Positive Affirmation Card Decks as Digital Downloads

Intention cards

Positive affirmations are one tool I use for creating the life that I want to live. I believe they help me manifest my goals and keep positive energy running through my life.

They can help you get to the heart of what you want to create in your life. It’s sort of like reprogramming your mind to think a certain way. I believe we are what we think we are. So using positive affirmations is self-talk that can benefit you in lots of ways!

Above all, the way you phrase positive affirmations is if they are already true. Not that you would like them to be true but that they already are true!

Card from the Intentions Deck
Card from the Intentions Deck

Sometimes your mind will register a negative word even though you are saying it positively. So be careful how you word affirmations. You may say, “I no longer feel stress” but the word stress is what your mind hears so if you say instead, “I feel peace within”  you are more apt to actually feel peaceful.

Positive Affirmation Card Decks

To help you with having positive affirmations in your life, I’ve created a few digital downloads of positive affirmation cards which you can purchase inexpensively in my Etsy Shop. Print them out and use them in your personal projects. They are not for commercial use or for reselling.

Whimsical Affirmations Card Deck for the Creative Spirit.

The whimsical deck below are affirmations for the Creative Spirit from A to Z.

There are so many places you can put these cards so you see them during the day. Put them on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, your window sill, in your pocket or purse. Tape it to the dash in your car or on your computer screen. Remind yourself how wonderful and creative you are with these affirmations!

Card Deck for Wellness and Weight Loss

In addition, I have a Deck for Wellness and Weight Loss. A DIY card deck to help you commitment to your health and fitness goals.

Sometimes I will pick a card for the day and repeat the affirmation throughout my day. I love the little reminder and to help me with staying fit.

Intentions Card Deck

And there is a deck with individual intention words.

in·ten·tion

inˈten(t)SH(ə)n/

noun

plural noun: intentions

1. 
a thing intended; an aim or plan.

Get started using intentions with this colorful card deck. By setting an intention before you get up in the morning or before your meditation or yoga practice, it allows the Universe to know how you would like your life to proceed. My Intention card deck comes with an instruction sheet on how to use them with intention sentences.

Artist Use of the Intention Deck

If you are an artist, you can also use these cards to inspire you while you paint! Are you stuck with what to paint next? Pick a card from the deck, for example it might be the “Passion” card. What mark or image can you make that represents that word? Maybe use red in your next paint stroke, or make a heart or kiss shape.

Then pick another card. Maybe it is the “Quiet” card. What represents that word? Is it a soft breeze? A light stroke? Paint what you feel when you think of that word. Or use the colors from the cards. Pick a card and use the colors from it in your next paint strokes. Let your imagination take over and tap into your intuition.

Free Bookmarks

There are also 3 free om lotus bookmarks with all the downloads.

Intention Card Deck download

Create the life that you want with these positive affirmation cards. Have fun using them!

Feb. 8 – An Artist’s Day Notes

An Artist's Day Notes

I TAKE A MOMENT
to stretch to relieve the stress in my shoulders

I AM GRATEFUL
to be spending time in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

I AM FEELING
full from a healthy dinner

I CAN SEE
I’m staying up to late and should go to bed earlier

I AM HEARING
Bonnie Raitt on Spotify

I AM CREATING
a painting with two whales, a palm tree and the sea

I AM MISSING
having close friends near by to visit with

I AM HOPING
to make some new artist friends in Todos Santos

I AM PLANNING
to go on the Todos Santos Artist Studio Tour this weekend

PHOTO TO INSPIRE

Pink sky baja sunset

I never get tired of this view. Each sunset is a work of art and inspires me.

What inspires you?

Peace, Lindy

This 1964 International truck is inspiring me

1964 International Pickup

This truck is like a tank. It’s the hardiest vehicle I’ve ridden in. It’s our 1964 CL1100 Harvester International pickup.

I’ve been thinking of putting one in a painting. I’ve used other vintage vehicles in some of my paintings and this truck has been calling me.

This truck originally belonged to my late husband, Peter. The first time I rode in it I felt like I was in a tank because it’s so sturdy! It has 4 wheel drive and some special gears that make it jug, jug, jug a long if you want to go through tough, rugged territory. It’s an amazing vehicle!

It had a few mechanical problems over the years but last year Greg got it running! Yay!

