Choosing Grace

Choosing Grace.

Advertisements

Love in all forms

mothers sorrow“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, I always saw it as another day to sell hallmark cards.  It was also a day for restaurants too charge way to much for the same food.  But as a young girl I always wanted someone to send me flowers on that day or a love note.  It was a day of disappointment because there were times where nothing would happen on that day, except for a sweet card from my mom.  When my husband came along all that changed but these days I don’t have any expectations on that day, except for my See’s Candy!

These days it has become about the love I have for my family and what that means to me.  I expressed this in the painting above which is inspired by Gustav Klimt, one of my favorite artists.  I used gold leaf in her tears and in her hair, gold to me represents so many things.  Love, empowerment, strength, something we all possess if we dig deep enough.  Sometimes we love so much that it brings us to tears.  The painting can represent so many things, the love of a mother, the love a girlfriend or wife.  It’s a little bit of sadness and happiness mixed into one, because love can be beautiful yet heart breaking.

When I see my children grow and know someday they will leave and go off on their own… it breaks my heart.  When I see my children laugh and enjoy the time we spend together …it makes my heart smile.  When my husband is happy and we are out on a date alone…my heart is happy.  When I see my sister smile and live the life she desires… it makes my heart content.  When I see my mom live the life she was always meant to live…it makes my heart be at peace.  When I see the kids playing with their grandparents and grandpa is painting my daughters nails… it makes my heart sing.  When I paint….it makes my heart beat with all the love in the world that pulses through my veins onto canvas.

What does love mean to you?

Ask and it shall be given..

gatsby3 “There is an invisible energy force or fuel of infinite possibilities.  And it’s yours for the asking. You can bring about anything by your thoughts.  Align yourself with God consciousness and you can bring about truth in material form.  What you think, you create.”  -Pam Grout Two books I have read this past two weeks that have left quite an impression on me are E Squared and E Cubed by Pam Grout.  If you have not read them, I highly recommend these two books.   Very inspirational read.  I think we all get stuck in the “why me” scenario and these books get you out of that mind frame.  We have more control of our world and our destiny than we think.  If all we do is think about sickness or being broke that is all we will bring into our lives.  If we focus on health and  abundance then we will also attract that.  May sound so silly and too simple but I tried some of the experiments in her book, my husband tried them as well and they truly do work! The painting above is all about confidence and being a bold/beautiful and strong woman.   That’s what I would like to attract more of in my life… I think this is my sixth week of doing fearless acts.  I got a message on Instagram from a beautiful hair salon in Carlsbad to display my work and have a show there.  I was scared but excited,  we went back and forth in emails and then they stopped communicating due to the holidays. Once the holidays passed I decided to touch base with them.  My old self would have waited and waited for a response.  My new self decided to take actions into her own hands and contact them.  I was super nervous about it but I spoke to them and they were so kind and receptive.  Hopefully in March I will start displaying my work there.  Till then I will keep sending out positive vibes and ask for what I need, I hope you do too!

Courage and strength

yrmaDay 68 of my 100 days of painting

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” -Leonardo da Vinci

Usually I write my blog every Wednesday but I skipped last week.  I had too much on my plate and I needed to take a break.  I decided I would enjoy painting instead.  I am trying to put less pressure on myself to do everything, I am pacing myself to do what I can…. when I can.

The next series I am painting is devoted to my dear friend Yrma.  Our boys became best friends at school and we started to bond.  I always looked up to Yrma because she has this beauty and strength I always admired about her. A couple months ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I have never seen  a woman be so brave and resilient.  Everytime I would see her she had a smile on her face, like in my painting above.  Yrma told me that she would get through it and be fine but I didn’t expect her to have such a positive attitude.  I saw her at her worst but she kept on going and she held her head up high through the whole process.

A few months ago she finished her chemo and radiation treatment.  The painting above is right before her treatment.  In the upcoming weeks I will show her transformation.  The only thing that changed in the pictures was the fact that her hair was getting shorter and eventually it would all be shaved off.  Yrma still had that amazing aura of strength and endurance.  She was radiant with hair and even more radiant without.  I asked her if it would be ok if I painted her bald and she didn’t skip a beat, she replied “Yes!”.  Most women would be too embarrassed or vain, hair is such an important part of being a woman.

Yrma’s amazing energy and grace through this ordeal has inspired me to have a gallery showing at my house in her honor. I will also be done with my 100 days of painting!  So it will be quite a celebration.  I am having a fundraiser/gallery showing for breast cancer research, November 22nd.  I want to celebrate her strength, courage and most of all her life.  Thank you Yrma for being an inspiration to me and I’m sure many others.  I hope my painting did you justice.  Love, Sheryl.

November 3rd Deepak Chopra is starting another FREE 21 day mediation on The Energy of Attraction, please try it out at chopracentermeditation.com.

Balance, really?

muchacha Day 56 of 100 days of painting

“Real courage is being able to step out and live that dream. That’s really the only courage you ever need.”Oprah 

This week I felt overwhelmed by all the demands of life and trying to get my painting time to myself.  I felt like I was losing myself.  I would skip lunch, forget to run certain errands and I neglected my husband and kids.  I feel so passionate about art but at the same time I don’t want to lose myself to it.

