I am here, I am still here. I do believe this has been my longest absence from writing here, and connecting with you. It's been a much needed pull back, or more accurately "in" for self-inquiry, understanding, processing, acceptance, and emergence, doing what I can, with what I have to nurture my process. It occurs as it must, in pieces, in the in-between spaces of working, mothering, caring for my home, and tending to the day to day responsibilities and callings of life that we all know too well.
THANK YOU for peeking in on me to see what I'm up to.
For the past six years, as a working artist with my exclusive focus on creating for the art licensing industry, much of my focus and energy has been on creating for the market, for the agency, for the manufacturer, for . . . . . . what now seems to be the present trend, the retailer. Sometimes what I create hits the mark (in someone's subjective perspective) and procures a licensing contract which results in products we all know and enjoy that bring that Touch-of-Terri beauty to your home, and meaning into your heart - that's the sweet side of what I do, and I LOVE it. I thrive on it, and my creative well is filled with acknowlegement. But, like many of my artist friends, I create on demand, and on spec (more on this in the shared links at the end of my post) receiving reasonable, and appreciated success. Also like my peers, I have known rejection and (over) direction. It's a path that has led to a seeming resistance and/or reluctance to create. This has been a most profound journey for me, as I make space for this unfamiliar and unwanted resistence/reluctance. I am accepting it for what it is (or is yet to be understood to be), and am going so far as to honor it as a wise teacher arriving in the dark just before the dawn.
I am honoring this place, this space I find myself in, and loving it through to what I trust shall be an emergence of renewed creative expression by:
- refraining from judgement, and instead breathing in compassion and mercy and grace;
- acknowleging (but not judging) fear, anxiety, tension, and instead breathing in love, joy, infinite possibility and sprit; and
It's a process, people - one, that if we wish success for the journey, must have faith as our traveling companion.
I am allowing time and space to simply show up for work each day, and listen - this could look like painting with water color on linen, or sketching in my sketch book, mixing colors, painting with fluid acrylic, and heavy body acrylic, or molding paste . . .the beauty, the blessing in listening to my intuition has shown me I can quiet the inner critic; I can quiet all the external, subjective (albeit well meaning) voices that direct & define my work, and I can let come what may without judgment, mine or theirs (the external voices, opinions and thoughts of many). Truth be told, my inner critic and judge are quieting to a whisper -
At the end of the day I may not have produced a commercially viable work, but I've honored my creative spirit, and I've discovered a secret -
when my creative spirit feels honored, she feels free, fluid, and even fun!
Here's an even more curious part of this journey . . .
As I continue on this journey, I find it rather curious that I will be unable to traditionally create commercially viable art for a period of time as I prepare for and approach surgery on August 2nd for a torn rotator cuff. The surgery will be on my left shoulder, which governs my left and dominant hand. I will have no use of my left hand and arm for a minimum of 2-3 weeks, and limited use for several months thereafter while I take myself and my shoulder to physical therapy. For many reasons, this could scare me, and those I work with - but instead, I am inviting faith to journey with me.
I have considered how, while healing my shoulder I will also continue my creative healing journey, grow, and be productive in other ways. In my continued attempt to quiet my inner critic, and to nurture and cultivate refreshed freedom in my creative exploration I will be painting with my non-dominant hand, giving myself complete freedom to creatively express myself without judgment.
This all has made me recall, when teaching my then 1st grade daughter's class, "art." All the little budding artists were lined up easel next to easel 10 in a row, in two rows. I was walking around taking in all the fabulous strokes and marks these artist were making, encouraging and nurturing each one. My daugther, Jessica, looked at me, and asked, "Mommy, am I doing a good job?" I was struck by her question . . .she wanted to please me, her mommy and the artist-mommy, and I wondered if this inhibited her process. I would - could - NEVER entertain the idea of judging a child's creative expression, and yet, I've judged my own and taken to heart other well meaning words.
So, the next couple weeks shall be a time to excavate, explore and creatively express myself with my non-dominant hand, maybe making a pathway for that little girl artist to come out and play, again. I guess that's the heart of what I am seeking, freedom from inhibition:
and, because I take faith as my traveling companion on this journey, I am confident I will discover happiness, whole-hearted creative expression and a deed-deep well of infinite possibility.
I'd love to dialog with you about this. Please feel free to comment, and I know you know one or two creative spirits who may need to be encouraged, nurtured & inspired in their process. Feel free to share with them. I want to know what you're feeling! Let's chat -
this piece is available for purchase here
Art Licensing Today