We’ve had fun taking it to the beach. Belle likes riding in the back.

I like riding in the front.

International pickup at the beach

I’m inspired by it’s funkiness.

And it’s lines.

1964 International Pickup

I like the shape of the front end.

Some paintings I’ve made that were inspired by old vans (hippie vans) and cars (namely Bugs) were really fun to make so maybe a truck will be showing up soon.

I took a bunch of photos to refer to. I’m going to do some sketches from some of them.

What’s inspiring you lately?

Moody Black Clouds in My Paintings

Moody Black Clouds Palm Trees Sunset Photo

The other night when we were sitting and watching the sunset I realized where my moody black clouds come from in my work.

Moody black clouds sunset

I had never really thought about it before but there they were. The clouds that offered this inspiration. And here is an example of them in my art.

Blue is for River Dancing Cowboy Art

I’ve always said nature inspires me and here is the perfect example!

This cowboy print inspired by Darryl Purpose’s music is for sale in my Etsy Shop>

Hope you are enjoying awesome sunsets too!

Peace,

Lindy

 

I’m doing Flora Bowley’s Creative Revolution Challenge in Sept. #creativerevolutionchallenge

Creative Revolution Challenge

Flora Bowley, artist extraordinaire,  wrote in her email newsletter Need a (free) Creative Kick in the Pants? Join Me for the Creative Revolution Challenge in September!”

I said YES! I do need some inspiration! So I headed on over to Flora’s website and downloaded her free Creative Revolution Challenge for September.

I’ll be doing the challenge starting September 1st.

If you do too,  use the hashtag #creativerevolutionchallenge when you make a post.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

– Robert Collier

It will be an interesting challenge as I think I need a kick in the pants regarding creative activities as of late.

We came up to Washington in July and got down to work. You may not know it, but we have a real estate investment business and we needed to do some work on some of the properties. So that’s what we’ve been doing.

Then we sold our house in Maple Falls which is great! So now I’m working on other parts of the business and I also work online for a company called LoveToKnow.com as an image specialist. So I haven’t spent as much time as I’ve wanted to on my art.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

– William Arthur Ward

I find Flora Bowley to be such an inspiring teacher! I’ve taken her online class “The Bloom True e-Course” and found it to be full of inspiration and learning lessons!

It’s not just an e-Course it’s a creative experience! Hence, I highly recommend it! It’s for anyone wanting to loosen up their art style and start painting more intuitively as well as live a life of creative inspiration.

So that is why I’m excited to do Flora’s Challenge. I know it will be chalk full of inspiration just like all the other things Flora offers! So can’t wait to start! Thanks Flora!

 

Art for Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother's Day Gifts for Your Mom

Mother’s Day is almost here! Does your Mama love art?

I know you’ve got a wonderful Mom that deserves something really special for being the terrific person that she is. Someone who has made a big impact on your life, so I’ve got some great gift ideas for you!

I bet she’d love some new, colorful artwork to decorate her home or office, so I’ve rounded up the best Mother’s Day Art Prints that will make it easy for you to shop for her!

Treat your Mom to something personalized – a custom worded print for her walls to show her how much you love her.

Try a saying like:

Mothers are marvelous beings.
They love us with their whole soul.
Value us more than anyone else on the planet.
Bring us their strength with hugs and open hearts.
Mothers create memories and do for us more
than they do for themselves.
They matter more than our words can express.
We love you Mom!

custom art printOr use your own unique words to craft a personalized art piece she will treasure!

My popular print “She Wanted the Rainbow, So She Put Up with the Rain” is sure to inspire her.

She Wanted the Rainbow Print

I also like this print “They Were Like Beacons of Light” with it’s cheerful yellow birds and magical background.

Yellow Bird Print

Or if she’s a bike rider, she might enjoy this print “Peace Out.”

Bike and Raven Print

Another popular print is “Red Dog Sleeps by the Light of the Moon.” I love this curled up red doggie!

Red Dog art print

Use code “LOVEMOM” from MAY 4-7 for FREE SHIPPING ON ALL MY ETSY PRINTS.

And to go with her art print, I’m sure she would love a Hummingbird Happy Mother’s Day card.

Hummingbird Mother's Day Card

And don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list to get info on my upcoming original painting sale in July.

Enjoy!

Creative Joy by Jennifer Louden

Creative Joy Art Studio

I just signed up recently for Jennifer Louden’s Newsletter.  One get’s a free download of her Guide “How to Follow Through on Your Creative Desires” when you sign up. It sounded intriguing so I signed up.

She also has a free download on her website titled Creative Joy Journal + Playbook. She says about it, “Write in, draw in, and dribble crumbs on, paint on, and cry tears over! Download for free at http://jenniferlouden.com/workshops-retreats/ (near the bottom of the page).

There are some questions in it that she asks you to answer. So I did. I share my answers to them below.

Creative Joy by Jennifer Louden – The Questions:

When you hear the words creative joy, what springs to mind? First thoughts best thoughts, all are welcome, forget censoring.

Creative joy is letting go. Letting the creativity flow. No Blocks. Flow flow flow. Be a conduit. Happiness. Create from the heart. From the soul. Play!

What did your creative joy look like this week?

Painting. Walking. Taking a hike. Face to the rain. Smile.

What do you wish it had looked like?

More time in the studio. More time painting. More uninterrupted time.

What are 5 moments of creative joy from any time in your life – yesterday to 4 years old? Let whatever comes to you be enough.

Painting in my New York Manhattan studio.

Painting on a Peggy Zehring retreat in the San Juan islands.

Writing a poem that seemed to flow through me with no effort.

Making a giant mobile.

Writing the Moonhead mama story – The adventures of Milo Moon.

What gets in the way of your creative joy?

Too much busy-ness.

What else?

Not following through on my plans/ideas/goals.

What else?

“Shoulds” and my inner critic.

What feeds your creative joy?

Uninterrupted time. Color. Play. Nature. Light. Music. No stress. Dance. Meditation. Yoga. Healthy food. Letting go and not caring what others think. Fun. Laughter. Writing. Intuition.

If your creative joy had a voice, what would it say about what it loves, needs, and hates?

Loves:

Be here now. Light. Space. Art and Music.

Needs:

Color! Time to create. Creative tools to work with.

Hates:

Hates it when I don’t spend time in the studio creating.

****

And what if your creative joy had a voice? What would it say?

30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

30 reasons why we need art in our lives

Art touches the soul and deepens the spirit and here are 30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

1. Art helps us feel emotion.

2. Art makes us feel alive.

3. Art can adorn our bodies and make us feel beautiful, peaceful, independent, playful, a rebel (you choose the noun/adjective/verb).

4. Art can take us to another world like a dream can.

5. Art can make us forget our troubles.

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.”

~Elbert Hubbard

6. Art can adorn our living space and give sparkling areas for our eyes to look at.

7. Art can make us think.

8. Art helps us to heal.

9. Art helps us make change in the world.

10. Art can bring people together.

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

~Steven Pressfield

11. Art can uplift the spirit.

12. Art can fill that empty space on the wall, on a shelf, on a door, in the garden…you name it.

13. Art offers forgiveness when we need it.

14. Art can bring peace.

15. Art can be a legacy.

16. Art can help us get in touch with our deeper/higher selves

17. Art can help us see the beauty around us or add beauty to our surroundings.

18. Art reminds us to slow down and be still.

19. Art can take us to our spiritual center.

20. Art can shift us in a new direction.

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.”

~Pablo Casals

21. Create! Art can give us something to do.

22. Art can compel us to act.

23. Art exposes us to new ways of thinking/viewing the world.

24. Art entertains us.

25. Art can bring color into our lives.

I love art

26. Art can bring us back to our childhood.

27. Art speaks a universal language.

28. Art can be a teaching tool.

29. Art can connect people.

30. Art inspires!

Why do you think we need art?

