The Muse Took a Night Off!

The lovely lady in the portrait called The Eyes of the Muse spends most of her time hanging out on the wall in our room, keeping me up nights!

She’s in charge of dreams and brilliant solutions to painting challenges and workshop designs. Even blog posts. She’s hopeful and encouraging. The flip side, in a sense, of her harsher, but well intended, alter ego, the Critic.

With considerable help from my  Intentional Creativity teacher, Maestra Shiloh Sophia, and the very wise Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, the three of us have developed a relationship that works pretty well.

The Critic, who exhausted herself in my earlier years, spends most of her time in retirement. She likes Arizona where her allergies bother her less and she has no need for boots she considers to be too Ugg-ly for words.

The Muse and I send her postcards, assuring her that we’re making lovely progress here, even despite recent torrential rain and soggy basements, and that extending her vacation is absolutely no problem for us.

Lately, though, we’ve been working overtime again.

The Muse, whom I suspect may be from Australia given the hours she keeps, has a tendency to lure me out of my comfy nest of flannel sheets and handmade quilts in the wee small hours of the morning with her latest fabulous notions about the next right thing.

In a blessedly frustrating sort of way, she’s generally right and apparently concerned that I won’t remember her genius suggestions until, you know, the sun comes up at least.

She’s been feeling especially creative this week and we’ve gotten a whole lot of cool things done.

Sleeping has not been one of those things.

Last night, though, she took the night off.

I slept for 12 hours, almost straight through! I’m not sure how she convinced the dogs to cooperate with this plan, but I’m grateful anyway.

And when I brought my first cup of tea, in my favorite sunny yellow mug, into the family room where my magical chair now resides, and looked at the commission painting I’m in the midst of, I heard her whispering in my ear.

The right one, if you’re curious.

And the next step is now clear. The big field in the upper left of this farm-scape needs fixing and I know where to start.

It’s worth noting that I managed both sleep and inspiration in the same night!

Realistically, we’re going to need another step or four after this right thing, but life — and art — are often that way.

In this moment, though, it is a sunny and miraculous 68 degrees in Atlanta and Bill and I are headed out to our back deck for lunch. The dogs can come, too, and we won’t have to wait for a table.

Later, fixing the farm field, and a bit of editing while the paint dries. Yummy soup for dinner. New calendar pages to set up. Perhaps even more sleep.

Tomorrow, plumbers. Again.

In the meantime, if you click either the link where it says The Eyes of the Muse, above, or the one just below, you will be magically transported to the land of FineArtAmerica where many of my paintings are available in everything from cell phone covers to shower curtains to, well, paintings. Love to have you visit! (The cell phone covers are really cool. Even the Critic approves!) Just click on any image that calls to you and the elves will pop up a list of all the options. It’s a miracle!


Where the Past Meets the Future

Do you remember Good Housekeeping magazine from when you were a kid?

We moved around a lot and my mom, who clearly missed her family and friends, was always delighted when it appeared in the mail.

My sister and I preferred McCall’s with its paper doll named Betsy, whom we added, on alternate months, to our collections.

It definitely hasn’t been a shiny magazine kind of year in my world!

“Housekeeping” consists of kitchens, bathrooms, and enough floor sweeping to minimize what you probably think of as dog hair but we fondly refer to as “texture” in the paintings.

Recipes are mainly variations on the bone broth theme with trips for sushi and chicken wings on rough days.

Though my 8-year-old granddaughter is apparently longing for gluten-free pecan pie for Thanksgiving!

Research was involved and the chosen solution is already winging its way, courtesy of Amazon. I figure baking with the girls counts even if my mom and granny are having apoplexy somewhere in the great beyond.

Kind of ironically, though, I got an email with my new Good Housekeeping-esque seal of approval today and, I have to admit, I’m thrilled!

Not as a sign of comparison. Of better or worse. Or right or wrong.

In my opinion, our world is way too full of labels like that.

Rather, I’m thrilled in the sense of being part of a group of gifted, dedicated women out to make the world a better place for us all.

Yesterday, in response to the tragic, deadly fires in California, the Intentional Creativity Guild re-posted a process for helping people process natural disasters. I shared it on my Facebook pages. (Respond to this post, below, if you’d like a PDF.)

Then, because I deeply believe in the power of the process, I messaged it to a small group of friends, all of whom happen to be Presbyterian pastors in varying stages of retirement or planning.

I got a message back today from one of those friends who said they’d had three teen suicides in their community this year, one of them in the youth group, and he was wondering about adapting the process a bit for helping some of the kids and their families.

Assuring him that I would be honored to help, if needed, I gave thanks, again, for all the things I’ve learned and the ways we can shift the world for good even when it doesn’t look  like there’s a whole lot of good in the news.

All of which is to say that this symbol, the one above, is one I will feel blessed and proud to wear, as the old joke goes, on my forehead.

Tomorrow, housekeeping of the literal persuasion, laundry, dog food, and bowls of stardust soup for lunch.

(Well, technically brodo misto with rice and local sausage, but you get the drift.)

And, Friday, more paint! (Probably more laundry, too!)

Let’s all pick the labels we want!


Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach