I can hardly even say the word--how can I be it? (My lesson in being a badass.)

A year ago, my husband and I did a road trip of Washington state. That week’s trip changed my life in ways that I’m still coming to understand. In addition to fueling inspiration for many of my abstract and landscape paintings in the past year, the trip took me to a little independent bookstore in Winthrop, Washington, where two brightly colored books stood out on the shelf to me. I tend to be drawn to a good book cover like a magpie to something shiny, so I picked them up.

Shiny Books!

Thus began my journey with Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money. If you haven’t read her books, Jen is all about getting out of your comfort zone and going for whatever it is you really love in life.

I’ve read similar books—even done a lot of workshops with that theme—but there was something about Jen’s wit and irreverence that really spoke to this 50-year old. I had been doing a lot of the same things my whole life—dreaming of being an artist full-time and yet not doing that. Jen’s books were a key part of what inspired me to take The Leap into my life as a full-time artist that begins in just a few weeks.

My Boubella BADASS (yes, that's the word!) Tee Shirt

As an ode to Jen and the impact of her work on my life, I bought my BADASS tee from Boubella, a start up clothing and lifestyle company co-led by a dear friend, Amanda Bouza. For me, it was one thing to read a book that said badass on the cover—it was another thing entirely to wear a tee that said BADASS outside of the house.

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

See, I don’t think of myself as a badass. The word makes me feel really uncomfortable (it's even hard for me to say!). It says 'bad' and even has a cuss in it. And I don’t, for example, ride motorcycles, or go skydiving, or surf. I’m just a middle-class, middle-aged lady who wants to paint things that bring people joy, coach artists to be successful in their art business, and make sure everyone has a chance at a decent life.

But one of the things I have realized in all this is that to do those things, to make those things happen, I have to get out of my comfort zone. I have to grow my confidence and practice getting uncomfortable to make those things happen.

Being a Badass at the Market (well, sort of)

So I gave myself a challenge to wear my new Boubella BADASS tee to the market. It was so interesting to see what happened. I’m used to being sort of invisible at the grocery store, but when I wore the Boubella BADASS tee—people moved out of my way, looked at me and nodded, or stopped before stepping in front of me. It was kind of magical.

And while I don’t see myself riding motorcycles or skydiving any time soon—maybe surfing?—I can, in the meantime, keep wearing my Boubella BADASS tee and keep practicing getting a little out of my comfort zone so I can make some good happen in the world.

And as always, remember to look for joy. I promise it is there.

 

That’s me. Trying to be casual, taking a selfie in the veggie aisle with my BADASS tee.

That’s me. Trying to be casual, taking a selfie in the veggie aisle with my BADASS tee.

Time to rest and create some joy...how about you? (from May 21, 2018)

It's been a busy year of making Joy in the studio! Five solo shows (four of them with totally new paintings), painting and posting (just about) every day since January 1, and creating several beautiful commissioned works. It's been glorious and so much fun!

Now that the shows are wrapped, I'm catching up a bit and looking at what's ahead. I posted a lot of new art on Instagram and Facebook yesterday as I had taken a much-needed breather for a few days. For me, that's meant catching up on sleep, baking, visiting with friends, cycling, cleaning up my studio, playing board games, watching the Royal Wedding, drinking tea...all that "normal" stuff. I've also been thinking a lot about how to refine my goals and ambition so I don't burn out.

How about you? How are you doing? I know a lot of my parenting friends are trying to keep heads above water with all the end of the school year "fun" and school projects. My student friends are trying to get through mid-terms and finals. It seems like there are loads of events, travel, and work projects for many of my friends and colleagues.

The warmth and long days of spring are so welcome...just maybe not all the To Dos!

So as the Artist who Brings You Joy, I want you to consider this blog post as your permission slip to skip something--cancel a plan, ask someone for help, have your kids make their lunch this week, eat out/order in, call your dog walker to cover a couple of walks--and use that time to do something for you!

I'm back in the studio and have some fun ideas to paint What 3 Colors Bring You Joy?...but inspired by 3 colors from landscape paintings. If you have a favorite landscape you'd like to see translated into a What 3 Colors Bring You Joy painting, please send it by reply email or post to my studio Facebook page!

Until next time, take care of you. Find some joy. It's there. I promise.