How do we manage to balance everything in life and not lead that double life?  How do we merge everything together so there is unity and harmony. When we try to lead two different lives it causes more of a headache and disharmony in you and everyone around you.  So I decided to put myself on a schedule and only paint when my kids are at school and when my husband is at work.  Does it always work?  No, but I’m trying.  Where is there an imbalance in your life, how can you bring back that harmony?

As women, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to look pretty and put together while managing the kids, work, cleaning up after everyone, etc.. What I have also learned through painting women is that women posses something so special, the ability to create life.  Woman are powerful beings.  We give birth, are nurturers, hold down a job, take care of a household and we are amazing at multitasking.  Plus, we sure know how to seduce a man with our beauty and wit (that’s what I would like to think anyway).

I read this in an Oprah magazine, “Our culture does belittle women who cannot be both professional high-achievers and traditional moms. It questions the devotion of women who attempt to combine the two roles. My conclusion? Balance, schmalance. Trying to establish a harmonious equilibrium between our society’s definition of What a Woman Should Be is like trying to resolve the tension between two hostile enemies by locking them in.” Why a Balanced Life is Overated by Martha Beck.  I laughed when I read this because it is so true!!  Here we are as women trying to have it all but it is nearly impossible especially when you want to have that “balance”.

Soooooo, my conclusion: DO what works best for you.  I am a stay-at-home mom with an art career on the side.  Right now, my focus is on my kids and family.  The rest is just extra that brings me enjoyment and a little extra cash.  Later on it may shift as my kids grow older.  If you are a working professional, a woman out there making it for herself, more power to you!  If you are both a  mother and you go to work, good.  It’s all good!  Just learn to take it easy on yourself, you women out there are amazing!!  I am woman, hear me roar..or meow:).

Captivate me…

DSC02587 Day 36 of 100 days of painting

This is my second painting of Audrey Hepburn.  She has this captivating look to her that I tried to capture through this painting.  This was done in acrylic and mixed media.  The back ground is made out of hand made paper.  I just loved the colors and swirls, it kind of has a hypnotic quality to it.

There were days where I did not want to pick up that brush, I was too tired.  The kids drove me nuts, I had a list of things to do and I just didn’t feel like it.  The problem.. I made a commitment to complete 100 days of painting and I was NOT going to give up this time!  Why do we procrastinate?  Not enough time?  Too tired?  The list can go on and on.  I pushed my sister to complete a task she has been holding off on.  She finally completed it after I gave her a deadline.  I asked her if completing that task felt good and she replied, “yes!”.  What are we so afraid of?  Failure, success or maybe both?

I have learned through my 100 day journey that it’s so important to finish what you start.  I am definitely guilty of always putting things off for another day.  Now I find myself completing things I never thought I would get around to.  Here are 5 things I learned through my journey:

  1. Commit to only one thing at a time–  Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list!  I wanted to paint more so I started the 100 days of painting.
  2. Announce it to your friends and family– When you tell people around you that you are going to do something, it has a psychological impact on you.  It makes you more compelled to do the work and complete it.
  3.  Be aware of setbacks–  It might be hard at first and you may have many negative thoughts.   When you do, talk to your good friend about it so they can be your best cheerleader.
  4. It’s ok to fail–  We are only human, we learn thorough our failures. The most successful people have failed many many times.
  5. Know that the end result will bring great rewards–  Even if you don’t do the most perfect job, at least you tried and you finished what you said you would.  It will make you feel better about yourself and give you more confidence. I know when I complete my 100 days, I will go out and celebrate with my good friends and family!

Don’t procrastinate any more!

People have been asking if I sell my work or do commissioned work.  Yes I do!!  Don’t be shy, email me at sheryl.benjy@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

AudreysmDay 20 of 100 days of painting

The painting above is of Audrey Hepburn, my mom’s favorite actress and I can see why.  A classy woman with such effortless beauty. She was a kind soul as well, helping the world in so many ways.  If you haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s then now is the time.  This was done in mixed media/acrylic.  I really enjoyed the process of creating this piece, it came to me quite easily, there was a nice flow.  I think I finished this in 3 days but I ended up paying a price for it.

 I was so tired today that I gave myself permission to take a nap.  Feeling a bit sleep deprived, kind of like the days when I had an infant to take care of.  Sometimes ending up painting from 9pm to 1am and not realizing it until my husband calls me to come to bed.  Time no longer exists when one is in the creative process.  I am now realizing that I need to pace myself, maybe put a timer on for myself.  The problem is that I am in a rush to get somewhere.  Aren’t we all?   I am new to all of this, an amateur artist figuring my way out there in the art world.  How to approach galleries?  Should I put my work up in cafes?  Art fairs? The list goes on, lets just say it’s a bit overwhelming. 

Then the negative self talk sets in, the nasty little Ogres  inside my head (as my life coach/friend Julie would put it).  “Who will buy my work, is it good enough, is all this effort going to pay off?”.  All I know is that I need to trust that everything will turn out fine.  The best any of us can do in life is put our best foot forward each day.    Are some days more challenging than others?   Of course!  An abstract piece I just started has been quite difficult to finish.  When I complained to my husband about it, he pointed out that it’s all about trial and error.  That we have to keep making mistakes until we finally get our desired outcome.  So true, wise words from a wise man.  

This poem was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn:

Unending Love
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

~ By this Gentleman, as mentioned below.