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I was reminded in the silence this morning, that flowers don’t compete or compare themselves to what’s around them… they just bloom.
flowers lean into the light & bloom to their fullest potential.
joy is found in surrendering fully to your own blooming… the process… and remembering we each have our own unique way of becoming. allow the journey to awaken & strengthen the soul.
“If you are persistent in a dream God has called you to, even failure will work for good.” –Melissa Douglas, Artist
I love being in the studio.
over the past two weeks, I have been waking with a burning desire to be in the studio and pick up right where I left the day before. each morning, I find myself anxious to see how the paint from yesterday dried & add more layers to the canvases filling my studio loft.
I love it.
these days I am reworking & in most cases totally transforming paintings I did when I first started painting. it’s a stewardship & necessity thing, but it is also a need for that early work to bear the markings of this new season of life & growth for me.
one nice surprise has been seeing the markings I considered mistakes or total bombs the first go round, be the very things that help to create just the right textures & foundations for what is being created now.
here is a glimpse…
click to view and purchase art by Lanecia HERE
my heart is full after the past few weeks. so much goodness. to marry my best friend in a place my heart loves was one of the best experiences of my life.
settling back into routine and figuring out next steps without being totally overcome by fear has been a bit challenging for me at times. there is such a thin line between being paralyzed or being motivated by my fears. now that I am living life as a professional creative/artist solely, I find myself walking that line for a period of time each day.
yesterday was my first full day back in the studio. decided to get to work on some large abstract canvas paintings I have been adding layers to for a couple of months. it was good. it was exactly where I needed to be.
earlier last week I attended a panel conversation at the Menil, “The Influence of Gandhi & Dr. King on Hip Hop,” and a number of the ideas spoken stirred me to think more deeply about the work I do, as well as the life in which I live. the work I am creating now is my continuation of that conversation and the truths revealed regarding the complexity and beauty of the human experience. last night I finished one of the pieces.
each stroke on the canvas was a sentence about vulnerability, fear, need for communion & hope, each layer a chapter on the goodness & messiness of the soul fully alive.
today, I sabbath.
I remain still so I can know and listen for direction. I trust that no matter what is done today or left undone today, I am enough.
as for tomorrow though… I look forward to time with paint & canvas and returning to the grind necessary to turn my dreams into plans.
tomorrow I will…
“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
When it is time for a new season, you can just feel it to your core. No matter how hard you try to ignore it or put it on pause, there comes a time when you have to say “yes.” It is the time when the choice of not walking towards the new is more frightening than the choice to take the steps of faith towards your dreams.
That moment happened for me about 2 months ago. It was a moment when I decided it was time to turn my “cant’s into cans, dreams into plans.” The awakening has been happening for a while now, the journey towards “becoming” has be one I am grateful for. There were a few losses and pains I could have definitely done without, but the journey has truly awaken my soul. For that, I am thankful.
Excited, happy, anxious, alive, uncertain and grateful- I step towards this new season in life where I live fully into my life as a creative. As I go, I must say I am thankful I do not have to go it alone. One important part of this transition is partnering with local artists to cultivate spaces for creativity and beauty. Community is a gift.
One of my first collaborations is with my studio mate and friend, Abbie Preston of Boxsparrow Studio. On Saturday, September 27, we are hosting a mixed media workshops, where we will guide participants in creating art using stamps and stencils they create. Both of us utilize stencils and stamps in our creating, and we are looking forward to helping others figure out ways to express themselves using some of the techniques we have learned along the way.
If you are going to be in the area September 27, definitely register to join us.
If you know people in Houston who would find life in this experience, do share. The space is limited, so the sooner you register the better. To register click HERE. A good time should be had by all.
Also, keep me in prayer. First time in my life when I was choosing to step into a season of so many unknowns. I am trusting the One who has been nudging me to start living fully from my core, and I do believe all matters of things shall be well.
I miss you when I am still and the earth is silent,
when my feet are covered by a blanket of wildflowers
and I delight in the view of the birds resting on city wires.
I miss you when the world is screaming and the clock refuses not to keep time,
when I find myself grinding for the future in spaces where we use to dwell
and move here-to-there, arms empty.
I miss you when I sit at a table for four, with only two seats occupied,
and when the music plays and I want us to dance.
I miss you when I sit in my art studio creating,
giving life to breathless things.
I miss you when all my head can hear is your faint cry
as you passed into this world from my womb,
as if you knew.
I miss you when I remember I am a childless mother,
and that no brush stroke from my hand can give
my greatest masterpiece life.
December 4, 2013 I gave birth prematurely to Annee Juredline Rouse Tinsley with my partner for life, Cleve, holding my hand. She lived 2 hours and died resting upon my chest.
