This week, I had the opportunity to take a painting workshop from a world renowned pastel/oil painter, Urania Christy Tarbet from California. Click to Google her, if you are interested.

The decision to attend was last minute as we’re in Naples, Fl. and I wasn’t planning to take art classes; however, when I saw the title of the class was “Painting With Palette Knife” (which is my predominant way of working) I signed up immediately.

I had most of my supplies and the few things I needed, I picked up at a local supply store. The class started on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. If you’ve ever taken an art class, you know how much stuff you have to take with you… and it’s all heavy! Fortunately, my husband drove me to the art center and carried most of my supplies up to the second-floor classroom.

There were thirteen people in the room, all busy setting up and chatting. You know that feeling: you walk into a place where everyone knows everyone and they seem to have been together for ages…

My stomach kicked into high anxiety gear as I maneuvered towards a small, empty space. Without going into details about the first two days, let me just say, some old feelings were at work – me, walking into a strange, new school in seventh grade… not knowing a soul, not trusting myself to speak and when I did, saying too much, etc., etc..

Insecurity raised its’ ugly head and here it was repeating itself. For two days, I tried to do what I saw people all around me doing – copying Urania’s style and recreating realistic scenes from photos.

For two nights, I went home feeling tired, depleted and questioning my abilities. Then something happened. I visualized myself painting freely in my own style and I realized I, and only I, had allowed myself to fall into an old, old trap.

I had regressed to the past and allowed myself to stay stuck there to re-live an old story. It was as if I woke up from a bad dream; but now, with great awareness and consciousness, I felt the present moment, alive and full of promise.

The third day, I returned to scrape off the paint from the canvas upon which I had been working for two days. And then I set to work…

I completed that painting and a smaller one that I started later in the day. They were both manifestations of my dreams;  peaceful and serene with a tiny bit of mystery hidden amidst the myriad of strokes.

Affirmation: “I honor my personal truth by giving it a voice – giving it expression and sharing it with others.” – unknown author

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