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she become what she had always been.

the other caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her strange becoming.

they wanted her to return to the shell,

that had once surrounded her.

but she had wings.

she had tasted the perfect harmony of becoming & surrender.

This is a quote I adapted by Dean Jackson and that I used as inspiration for the piece featured above.  The piece is titled, “Harmony.”  It was created using acrylic paint, paper & wax on canvas, and is featured on my LAR Art Photography website today.

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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

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a glimpse of the piece “Fully Alive,” I recently created on a 24″x36″ canvas.

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…

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free spirit:
someone or something who lives by their own wishes & is unconstrained by society.

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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She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams into plans. -Unknown

Abbie Preston and I have been friends for about 3 1/2 years. We met while working for The Art Project, Houston, a project of the Bread of Life that empowers mostly men and women living on the streets of Houston to tap into their creativity, heal and re-imagine life.  It was there that our friendship began to bloom and dreams of future collaborations were soon born.  I remember a number of times we would sit after work and dream over coffee of what could be.

Earlier this year I was forced to stop.  The stopping creating space to be still, heal, discover new artists for daily inspiration, be exposed to a whole new world on pinterest, listen to life, be revived by grace, and begin re-imagine life without fear being louder than love.  It was beautiful.  Once I started to trust and surrender to the unfolding, things started to take shape in ways I had not believed were possible.

In June of this year my creativity found a home at Hardy & Nance Studios, where I share a studio with Abbie and Carole Sconfitto.  Amazing!  This step towards our dreams in this particular space created the opportunity for one of our dreams to become a reality… Stamps & Stencils!

Last weekend we hosted our first Stamps and Stencils, a mixed media workshop experience where each participant is provided the supplies and the instructions necessary to allow their creativity to flow. Each person was able to create stamps and two stencils that they used to make square or rectangle masterpieces by the end of the 2-hour experience.  Abbie and I use these techniques in the art we create, and found so much delight in sharing them with others and seeing what flowed from their creativity.

It was fabulous… a dream come true!

Special thanks to Abbie for sharing the journey with me, Cleve for being my partner & cheerleader in all of this, Andrea Sawyer-Gray (photographer & creative), Chap Edmonson (filmed & produced our Stamps & Stencils video), all of the friends who helped us set-up & breakdown, all the participants, my family for encouraging me to be the artist I am, the artists of TAPH for teaching me to be brave and all  those who invested in this event.

So thankful I do not have to go through this life alone.

Our next workshop experience is scheduled for Saturday, November 1 (7-9pm).
Stay tuned for details and reserve your space early, it is going to be a fun one!

You can view the Stamps & Stencils video on the Workshop page of http://www.larartphotography.com.

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stamps & stencils photography by Andrea Sawyer-Gray

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“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

-Meister Eckhart

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.

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Source: Monday Quote: The Magic Of Begginings http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/06/monday-quote-magic-begginings/#ixzz3DREnYKV2

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when it comes to dogs, I am a hard one to love. since the age of five, I have been terrified of dogs–a bad run-in with a german shepherd left me scarred and a fear,  that many thought I would outgrow, took root.

for the past few years I have been consciously working on uprooting this fear, but it is pretty deep. if there was some place that I felt called to go or something I really wanted/needed to do, I have managed the fear, to an extent, but for the most part, it still determines the places I travel, wander, and the invitations I receive and activities I chose to do…like bike riding for instance.

“no way,” I would tell myself, and anyone else who suggested I pick up the sport. though I have fond memories of riding bikes, as a child and a teen with my family, the thought of riding the streets of the city, totally vulnerable to any stray or unleashed dog that could possibly cross my path, kept me from jumping on a bike.

I started singing a different tune last year when I noticed all of these red b-cycles for rent around Houston. a desire to ride again began to grow.  and after lots of internal conversations, observations of the park and how dogs move around the space, one day I just decided it was time.

on my first ride a member at the church I serve joined me. the next ride I did solo, all by myself. it was exhilarating and freeing. I was still a little anxious and always on the look out for our four-legged friends, but I loved it and decided biking was going to be apart of my 2014 experience in Houston.

after taking the step by myself, Cleve joined me and I noticed how my anxiety was less and I was able to be more present to the experience. it is becoming a habit. it is a joy for us both, so much so that I did not insist we change our next riding expedition when I found out that our the new location for our bike adventure would be in the middle of a downtown city dog festival. FOR REAL! Now I did remind him about a thousand times before getting on the bikes about my fear, but the point is I did not demand we change locations, I actually got out of  the car, and walked through the park with him to find us bikes to rent.

as we rode Sunday I kept thinking about the power of love, and the difference it has made in life to have a companion to journey with through all of life. there is something comforting and empowering about having someone beside you who you can trust when facing your fears.  on that ride gratitude, not fear, filled me.  it was life-giving.

truth be told, my phobia of dogs is still with me. it is still going to have an influence upon where I travel, the places I wander, and the activities I choose to do.  however I am thankful for city bike rentals and a friend whose love enables me to explore parts of our city and  enjoy the gift of spring and breathe in the fresh air outside of my car.

here are some views from the b-cycle…

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“What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who only has eyes, if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far from it: at the same time he is also a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.”

Pablo Picasso

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The Necessity of Patience
-Stanley Hauerwas-

Hope without patience results in the illusion of optimism or, more terrifying, the depression of fanaticism. The hope necessary to initiate us into the adventure is to be sustained. Through patience we learn to continue to hope even though our hope seems to offer little chance of fulfillment…. Yet patience equally requires hope, for without hope patience too easily accepts the world and the self for what it is rather than what it can or should be.

"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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Ponderings of Days Gone Bye