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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…
click to view and purchase art by Lanecia HERE
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.
Have you ever seen
in your life
than the way the sun,
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,
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
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
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.
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
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.
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 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
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)