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wise trees book

List of Wise Tree Lessons

I worked for an entire year on this project. I feel like its time to reflect and make sure I don’t forget  what I’ve learned. Here goes and off the top of my head:

  1.  Listen to creativity. It will steer you in the right direction So will curiosity and imagination. These guys are your best friends. They got your back.
  2. Idea will show up when you least expect it. That’s why number 1 is number one
  3.  

4. Resistance will show up. It’s the voice that tells you to check your email. It’s the voice that thinks up every excuse on why and how you’ll fail. Listen to it.Resistance shows  just when an an amazing idea pops in your head. 

5.  Paint my trees. Paint my way PERIOD.

6. The right  project lets you play instead of work.And you have to play to reveal the jewels. 

7. You have to get uncomfortable

8. Set your goal and stick to it.

9. I don’t have to have all of the answers

10. OK have some idea otherwise you waste time.

11. Wait do I even have to have a goal? 

12. Just paint

13. LET THE KID PLAY. 

14. All it takes is lousy ideas to stumble on a great one. We’re good. All stocked up here.

15. First Ideas are always the best. Do not ever throw or dismiss these!

16. Problems happen when I  think to much. Did I say problems? I mean frustration. 

17. At the moment lizard brain shows up, well that’s when I know to keep going.

18. What the heck took me so long? I don’t know, can’t, what if…resistance

19. Perfection is resistance.

20. Come at a place of  Love.

21. I love to write and paint about love and curiosity. That’s me. I’m a sensitive soul. I love people. i mean when has that ever steered me wrong. 

22. Never wait around for someone to decide if my work is worthy. That’s my job. 

23. I published my e-book. It’s imperfectly perfect and I’m proud of it.

24. I can and I will. I have!

thoughts are things

The right project

If you work on a project that isn’t for you, then it probably won’t work out.

“There’s good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad.”

I couldn’t agree more with Kurt Cobain. I  agree and so I set out to paint Kurt’s words in my own words.

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I kept trying to think up the words and the color, it just wasn’t happening. After three times it happened…

As soon as I uttered the thought, “Did I just waste 3 sheets of watercolor paper?”, another idea popped in my head. Let’s take the teal tempera paint and glide it across the page. Let’s do a layer upon layer technique and see what happens.

And as I glided the brush over the mess, a quote revealed itself.  I painted my words and my  idea of Kurt’s beautiful words. The texture is unexpected. I saved another art poster.

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-There are no impossibilities

wise trees book

E-book is here!

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My book is here. Did I just upload the file and hit submit? Yup. Now I wait, until I receive confirmation that everything is ready for printing and press.  Thank you amazon. Thank you wonderful person.

Funny how the tables turned. Yesterday I felt this nudge in my heart. It yelled, I knew you couldn’t do it. I saw all of the books I am working on. All of the deadlines I committed to and the hope and love poured out on every single page.  I knew I could do it.

I took a break. I had some chocolate, tea and painted for my next book. Oh and I asked for help. Today I came home and in minutes finished my book.

Oh shoot now its on to other projects. I’m scared. I’m excited.

-There are no impossibilities

 

wise trees book

Don’t let resistance win

Oh my goodness resistance almost won today but I am still here. I uploaded the files for my book. I was already to do it. Today is the day.  That’s it, no more holding on to this project. The deadline is TO-DAY. I was nauseous, nervous  and scared. That’s when I new I had to do it.

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I had it all planned out. Copy and pasted my awesome book description. The listing was ready to go. I planned on giving the book away for free. It was my holiday gift to the world .I checked spelling and grammar, read the book out loud. Everything felt good. I got this, I told myself. Then I uploaded the file and previewed the e-book…

in that moment resistance showed up. The formatting was all wrong. I kept fixing it, hours went by and I just couldn’t get it right. I came close to desperately whining. OK I did. I have been working on this book for a year. Well, maybe 8 months. I went back and forth with the editing, the images, layout, font and every single detail. I still need to fix it but I needed a break.

It’s weird because I feel like this feels like a PROJECT. I mean launching something is hard. There’s sweat and tears. I certainly felt that today. If things had gone smooth, I would have just stayed in my comfort zone. I need exactly the opposite to succeed. Right? How many times have I published a book. Never. How many books do I need to publish to now what I’m doing? Who knows but I’ll keep working.

 

-There are no impossibilities

 

watercolor and tempera

Ugly Light

I had this design in my sketch book for way too long.

So why did I hold onto it. Well I don’t like to paint or wear black. I do like the little black dress…

Today I looked at my design tucked in a brand new pad of watercolor paper. I placed it there as a work in progress.

I painted with a deep purple.

Doesn’t the idea of a purple hat add fun to what I’m trying to say? Yes. Nothing speaks more to me than the purple tone. When you let go of what they’ll say, magic happens.

I imagine a woman walking down the street. All eyes are on her. Some are jealous. Some are uttering how much they hate purple. “Who would wear a purple hat?” they’ll laugh. All the while she is walking, smiling and wearing her hat never even noticing.

