Value of Silence- Summer Art Camp reflections.

Silence gives answers ~ Rumi Reflecting on my 5th annual summer art camp where I had the joy of spending a creative week with a group of young art students.  I am thankful for their young energy.   They are PRESENT, … Continue reading

Wow! She went brave!

“Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it.” ~Duane Michals

DSC_2016crop

The idea of having an outdoor Art show in Calgary, AB, Canada seems crazy.  However, the seed was planted 2 years ago and the possibilities of having a show in this space did not go away.  It was the magic of the garden and the joy and kindness of Mary, the host and owner of a historical home that made it feel like my next best step.

DSC_2308crop

Almost exactly 1 year ago, I was brave enough to follow up on an offer of a lifetime.  Mary began to show up to a few of my art events and it was a sign to not hesitate and “Ask for what you want!”  To my amazement, Mary agreed and she also noted, “What took you so long?”…

Almost exactly a year ago we set a date for the art show, Jun 17/17.
I began to paint and pray to mother nature to please cooperate with the weather.
The weekend before it poured rain all day, the weekend after we had our usual Calgary June storm.  The day of the event the sun came out and answered my prayers, a perfect day for a garden party.

DSC_5365HOPE 6X6 Oil on Canvas

Once the date was set, I began to paint with focus and a goal.  To keep myself grounded I decided to paint a bird a day, as a meditative practice.  HOPE was my first bird.  She made me happy.  I continued on and eventually had a little cheering squad to accompany me in my studio.

IMG_7579

The accumulation of these new friends, gave me not only great joy but required me to ask for help to do the finishing if I was to meet my deadline.  Thank you to my wonderful student Cindy, we got them show ready.  Even Mr. Attitude was impressed!

DSC_5371
MR. ATTITUDE 6×6 Oil on Canvas

IMG_7757

Varnishing, finishing and wiring is a full time job in itself.  Many of the birds were named after artists, musicians and others that walk a creative path.

 

DSCN0010

With the help of a great team of creative friends and family….The birds found their perfect spot in the garden of this historical home.
In 1946, the Allied Arts Council leased this home from the City for use as a Cultural Centre.  It was a place that many artists came together to study, create and exhibit art.
Since 1978, the Coste House has been a private residence.

DSC_2042crop

Thanks to gracious hosts, Mary and Bob,  who opened there amazing home so community could gather to enjoy a day of music, art and friends.

Lemonade was served by my art students and with the assistance of my tribe of volunteers, some lucky art pieces found their forever home.

Every event is a stepping stone to the next interesting adventure.  Thank you to my book editor Elissa who shared my next dream with the guests.  Sales from this show will help to fund the upcoming book I have written and illustrated.

DSC_2260crop

Coming soon…“Adventures of Wilde- A Sense of Wonder.”  

The best part was after the show, when I met with another artist friend who told me her 9 year old niece was inspired to have her own art show.
That made all my dreams come true!
FullSizeRender

Hoping to inspire you all to have a brave moment and follow that little voice …

MAusten_ArtShow_Thank_you-01

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~Lao Tzu

 

Image

This is my story on how my art show unfolded by Random Acts of Kindness, some hard work and a lot of Faith.

Just shy of two years ago, I attended an art workshop hosted by Canadian artist Laura Harris. I first stumbled onto Laura’s work while I was on holidays with my family; I wandered into a gallery on a bright, sunny spring day and was instantly moved by what I saw. It wasn’t so much the subject matter – in fact, I do not remember much of the subject matter of the paintings. There were some paintings of flowers and abstract landscapes. What I do remember is the feeling that overwhelmed me as I viewed the show. Something shifted deep inside me. It made me feel more alive.

When I learned that Laura was going to be giving a workshop in Radium, BC, it took me less than one second to contact my dear friend and creative collaborator Danielle. We signed up immediately. Yoga, art, nature, friends and community = a perfect fit.

The workshop was full of amazing women. We shared a lovely experience at a beautiful location, complete with 360 degrees of stunning views with a mountain backdrop, eating good food, painting, yoga and wine. My ideal getaway with one of my best friends- a perfect gift to myself.

Image

After returning home, I invited some of the local women from the workshop over to my home and studio for an evening of art, wine and appetizers. I always enjoy company of like-minded women, art and good food.   With wine flowing, paint flying and ideas brewing, one of the kind women, Maureen, whom I had only met a handful of times, offers her home to me for a future personal art show. Danielle and I, again, take less than a second to look at each other, smile and say “Yes Please”. It was a little impulsive, but with a day to think about it and a confirmation from her husband, Maureen calls and confirms that they would love to host an art show. HUGE- Random Act of Kindness.

I have to confess that I have been offered this gift before. The difference this time is that I have done the work and had built the confidence to say YES. Without hesitation I agree and move forward.   I am thrilled to have a goal, a focal point to work towards. What a gift I have been given. I am excited!

My dear friend and angel wing Danielle, who works silently by my side creating her own beauty through her photography and marketing pieces, is always there to guide and support me. We also met through Random Acts of Kindness. I donated an art class  that she purchased to raise money for our local school. It is no accident that we met. This woman is beyond amazing. A mother of 3 children, active in every aspect of her kids, friends and families lives. I call her my angel wing, because with out her I would not be where I am today. It is much easier to fly with two wings. Image

I am always blown away by the fact that the perfect person comes into your life exactly when you are ready. You must be CLEAR about what you want.

The theme of my Art show 2014 was CLARITY.

“Clarity comes from knowing what you want and from moving in the direction of it.  Your soul is guiding and supporting you every step of the way.”  ~Sue Krebs

 

In my confusion of what I want to do with my life….some years ago a dear teacher of mine took the time to sit with me and listen. His advice was to GET CLEAR on what you want and work towards the goal everyday. He sent me home with a copy of Wayne Dyers “Excuses Begone” tucked under my arm and a list of to-do’s. At the bottom of the list there was a note. It said, “I Believe in you”.  This Random Act of Kindness was a boost of encouragement that I needed. A small kick in the butt was kindly accepted and was a very monumental moment in my life.

The message:

GET CLEAR, WORK HARD… the rest will take care of itself. Something much bigger is navigating when you’re doing purposeful work. I am clear that my job is to show up and do my work.  Practice Gratitude and Serve.

Your proper concern is alone the ACTION of Duty, not the fruits of the Action. CAST then away all desires and fear for the fruit.”      ~The Bhagavad Gita

May 10, 2014 was a monumental day for me. The show was a huge success- but what was the most special about it was that all of this happened due to Random Acts of Kindness from so many people.

Image

When I reflect, I cannot believe my good fortune and luck. I have such gratitude for all who helped, attended and supported me from afar.

I realize that when I am working towards a goal that I am disciplined and dedicated to- amazing stuff unfolds.

Image

The second person that walked into my art show was a yoga teacher from Vancouver Island that I had never previously met. Quickly into the conversation she asks me if I know her artist friend Laura Harris? I smile.

The next day is Mothers Day. I am enjoying dinner at a restaurant with my family, I look up at two Laura Harris original paintings hung in the restaurant.

On the way home, the amazing couple who hosted my art show sent me a picture of my painting newly hung in their home.   I am thrilled and honored that it sits in between two Laura Harris paintings.

Image

I smile again.  The perfect ending…or just the beginning?

Proof that Random Acts of Kindness always come full circle.

Be Kind,

Be Gracious,

Be LOVE,

 

In Creative Spirit,

Michelle

Laura Harris lives and works in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. More information about Laura and her artwork can be found at http://www.laura-harris.com

Danielle Paetz lives and works in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. More information about Danielle and her photography can be found at http://www.tinytakesphotography.com.