Peace,

Lindy

100 Things My Heart Loves

100 Things My Heart Loves

This is sort of a take off on 100 Things About Me. This time I did 100 Things My Heart Loves. It’s a good way to feel grateful for the things you love. Here are some of mine:

100 Things My Heart Loves

1. Ancient Tapestries
2. Petroglyphs
3. Lavender Oil
4. A sliver of moon
5. Spending time in my art studio painting
6. Sand Dollars
7. The smell of a puppy
8. Daisy Chains
9. Vivid Color
10. Skipping stones on the water
11. Hiking a trail
12. Outdoor showers
13. Spiral shapes
14. Border Collies
15. Hanging Art Mobiles
16. Smell of cookies baking
17. Fresh, clean sheets
18. Foot Massages
19. Geodesic Domes
20. Watching ocean waves crash
21. Watching a sunset
22. Licking an ice cream cone
23. Warm wool mittens
24. Lighting incense
25. Bangles and dangly earrings
26. Boots from Australia
27. Frothy, hot mocha
28. Game of Billiards
29. Beatrix Potter Drawings
30. Ravens
31. Watching a sloth move
32. Laughing until tears run down my face
33. Solar lanterns
34. Picking black berries
35. Camp fires
36. Watching horses play
37. Tall palm trees
38. Laying on a rock in the sun
39. Bubble baths
40. Peanut butter chocolate fudge milkshake
41. Twilight
42. Handmade sandals
43. Hanging out with family / friends
44. Peace Signs
45. The golden hour with long shadows
46. Smell of fresh cut grass
47. Delta blues music
48. Double rainbows
49. Maps
50. Handwritten letter
51. Finger painting
52. Lazing around in the Sea of Cortez
53. A down pour of rain
54. Scented candles
55. Walking a labyrinth
56. Watching an inspiring movie
57. Listening to Christmas carols
58. Kayaking a flat lake
59. Star gazing
60. Remembering a dream
61. Good ole rock ‘n roll
62. Yoga outside in the a.m.
63. Travel to new areas
64. Visiting an art gallery
65. Mountain bike riding
66. Painted toe nails
67. Mosaic stepping stones
68. Reading The Power of Flow
68. Writing a poem
69. Trying new foods
70. Eating organic
71. Growing our own food
72. Van Morrison music
73. Camping on the beach
74. Green Smoothies
75. Reading my horoscope
76. Birthday week celebrations
77. Hosting visitors
78. White puffy clouds and blue, blue sky
79. Flying a kite
80. Hot springs
81. Reading Rumi
82. Taking the dogs for a walk
83. A nap in the afternoon
84. Teepee
85. Dream catcher
86. Learning, remembering and using a new spanish word
87. DIY Projects
88. My gratitude journal
89. Fresh cut flower bouquet
90. Intricate Henna Tattoos
91. Finding a four leaf clover
92. Irish accents
93. Cold beer with a slice of lime and pinch of salt
94. Dark chocolate
95. Playing Frisbee
96. Walking through the forest
97. A wink from a stranger
98. Old pickup trucks
99. Planting seeds
100. Wind mills

10 Ways to Attract Positive Energy into Your Life

Peace Trees by Lindy Gaskill

I’m a big believer in positive energy. I like to think I can attract it into my life. Positive energy helps me stay centered and calm. And this peacefulness is what keeps me grounded. So more the better!

Some say to watch your thoughts because negative thoughts and energy can attract more of that and the next thing you know you’re down in the dumps.

Truth serenity

So, I’ve listed 10 things that I try to do to attract positive energy into my life. I’ve put a positive affirmation to go with each one.

1. Accept myself and my situation as I am living right now, in this moment. Live here right now. Practice non-judgement and just let what is be.

I accept and appreciate my current situation.

2. Still my thoughts and meditate a little bit every day. Be silent and just be. I’ve been doing Reiki self healing on myself every day and that feels really good.

I feel fully connected to my experience of life.

3. Visualize myself in positive ways. You are your thoughts, so choose the good ones as they say.

Every cell in my body is healthy and radiates health.

4. Give myself or others a gift and be grateful. It can be a compliment, a smile, a hug, a little piece of dark chocolate or a flower but think of it as appreciation and love for myself and others. Feeling grateful for what I have lifts me up.

I am grateful for all the positive things in my life.

5. Take time out to Daydream. I have a dream journal and visualize myself accomplishing my goals. You can write out some steps on how you can accomplish what you want out of life.

I am devoting time and energy toward my goals.

6. I set my intention to be happy and I don’t get wrapped up in drama. You deserve happiness and success and don’t let anyone tell you different.

I am a magnet for happiness and success in my life.

7. Have faith. I believe I am right here in the right moment, doing exactly as I am supposed to. I trust in the universe that if things are not going as planned that there is something better out there for me. It will show itself in time.

