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“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…

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click to view and purchase art by Lanecia HERE

View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouse

2014 has been one crazy beautiful year! It has been a year of being intentional about loving others & myself well, choosing to be rooted here in Houston, allowing myself to be stretched & taking risks on me as I have taken some pretty big faith leaps.  Each day provided opportunities for me to learn new things about love, life, courage, forgiveness, release & truth… just to name a few.  Let’s just say, the journey of becoming all that your core knows you have been created to be truly awakens the soul. 2014 has also been a year of meeting & connecting with many creative hearts & minds in Houston that inspire… Kendall Hanna, of Kendall Hanna Photography, is definitely one. This week I got to be in front of her camera, for some author photos to go with a few upcoming writing projects I have on my plate for 2015. It was absolutely delightful.  She is brilliant at her craft & makes it fun.  Looking forward to sharing more from our time together as the year unfolds. Here are a few of my favorites for now… View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouse    View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouseprofile picView More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouse View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouseView More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouse    View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/laneciarouse

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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.

-Maya Rupert

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.

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The Sun
By: Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed–
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

Each day is a new canvas, full of possibility.

Yes, the artist carries to the work influences of days past and hopes for days to come, but the gift is the opportunity to create a masterpiece with the hours, supplies and visions we have been given for today.

Make it BEAUTIFUL!

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. -Alice Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May I walk with Beauty before me.

May I walk with Beauty behind me.

May I walk with Beauty above me.

May I walk with Beauty below me.

May I walk with Beauty all around me.

As I walk the Beauty way.

-Navaho Prayer

What is this Beauty that the Navaho seek?

I learned of this prayer a little over two weeks ago, and I am been pondering this question numerous times throughout the day in the moments I still myself long enough to be fully present in the now.  Still pondering and trying to be with the answers I receive, mostly articulating them through my art. As I work it all out, however, I have found this written answer by Oriah to be helpful and inspiring:

It is what pulls us toward life. It is what calls to us when we despair, seduces us into opening again and again to the possibility of love and laughter. It is the physical manifestation of the Mystery that surrounds and beckons to us every day of our lives. It is the life that chooses life. The Navaho prayer expresses our soul’s desire to recognize and receive beauty, knowing that as we do so we become co-creators of this beauty, of that which urges, “Live.” (Pg. 71 of The Invitation)

 

In every human being, there are capacities for creative action… This need of human beings is almost as deep-seated as their need for air to breathe and food to eat.

– Berenice Abbott

Mr. P

Hardly a day that goes by I do not encounter Beauty. I am always looking for it, usually in the most unlikely of places, hoping to be inspired by life, expecting to encounter it in some way, shape or form.

Last week on my way from a meeting back to the office, windows down and Black Eyed Peas blasting in the hella hot Houston heat, something pulled my eye towards an abandoned trashed broken lot in the heart of downtown. I’ve passed this lot about a hundred times now, and never before had I seen Mr. P.,  paintbrush and small acrylic rainbow paint set in hand.

Captured… I broke a law or two switching lanes and quickly pulling into a parking lot across the street. I had to stop. I had to get out of my car and meet this man. I am pretty discerning, and something told me he would welcome the encounter. So, I parked and headed across the street to see.

He was delightful. During our 10-minute conversation he told me about his art, Tennessee roots, the ways our lives are connected here in Houston and some things I will probably never understand. His smile, his attention to his work, the beauty he offered the space and time he offered me blessed my soul.

He was beautiful to me. I had to pull out my camera. As a fellow artist he had no problems with me photographing him and the moments that followed our conversation.

Ah…

After being gifted with a few photographs, I thanked him for the time and told him I would see him around.

A few days later, our paths did cross at a different place. He remembered my name and I remembered his, and whenever I past by that lot on that familiar street my eyes look with the hope of quenching my soul’s deep longing to encounter something beautiful.

My enjoyment of life began with my eyes.

– Ruth Bernhard

One of the two India booths at the Celebration of Cultures, October 3

One of these days I am going to India.

I purchased a book the other day, and after reading the first paragraph I was at peace with my decision to start planning a trip there. Things began to become clearer and I am daily becoming more intrigued, for other reasons besides the great pleasure I take in a plate of Chicken Tikka Masala or my profound adoration for Mother Teresa.

I have often described myself as “a bundle of paradoxes,” and these words drew me deeper into the her story:

“Inda is the world’s most anciet civilization, yet one of its youngest nations. Much of the paradox found everywhere in India is a product of her inextricable antiquity and youth. Stability and dynamism, wisdom and folly, abstention and greed, patience and passion compete without end within the universe that is India. Everything is there, usually in magnified form. No extreme of lavish wealth or wretched poverty, no joy or misery, no beauty or horror is too wonderful, or too dreadful, for India. Nor is the passage to India ever an easy one for Western minds. Superficial similarities of language and outward appearances only compound confusion. For nothing is obviously true of India as a whole. Every generalization that  follows could be disproved with evidence to the contrary from India itself. Nor is anything “Indian” ever quite as simple as it seems. Each reality is but a facet of India’s infinity of experience, a thread drawn from the seamless sari of her history, a glimpse behind the many veils of her maya world of illusion.” “India” by Stanley Wolpert

Walking upon the India booth was the second highlight of my time at the Celebration of Culture. The Celebration was beautiful, absolutely lovely. I appreciate opportunities to experience and glimpse the cultural & ethnic diversity that does exists in Nashville. Plus it was a lovely day to walk the streets of Nashville and share with my sister.
Given my recent decision to make plans to travel to Kolkata, India, the India booth definitely one of the highlights. The people staffing the booth were so kind and eager to provide helpful information as I make travel plans. I look forward to visiting with them in the very near future to get some advice for the journey.
One of my favorite treats from my encounter with the people at the booth was the gifting of the bindi I wore for the remainder of the day. During my year of discernment about piercing my nose, I studied a number of articles regarding beauty symbols of Northern & Southern India. I have been intrigued by India’s story, life, food, culture, religions and understanding of beauty for years. I was thankful to be offered an opportunity to bear this mark of beauty on my forehead for a day.
The bindi is arguably the most visually fascinating of all forms of body decoration. Hindus attach great importance to this ornamental mark on the forehead between the two eyebrows — a spot considered a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. Also loosely known as ‘tika’, ‘pottu’, ‘sindoor’, ’tilak’, ’tilakam’, and ‘kumkum’, a bindi is usually a small or a big eye-catching round mark made on the forehead as adornment.

That Red Dot

In southern India, girls choose to wear a bindi, while in other parts of India it is the prerogative of the married woman. A red dot on the forehead is an auspicious sign of marriage and guarantees the social status and sanctity of the institution of marriage. The Indian bride steps over the threshold of her husband’s home, bedecked in glittering apparels and ornaments, dazzling the red bindi on her forehead that is believed to usher in prosperity, and grants her a place as the guardian of the family’s welfare and progeny.” (http://hinduism.about.com/od/bindis/a/bindi.htm)

Ciona and her Bindi

Ciona and her Bindi

"Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one is, only something one can pray to become." W.H. Auden

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