if that was the case, then I could perhaps ease off a bit.  That was not the case.  As you can see, this week’s post has been two weeks in the making and my perception of week 8’s exercises were misguided.  It’s also fitting and appropriate for the current events in my life.  For some time now, I’ve been considering re-entry into my previous life as a techie. I was in search of an opportunity to feed both my intellectual and spiritual creativity. I did find such an opportunity and although in this first phase of development, it takes a majority of my time; in the long run it affords me freedom to create.  These two weeks, I had to look within to discover my excuses.  The life dramas I create to impede my creative journey.

And that is what brought week 8’s lesson to me: taking action steps — no matter, small or big. Take action steps towards my dream and the path will make itself clear.  I’ve been practicing taking small action steps since January and yet this week those small action steps seemed so distant from my end goal as a professional artist.  Am I making the correct steps? Am I doing enough?  I can go on and on with that questioning.  It all ends with a creative block.  I was reminded by friends and several life whispers “to do what I love and the rest will follow.”  It’s true.  Life’s pursuit of one’s joys lead to a happy full-filled life. Hence, my pursuit for intellectual creativity as well as a spiritual one.  Art is my spiritual Zen dojo in which I practice unleashing my emotions & sense of purpose onto canvas.  In the process of searching for that purpose, it donned on me that happiness is a choice and that choice was mine.  So I jumped at the opportunity to fill both areas of my life. In the end, it is my attitude that defines what I currently am. And right now, I am happy.  I continue to pursue my life as an artist and this time around I also attach to my pursuit, my life as an intellectually-driven, creatively-solving tech-head!

Week 8 - Lester jumps and lands This past week, the snow-covered hilltop decided to stay a bit longer so opportunities for two-man sledding (on my snowboard) and small aerial feats were at hand.  My friend Cory, Sarah and I decided to trek up the hill and discover fun times with a snowboard and snow shovel.  Didn’t have the video camera on for the hilariously failed attempts at snow shovel sledding.  Too bad!  Here’s a hint: you need a scoop shovel to pull off the sledding, otherwise there are a lot of face-plants in your future.  As in pursuing life’s purpose, pursuing life’s pleasures start with small steps. In this case, step after step uphill to get your moment of flight downhill.


Week 7 — A Sense of Connection

Week 7 - Snow Covers High Heaven Valley

We turn this week to the practice of right attitudes for creativity.  The emphasis is on your receptive as well as active skills.  The essays, exercises, and tasks aim at excavating areas of genuine creative interests as you connect with your personal dreams.

The weather provided great inspiration for week 7.  A later winter snow storm dumped a foot and a half of dry powder on the hillside.  It made for a beautiful scene and filled me with excitement & thoughts of adventure.  I love the snow and that is one of the reasons I enjoy living where I live.  In the winter, we get small blankets of powdery snow — enough to have some fun for a few days.  That’s exactly what this week brought as I excavated my areas of creative interests.

Week 7 - I am LestarAlong with excavating my office to uncover my desk and workspace, I took some time to play in the snow.  Beautiful sunny weather and the cold brisk air provided great times.  I’m finding more and more that enjoying the day benefits my creative soul.  It’s fun to engross myself in a painting and yet ignoring the possibility for play when the opportunity presents itself is also not beneficial for my overall artist health.  Deadlines come and go, yet missed opportunities are that—missed!  That’s why its important to clue in on my environment and not get caught up in the task.  With that said, having an organized work space, not only lessens the clutter in the environment — it clears up my mind to focus.

And thus the excavating of the office.  After clearing some physical and mental space, I proceeded to follow through with the week’s exercises.  That meant identifying the inspirations and actions that put a smile on my face.  This week I put together a collection of heroes, inspirers and outrageous imagery that combine who I am and what I want to be.  I enjoy looking at that visual reminder.  The “I Am Lestar” contains part of that and I share it here.  The entire image is on my desktop.  If anything it gives me a cause for mental pause when I need a break from my laptop or day. Afterward, it was another hike out in my backcountry and go for a little jump of fun.


Week 6 — A Sense of Abundance

Week 6 - Kickin' It

This week you tackle a major creative block—money.  You are asked to really look at your own ideas around God, money, and creative abundance.  The essays will explore the ways in which your attitudes limit abundance and luxury in your current life.  You will be introduced to counting, a block-busting tool for charity and right use of funds.  This week may feel volatile.

This week raised new levels of understanding for me.  Personal value and self-worth came up — not in the my world is over, kind of way — more in the manner of this is WHY I do what I do.  The big WHY!  One question that people ask often and may not have an answer for — What is my purpose?  I create art because it brings me joy.  I get a kick out of creating something from a blank canvas.  The joy is in the creative process.  The end result is art. As Seth Godin answered in his blog, ‘Art is what we call…, “It’s in the soul of the artist.”  Yes,  I whole-heartedly agree!  Art is in the soul of the artist and as an artist, I unleash that onto the blank canvas.  That is one belief that makes it challenging when putting a dollar value on the finished product.  I’ve talked to professional artists, budding artists & closet artists during my continuing adventure in the art realm and this challenge often times is in the forefront.  Seth Godin in his blog indicates that art is something risky.  I’ve learned to take that risk over and over and over again with each new painting. The first time was the riskiest for myself and each time it got easier.  Much easier.  It’s like practicing a new martial arts scissor kick.  The first time, my feet are barely off the ground.  Each progression of kick after kick after kick gets me higher and higher.  Each kick trains my body.  Each risk trains my soul to continue forward.

Continuing in the journey is what it’s all about for me.  I’ve always claimed that “Art is my passion” and to continue towards that goal is worth the risk of putting a price tag on my soul.  What ever the outcome, I feel happy knowing that the canvas which was once barren is now full of life — colorful, vibrant & textured life.  Stepping out in the cold mountain air onto a snow-filled morning, reminds me to take it all in stride.  Life is beautiful, especially when I’m not fighting myself.   I love to look at our snow-covered front yard and imagine each snowflake a brushstroke being applied onto the canopy of leaves and the surrounding ground.  Life is full of natural art — creating beautiful somethings.  The risk is stopping one’s self to admire it every so often.

Week 6 - The Beauty of Winter