“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


New flowers, art & the fear of entrapment

The last of the camellias.

Another early Sunday morning,
awake before daylight.

My head is full of pictures and words and fear and wondering how on earth I will get these paintings actually completed before the June art show. My old fear of entrapment is rearing its ugly head & I am wondering why I actually thought I could do this, and running away seems like the perfect solution. I agonize with each brushstroke - no one will want this, I think, who am I kidding? - and then I think but this is for me, and I must do it for me, and if someone likes it, how wonderful, and then but what if no one does? Why this constant chatter with myself, why this insecurity, why this worry? Just paint, I think, just paint, just breathe into each stroke of the brush. These pieces are about quietness, about stillness, about small moments - I must hold the brush with stillness & quiet, I must be still & quiet within myself. It must be about this moment, the one right now, the moment I am touching this canvas - not about the moment 3 months from now, when it will be hanging on a wall with its brothers & sisters, and after all, I don't want it to be hanging on that wall with timidity - I want it to hang proudly & look its viewers in the eye.

One month ago exactly - an early Sunday morning - I was across the street saying goodbye too late to Mary. She was already gone. Today she would laugh at me, tell me to stop it, just paint, to look at the beauty of the dogwoods, of the azaleas, of that grape hyacinth that has appeared in her garden unexpectedly. She would point out that there is always change, and that right now is what I have. I am not the camellias, she would say. I am still blooming.

I let the old blossoms fall,
and new flowers take their place.
it is sometimes so painful


  1. i love to wake up before the others do...i go outside and capture the morning with my camera. it is a time of quiet, of reflection. your post today is along the same lines of mine. funny how connected we all are, same feelings, emotions...and that we find the strength we need to put our best foot forward and keep going. I love your thoughts and photos...


  2. Robin - How very funny & in synch we are. I followed the link from site meter to your blog & was instantly in love. Wonderful name, wonderful posts. I had no idea you were leaving a comment here. The Universe makes sure we get what we need - we just have to recognize it. Thank you so much.

    :) Debi

  3. love this post - i feel much the same anxiety these days as i have begun painting again. we're always growing and blooming and changing.
    i hope you will share your work with us. i love what i have seen of your thus far.

  4. Whoever said "The only thing to fear is fear itself" was one smart cookie. I grapple with the same issue. Which keeps me from trying new things and taking chances. We all know what happens if we don't take chances. We stay in one place. Do it for us all, girl. Step forward and take your place in time. Yes, you are still blooming. And Mary is watching with hope as the camellias silently drop. For new flowers of the season will promptly step forward and take their place in the spotlight.

  5. You are not alone in these thoughts and fears. Only time and life teach us that we have less to fear than we think. Thank God you've had Mary for a time ... she sounds like a wise woman who left her encouragement and words for you to lean on when necessary. Though she may not be here now, you can keep painting, and listening to the encouraging words she's left with you. xxVicki

  6. Lovely post and how wonderful that you are making your painting into a meditation of what you wish expressed. I have confidence in you~

  7. I understand the voice of your inner critic. I actually just wrote a post about mine yesterday. I'm sure, somehow, you will come to some sort of understanding with yours.

  8. Fear
    will not put the blossoms
    back on the tree,
    nor new flowers
    on the canvas.

  9. You know, it's only important that the images have significance to you. If someone else likes it, that's a bonus!
    I go 'round and 'round with myself justifying why I do what I do. To do it to please others is not being true to yourself. Therefore, do it to please you.
    I hereby grant you permission
    to play!

  10. When my husband and I got married, we had our matching wedding rings custom made. They have an intricate pattern of gold filigree with blackened bands. When they arrived, I realized mine had an obvious imperfection at the seam. At first, it really annoyed me, because my wedding ring is an important symbol of our love, and I thought it should be perfect. But eventually, I realized that I like it as it is. Every time I look at it I remember that I’m not perfect, he’s not perfect, our relationship is not perfect, and yet I love it all just as it is, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Sometimes not perfect is absolutely wonderful and completely right. Just paint.

  11. the photograph/painting is lovely...and the thoughts of mary made me get a bit watery eyed. i hope you can hear her while you paint today, tomorrow and when ever you need her words of encouragement.

  12. Damn, do all artists suffer this affliction of self doubt? Your paintings, your photography, your words - they all inspire and move me. Keep doing what you love everything will be all right.

  13. oh what pretty pics I see here! Beautiful!

    I have this crazy idea that maybe, just maybe I could immortalize my car by having a painting done of it. Okay, now that's crazy, I know. :)


  14. i so understand this conversation because it's been playing on a tape in my head too (tho' my show isn't 'til october, so it hasn't hit me that hard yet), but the whispers are there...let me know how you get through it.


  15. When I read about Mary I think how blessed you are to have had such a relationship with her. I am reminded that the only things that really matters in this life are the connections we make with others. How wise Mary was. How blessed you have been to know her. And, her by you, I'm certain.

  16. I am still blooming.

    How beautiful is that?


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