All that I need comes to me at the right time and place in my life.

8. Let go and detach. Accept others for who they are. I think it’s true if you hold on to anything too tightly, there is a blockage of energy that happens. So let go and relax. It will all be okay!

I accept everyone as they are and continue to pursue my dreams.

9. Seek out my own unique talents. For me, that’s doing my Art. Every person has something unique about them. If you live your life by asking yourself how you are best suited to serve others with your highest and best self, I believe things will start to unfold for you.

I acknowledge and honor my talents, and share these with others.

10. Laugh! I can feel the endorphins spread through my body after a good laugh. It’s healthy so find ways to laugh more. Watch a funny movie, read a funny book or watch funny videos. It’s all good!

I’m smiling inside.

For more affirmations, see my Positive Affirmations to Uplift Your Creative Spirit A-Z download.

Namaste.

 

She Wanted the Rainbow and a Rainbow Tattoo

She Wanted the Rainbow print

My painting titled “She Wanted the Rainbow, So She Put Up With The Rain” has inspired a tattoo on a woman who has admired it.

She told me she found the image on Facebook and she was so inspired by it that she got a tattoo of it. She decided she wanted to find me to let me know. So she did a search and found the image which led her to my Facebook page where she was able to contact me.

This is what my original painting looks like. You can find it as a print in my Etsy Shop. I have it as a 5″ x 7″ or an 8″ x 10″ giclee print.

She Wanted the Rainbow

And this is the tattoo.

She Wanted the Rainbow Tattoo

Wow, that’s pretty cool!

Number 7 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

This is post 7 in my 10 post blog series on Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” You can check back here to see 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and the first post here. The Steps and journal prompts are taken from the PDF.

STEP 7: WALK (BAREFOOT)

Journal prompts: What big things have you achieved in your life so far? (Big thing = something you are proud of, not necessarily to do with work) If you trace it all the way back, what was the very first step you took towards that? Do you remember how you felt? If you could go back in time and speak to yourself back then, what would you say?

Raven Art Kindred Spirits

© Lindy Gaskill, Kindred Spirits, 8″ x 8″, acrylic on wood

These are big questions. It made me sit back and think awhile. It made me look forward to the future and look back at my past.

I would have to say one thing that was big was moving to Prescott, Arizona from Bend, Oregon in 2011!

I remember how it felt. It seemed overwhelming! Having to pack up all our stuff, sell our house, find a new one in Prescott and then move! We had to break the steps down or I don’t think we would be where we are today. We made lots of lists too which helped stay organized.

But first it took visualizing where we wanted to live in Prescott. Once we decided we were going to move there we had to start looking for a house to buy.

I recently rediscovered a notebook I had written in before we found our place. It was a list of all the things we wanted in a house and property in Prescott. It was a list of 30 items. The place we bought has 25 of those items. I love that we found a place so close to what we were looking for. And what wasn’t there when we first bought it, is now as we have turned it into “our” place and transformed it to what it is now.

If I could go back in time and speak to myself back then, what would I say?

I would say, “I hold no worry.”

That sure would have relieved a lot of stress! Everything turned out and we really didn’t need to worry about anything. Looking back it is so easy to see. But when I’m in the midst of a stressful situation I tend to be a worrier. It’s something I’m working on for sure. Here’s a good story about those lessons.

What about you? Any big things happening in your life and how are you feeling about where you are now?

Artist Interview: Susan Medyn Colorful Fine Art Paintings

I first saw the colorful paintings of Susan Medyn when she emailed me about being on the Whimsicalpaintings.com website. I was instantly taken by her unique paintings brimming with imaginary animals lounging or romping in festive landscapes of pattern and color!

Each painting seems to tell a story about the relationships of the animals to their surroundings. I love how they draw me in and make me look for the details such as the little birds in the trees or faces in the flora.

Below are some questions and answers for you to read more about Susan and her work.

All the images are 12″ x 9″  watercolor on Aquabord and varnished.

Susan Medyn paintingHere There and Everywhere by Susan Medyn

Will you tell us a little bit of background about being an artist and why you create art?
I started painting 37 years ago. I was dating an artist and he spent many late nights working. I found I could not keep myself from playing with the art materials and began making imaginary creatures. I quickly found myself compelled to create, using ink and watercolor as my medium. I initially began making drawings that were meant to be bits of stories of my life but quickly transcended into fantastical landscapes filled with flora and fauna of my own making.