When you let go and be you, you could be Audrey Hepburn. Yes.

-There are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

Note to Self

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wise trees book

Artist vs. Painter

watercolor painted tree with a tire swing

 

 

 

Linchpin is a great book. I’ve always wanted something more than a job. I want to change people by thoughts or emotional appeal. Can my art do this? Or am I simply a painter?

Most artists can’t draw. I’m glad for that one because I admit its true. Yes. I get frustrated trying to draw. Today I sat thinking, what should I draw? I haven’t drawn lately. That is one of my goals BUT why haven’t I drawn? I sat looking around the room, searching books but there was nothing I wanted to draw.

WAIT! I  have been drawing like crazy for my newest book Ellie. Yeah Ellie sounds like a great name for a book. Forget about the title How to Grow A Tree. Ellie it is.

I painted for Wise Trees. I started this whole writing adventure with Ana & Gorge. I moved on to other books so I could learn how to draw. I took a drawing class. Did lots of drawing. Wise Trees and Ellie were passion projects designed to help me improve. Yeah, I have been drawing the whole time.

What do these projects mean to me? Why? I have stories begging to be told. I have to create. I can’t breath without art.

These stories and all of my projects are ways for the reader to play in that wonderful place of imagination, curiosity, and love. If I can create from this place then I’d say that’s awesome art.

Now I’ll go adjust the font color and add my  name to Wise Tress before. I’ll edit one last final time before I set up the file and press send. breath…

there are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

Do it wrong

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I’m so glad I know who Seth Godin is. I want to be a Linchpin. I am a linchpin. A few days ago I was having this conversation, a conversation that I come back to a lot. A father can’t play legos with his son because the father has to build the right way? I did the very same thing creating with the notion of doing it the right way? What’s worse I taught others to do the same. 

I’ve seen teachers insist that students paint a tree with green and brown. That is the “right way to paint a tree” isn’t it? What does the right way mean anyway? I feel terrible about this. Truth be told I didn’t know why I did this. It’s not like I am this controlling person. I’m not. You see at a a young age we are taught to “do it right”. We are taught to color within the lines. That Jesus is white not black. That pink is for boys and blue is for girls.

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The other day I walked in a classroom and I saw all of these cool projects hanging on the wall. They were awesome and the teacher is amazing BUT THEY WERE ALL THE SAME. Oh but the kids who made calaveras, well these were awesome. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my heart when I saw what they made with the mere scraps I gave them. I say scraps because they were scraps from other projects. Sure I gave them my sample and showed them pictures but wow WOW magic happened before my eyes.

The students had and felt complete control. Each was wrong. I was curious and interested as to how and why they chose color and design. I say room 8 taught me a VERY IMPORTANT ART LESSON THAT DAY, a lesson that I think on as I read Linchpin, a lesson that I will probably never forget.

 

I will repaint this today. Should have kept with the first one I made.

 

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Sadly I repainted it several times because I had to do it right. not sure I’ll be able to capture the same magic. The others might look right but there boring. I’ll never make that mistake…

-there are no  impossibilities

 

watercolor and tempera

indecisiveness irks me

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Talk about repainting and repainting trees. Last night I felt this tree needed more contrast.

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I keep going over the story and paintings. This is my first book and I want to get it right.

I spent hours editing my Ana and George book. I realize that I I’ve been working on it way too long. I’m at the point where I, well it feels like an awesome song you keep singing and playing and then you lay it to rest.

I have other books I want to write.  I started the nitty-gritty details like book size and how to include my author name.

I have decided to use my full name. Wait will I? Sometimes this indecisiveness irks me.

I’m almost done with the pictures for my second book…so many thoughts…I think I like the original one better.

There are no impossibilities

book projects

Thinking Too Much

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So I am painting all these objects for my next book. It’s funny how I don’t fret about the mistakes I make. I remember the days when I’d get upset, throw it out and start over. I don’t do that anymore.

Something happens to me. I go into a, fix it or make it work mode. Now I paint over my mistakes or use the eraser tool in Affinity Photo. I think of  Jon Contino’s words. You could do tons of revisions but the first one is always the best. It’s so true. I’ll get perfect color, layout or just the overall design feels good. Then perfection takes over. I dip the brush in a wrong color and doubt creeps in along with the ugly splatters that ruined my art.

How many times have I done that? PLENTY, I checked.  I kept painting and repainting trees but then I realized, no I refuse to do this.

 

 

 

 

 

I recognize when I second guess myself. I have deadlines to meet. Oh my goodness I realize that I’ve always looked at mistakes as, what if my art is misunderstood because of a wrong color or maybe I should do this instead of that. But what if my art loses its magic the more I think and think about what I did wrong. 

Yes I gotta let the kid play. She has great ideas. I trust her. Did I just write that? OK I can see why I had to repaint some of the trees. Practice helps me find that sweet balance.

-there are no impossibilities