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Slowing Down to See Life’s Little Jewels Recently, I found myself stressing over the detail on my painting. I wanted to get the shadow of the yellow flower just right without turning it to mud. Yellow is funny like that. Sitting back for a long minute, I asked myself, “How does Mother Nature make that shadow without killing the poor flower?” It occurred to me that it’s just a darker yellow. How had I missed that? It wasn’t the devil’s foolery in the detail. It was me missing that easy little fact because I had never used the art of slowing down to notice the beauty in the sweet shadow. How many times a day or even an hour, for that matter, do we miss those little gems? Probably more than we’d like to admit. While making my art, it’s essential to be a seeker and witness to life’s niceties. They’re what adds color to our lives. I look back now on my days as a mom of small children wondering how many of those beautiful moments I missed because I was making sure the house looked neat or the Cheerios were picked up off the floor? It’s silly when you think about the things you thought were important as you get older and wiser. Had someone that knew this wisdom not shared it with me or was it more likely that I was too busy to heed their words? My kids and house were always neat and clean but what would I give now that they’re grown to have used some of that time to just BE with them? Just “being” is a cultivated skill that takes loads of practice. Too bad it’s never taught in school. There are a million things we are bombarded with due to technology and life’s pressures now. Too often I hear friends and family 364


talk about the guilt they have when they just sit still. Should they be working or calling, texting, cleaning, anything instead of decompressing or recharging? Are they wasting precious time? Nope! You’re cultivating space that’s just for you. It allows you to see the little things you’ve been missing during your bustling life. Breathing room in a painting is crucial to a

good composition. The viewer’s eye needs a sweet little place to rest and relish in. I recently was delighted to find out that I was accepted into the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery’s Finger Lakes Exhibition. No easy feat! On the night of the opening, I watched patrons and fellow artists really stop and take in the little jewels of each piece. The details are what sucked them in and made their mouths repeatedly form the word, “Wow!”

How amazing to have someone walk up to your piece and take time to notice the little bits?! Their wonderment about the subject matter or how it had been executed is like this huge gold nugget. It’s why I am an artist. Creative works allow for that space to rest and cultivate the ability to notice. Presence is a way to honor our spirits and those of the people we encounter each day. Truly hearing and seeing another human being touches the depth and detail of our souls. It’s the warm fuzzy feeling you get when someone hears your story and has the capacity of empathy so that we feel that spirit of connection. Feeling separate and not seen because others forgot about the detail seems to be a chronic state of being recently. Imagine how different your relationship to people or your vocation would be if you came at it with a state of wonder and curiosity? If you used the phrase, “I get to…” instead of, “I have to…” It sharpens your mind enough that you can quickly call yourself out for not having heard a word your friend, husband or child just said. I’ve done it too many times to count. With practice, I’m getting better at taking a breath to witness whether or not I am fully present while they’re speaking. Did I catch the detail of that story? Do they feel seen and heard by me? Asking them to repeat it so that I get the entire thought and can feel into it shows them that I care about what they’re telling me enough to risk embarrassment. I store those details like a squirrel with a nut. We each feel special when the person across from us remembers our words. It’s a nice little gift. During my jaunts with my intuitive painting, the beginning phases are about movement and color. What feels/looks good and how

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RWO July-August 2019 Edition  

This edition features the "Queen" of Salvatore's, Ashley King on our cover. This girl is not only beautiful inside and out, but she is a bus...

RWO July-August 2019 Edition  

This edition features the "Queen" of Salvatore's, Ashley King on our cover. This girl is not only beautiful inside and out, but she is a bus...