What do you like about working in watercolor?
I love the play of color on the paper, the absorbency, the ability to work nearly anywhere and the look I am creating.

You are using colorful, whimsical imagery filled with fantastical creatures and fauna.When did you begin painting in this style, and what inspires you?
I made my first adult painting around 21 or 22. It was an imaginary creature gradually transforming into other creatures. I still have the first dozen paintings I made.  I sometimes put them out at open studios for comparison. I’m inspired by nearly everything. The old fashioned  bathtub drain toggle always looked like a face to me. Leaves on plants are mini jungles. I particularly love incorporating neolithic figures and images from the greek orientalizing period. Indian patterns and Polish decorative egg patterns all seem to weave their way into my works. I love going to museums. I get lost looking at paintings by the old masters. Rusted metal found objects are magnificent patterns and imagery. I am inspired by book plate covers, pattern books, animals in art, old postcards. I don’t know how, but my work flows from hand to paper and my memory play with designs. Three years ago I made a commitment to paint daily — as though I don’t already have enough paintings. I have made over 800 paintings in my 36 years as an artist.

Susan Medyn painting titled I like it that wayI Like It That Way by Susan Medyn

Can you explain your creative process?
Whether on paper or Aquabord, I always start out making my drawing in with a number 3 pencil. I make a rough outline of a landscape and then fill the page with a few central creatures. From there a story evolves where I add other creatures listening in or chatting one another up. I often try to hide several within the landscape, sort of a peek-a-boo, like when you suddenly realize there is a snail on a piece of kale you have picked, or a bird in a bush you have walked by. I revise my drawing several times. I erase the pencil marks and decide on my color scheme before inking it with a  crow quill pen. I paint the principal creatures and then work from there.

 

“I do like when people find my work curious and funny and visually pleasing.”

 

How do you want someone to feel when he or she views your colorful paintings?
Sometimes I add a story to my painting and find this helps the viewer to understand my work. But mostly I am making images that I am driven to create. I do like when people find my work curious and funny and visually pleasing. That is how I find it. I am disappointed when people ask me if I ever considered illustrating a children’s book.

How important is the title of a painting to you and when and how do you title a piece?
A lot of thinking goes into my titles. I usually go through several names before I settle on one that feels right.

I understand that you do some work as a therapist. Do you have any thoughts on art and healing that you can share?
Yes, I am a therapist and have been seeing individuals and couples for 23 years. I believe art and the process brings a level of understanding to aspects of one’s life. I recently had a bout of cancer and later realized my chat room name was “paintingmywaythru”. Nothing deep there, but it was an almost an unconscious expression of how I was going to use my time to get through treatment. Children especially make art to express their feelings and yet as we begin to grow up it is as though drawing and painting are left behind. I believe laughter, self exploration and self expression are tools to healing.

Egyption Jungle painting by Susan Mendyn

Egyptian Jungle by Susan Medyn

 

You have a section on your website called the Hurricane of ’38 photos. Can you tell us what that is about?
One day I happened into an antique store in Rhode Island that had the craziest things. The owner manner was unnerving. Showing me one thing to another, even showing me a 50’s bar he had for sale in his basement. As usual was drawn to the stacks of paintings and photos. I found a small packet of pictures taken with a Kodak Brownie camera. They showed the aftermath of the Hurricane of 1938 which devastated Rhode Island. I asked how much they were but the owner tried to get me to buy an autographed photo of a former baseball player. I was ready to leave when he named a price. I sent them to The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for them to copy so that they could be in their public record.

Do you have any advice for emerging artists who are just starting out?
Work as hard as you can. Do what you love. Don’t be afraid to experiment, create everyday, push your limits, take time to reflect and evaluate. Your goals and your abilities may not be in sync for quite awhile but be kind to yourself and keep on working. Listen to advice from other artists, keep what feels right for you and store what doesn’t. Take classes, play, listen to your creative spirit, spend time in museums, think outside the box, learn the language of art.