A year ago today, love and grace kissed my brokenness through three of the most important people in my life… helping me to pull upon all the courage within me to fight through the shame and guilt to choose life. I will forever be grateful for their love and the opportunity to co-create a life that I will forever love. I am thankful. I am deeply sad. I am free.
“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.”
— Elbert Hubbard
Over the past year life has taught me, and Love has basically slapped me in the face with, this truth: she is who is brave enough to live her heart out loud is truly free.
Each heart has a song. And it’s song longs to be heard and shared… it needs to be heard and shared. When each person is able to live out her passion, the world is a more beautiful place. I’ve always loved the words of Howard Thurman who says, “Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
His words are so true; the world needs individuals who have come alive. Our communities need them. Our families and friends need them. Our souls need them.
Lately I’ve been inspired, challenged, and even encouraged by those who bravely ask themselves “What makes me come alive?” and, in time, just do it. Some even make it a daily practice to examine their lives, asking themselves penetrating questions:
What drained me today?
What gave me life today?
How do I receive more time with what gives me life?
How do I lessen or let go of things–with love and grace–that drain me, both relationships and activities?
The list of names of those who have lived out their life’s passions, or calling, regardless of the risks, work, vulnerability, and time it requires, is as diverse and as beautiful as the world in which we live. These are individuals who have undoubtedly experienced much failure and disappointment, but they have also exhibited a deep spiritual quality worth emulating: the moral courage it takes to risk all–at least to onlookers– for a more personally meaningful possibility. I marvel at those who dare to do so, for they embrace this “aliveness” of which Thurman speaks…
Day by day, one step at a time, pushing past fear, impatience, failure, insecurity and/or whatever else may keep them still, they just do it.
At the sun’s setting today, our lives may not look like the full picture we’ve imagined for ourselves, but undoubtedly we shall be steps closer to that life than we were at the sun’s rising. So we hope…and, so, we still pray.
Female beauty is not a zero-sum game, a scarce commodity, or something only some of us are allowed to have. We have to think ourselves beautiful-not prettier than or less pretty. We have to believe that female beauty is limitless, and love our bodies for their own sake.
Thinking yourself beautiful is a life long work for most of us… I know it will be for me. Though being out of the dating game has help shed some of the insecurities, still if I am not careful can find myself insecure about my weight and overly focused upon my appearance (hair, clothes, cosmetics, etc.) as if these things define my beauty or determine my worthiness of love and belonging.
I am learning though, that the more I accept my body each day with all of its perfect imperfections and uniqueness and live how I am most comfortable being, the more free and brave I become… the more I am able to enjoy life (like beaches, swimming pools, cocktail dresses, dancing in the blazing dance club at midnight with my love… Just to name a few things) even with 50plus more pounds of pregnancy & post pregnancy weight I have yet been able to shed… the more attention I give to caring for it and intention of give to what fuels it, gives it life.
Our bodies are our bodies. We are gifted with one, one unique frame of skin and bones. Our bodies are gift that are worth the work, for some of us the very hard mental, physical and emotional lifelong work, of learning how to love it well, embrace it for its goodness, accept its limitations and think ourselves beautiful in every season.
Had my pregnancy with A.J. been full term, it is likely I would have had her by now or anxiously be awaiting her arrival with family & friends.
April 6 was the due date given to us by our doctor. I know had I carried her full term she most likely would not have been born today, but April 6 was the date we were told, the date we as new expecting parents were hoping for… praying for… were preparing our lives for.
But… Life would write another story for us, and today Cleve & I find ourselves living into this new storyline the best way we know how. Day by day… hour by hour… and sometimes minute by minute. As we journey through the grief and disappointment, each day brings its own joys, revelations, trials, triggers, questions, hopes and challenges.
Today has not been any different really, though it did start off in a unique way. I took a “mental health” day from work, to create space for me to be fully present to my heart, as well as get some rest. I needed alone time, quiet time.
To be honest, I also really needed to be in spaces and places where I had a very slim chance of encountering questions like I got just last week about the health and well being of the baby. Not everyone knows the story, how could they? I get it, understand and truly appreciate the love… I just knew having to tell someone that A. J. was born prematurely and died would have just been too much for me today.
On Friday I decided that a great way to enter into this day would be watching the sunrise at the beach. So, I woke up early this morning before daybreak and drove in the dark to Galveston to be by the water as the daylight approached, iphone/camera in hand.
Here are a few of the photographs created as I received time alone with God and the memory of a life that has forever changed mine for the better.
you call me out upon the waters
the great unknown where feet may fail
and there I find You in the mystery
in oceans deep my faith still stands (Oceans)… and that too is mystery to me