Fish Finder Painting by Susan Mendyn
Fish Finder by Susan Mendyn

 

What’s your current or next art project?
I am working on 6 paintings right now.  2 are commissions, 1 a small work, and 3 are larger sized dense jungles that I am painting for an upcoming exhibit in Belgium.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
Although I have a day job 3 days a week, I do look forward to a point in my life where I can focus mainly on painting. I love making art. I love gardening, fishing, swimming, traveling, being with my family and 2 cats, enjoying time with friends and looking at the landscape. Reading is my main escape and I can’t go a day without picking up a book.

Thank you Susan for the great interview!

If you would like to see more of Susan’s work, visit her website at http://susanmedyn.com/

On her website, Susan says subscribe to her blog posts by “email for a chance to win a giclée or another goodie monthly.” How fun is that?

Number 5 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 5.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Courage-Along-the-Path-gaskill

Courage Along the Path by Lindy Gaskill

Step 5:  FOCUS

For focusing, Beth suggests listing the things you want to accomplish and then categorizing them under a theme and focusing on one theme a week, immersing yourself in that theme and seeing what comes from that. I like that idea.

Journal prompt: Now you have considered this particular theme intensely for a week, ask yourself the following questions:
How do I feel about this theme now?
Do I want to move forward with it?
If not, why not? If so, what do I need to do next?

Focus has been my word for 2013. During the year I’ve been writing in the morning my 3 things I want to accomplish each day. I’ve been mostly good and accomplishing my goals.

I have a few areas of interest in running my business that I am focusing on.

They are:

1. Promotion and art marketing, including my monthly newsletters, emails to my Collector’s Circle and PR including social media, press releases and finding new collectors

2. Invoicing and financial tracking

3. Production, painting and studio time.

4. Keeping my supplies stocked

5. Growing as an artist with community and taking art classes for inspiration

6. Website maintenance and inventory

7. Licensing my art,  printing giclees and greeting cards

8. Online shops such as Etsy and Zazzle

9. Working with my existing clients, private art classes, working with my art galleries

In other areas of my life, I’m also trying to be focused. For example, I’ve been on a health kick and have been doing yoga everyday. It is starting to become routine and something I look forward to. I’ve also been focused on eating healthy foods and taking good care of my mental as well as physical health.

One can compare one’s life to doing yoga. When you fall off the mat, all you can do is get back on.

Focus

How’s your Focus?

Number 4 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 4.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

 

She Knew Peace Lived Within Painting by Lindy Gaskill

 

Step 4:  OPEN YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: When you take the time to look, listen and seek, what are you drawn to? What do you notice? What patterns do you see in what interests you?

Although this step is to open your eyes, I added an image showing the eyes closed. That is because I don’t think you literally have to have your eyes open to see. Sometimes, it is in seeing with other senses that one “sees.”

I like to listen, smell, feel and see with my eyes closed. The smell of Fall is in the air right now. The crisp mornings. It just feels like Autumn is here.

I like to “see” by writing in my gratitude journal. I can look back in it and see where I have been, and what has been important in my life. I like to write 5 things I am grateful for in my journal. I would love to say I write in it everyday but I haven’t. But I have kept it going for years now and I’m on my 3rd journal.

What do you see?

Number 3 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 3.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Cosmic Garden Painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 3:  CLOSE YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: How do you want to feel in your life? In your career? In your relationships? What environment will help you feel that way? What kind of people? What activities? What level of authority? What conversations? What flow of time? Think about each aspect of your life and journal how you could change things to help you feel the way you want to feel each and every day.

These are a lot of questions. So I took a couple to think about to apply to my life right now.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I can move more into the life I want to live. A life that brings me happiness each and every day.

I decided I want to start eating better, exercising and living a more sensory experienced life, with the clothes I wear, the things I eat, touch, taste, and smell every day.

To start, I’m taking daily walks, eating a diet based on the lovely cookbook called “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone and I’m doing more yoga.

I recently discovered Seane Corn and her yoga. I love everything I’ve been learning about this lady. I have been watching a lot of the videos about her on youtube and doing some of her classes from her website where she is teaching yoga.

I was listening to Seane talk on one of the videos about how every emotion we experience has a certain vibrational energy and our bodies keep this memory within us. I think our bodies are like a sponge in that way, absorbing the vibrational energy of things and people around us as well. So that is why it is important to me to keep an uncluttered living space and surround myself with the things that raise the vibrational level in a positive way.

I feel this way about handmade art. It affects our emotions, our spirit to have art around us that we enjoy. I love how color and pattern and imagery can do this. I want to have around me lovely art and color and pattern that bring me joy.

How do you want to feel in your life?

Number 2 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Where Dreams are Born painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 2:  MAKE SPACE AND SIMPLIFY

Journal prompt: Where does your uncluttered mind wander when you give yourself time to daydream?
What could a simpler version of your life look like?

I have been simplying and uncluttering since we moved to Prescott, AZ about a year and a half ago. We had at least 5 garage sales before we moved. Yay! It feels so good to get rid of stuff!

I used to daydream about what it would be like to live in the Southwest. And now here we are. I do love daydreaming. I think it helps us to get to where we want to go.

Letting go of the things in my life that don’t nurture me, give me peace or beauty, help me or lift me up has been a valuable lesson. I’m learning to “let go” the longer I live on this planet.

I am learning to get rid of clothes that I don’t wear. I’m learning to let go of the “junk” that is sitting around and taking up space. I keep a constant bag sitting in my closet that holds things to give to the thrift store.

If I buy something like at the thrift store then something in my closet has to go to take it’s place.

I am making space to find the simple things in life that make my spirit feel happy, uplifted and joyful.

Greg and I were talking recently about what makes a luscious, rich life. I think living simply but with nice things around us, like a scented candle, handmade art, a luxurious lotion, organic food, flowering plants — the simple things yet joyful things that make our senses sing.

What could a simpler version of your life look like?

 

 

Art + Healing

I believe in art and healing. They go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. From way back, I’ve felt that art had healing powers. It is why when I was in my late 30’s I decided to go back to school to become an art therapist (that’s another story). Although I didn’t become an “actual” art therapist, I’ve used art as a tool for my own healing and I’ve seen it help others lives as well.

And with those words, I am honored to be the featured artist on the June 2013 issue of Arts & Health magazine.

Art&Health

 

Healed by the Power of Art
Art has an extraordinary power that inspires creativity piques curiosity and unleashes all kinds of emotions. Creating a simple pencil drawing can have an incredibly intense and positive effect on an individual, while viewing a powerful piece of work can give us that same intoxicating, almost spiritual experience.

Art is instantly accessible to all – all you need is pen and paper and, of course, your imagination. And as feelings and emotions are expressed through sketching, drawing or painting, the burden of pain and hurt can often be lifted.

Seeds of Hope in Depths of Despair
The power of art has been harnessed by psychotherapists who use every aspect of the genre, from the visual arts to music and dance, in a therapeutic environment to aid healing and treatment. Substance abusers and alcohol addicts are particularly helped by this type of therapy. Some treatments in Utah, for example, offer recovery programs that offer in-patient services where the individual can find hope for a sober and addiction-free future by expressing their fears and concerns through their creativity. Even if only for a fleeting moment, art has the power to remove the recovering addict from the grimness of their situation and can help to set their spirit free.

How Art Helped Heal a Family

A few months ago I received an email from one of my Facebook followers. It was a heartfelt letter about how my art and her family’s healing process were intertwined. I’m not going to say who the person was to protect her privacy but it was very touching!

I’ve received other correspondence such as this through the years but none as powerful as this one. It really touched me to my core. It began,

“I need to tell you how your artwork saved my life.

I know that sounds very dramatic and cliché but it’s the truth.

Nearly three years ago, my husband was in a horrible car accident that took the life of his friend and nearly took his life too. Because of his injuries, he has been forever changed and now lives with a brain injury.”

I was gripped by this letter. I read on with intense interest and concern plus the question, how did my art help this person and her family?

She went on to tell me her story about her husband, his loss of memory, the false accusations about the accident and how they prayed for healing and for things to get better. She wrote,

“I have no idea how I found your website. It was fate or Divine intervention. Your Peace Trees spoke to me. They reminded me of our cabin in the forest, surrounded by poplar and birch trees. They also seemed to have such a magical spirit to them. A magic I so desperately needed. I stared at them, willing myself to enter that forest and be sheltered by their magical tattooed branches. I cried so many tears under those branches, felt the breeze tame my fears and started to heal.”

I had goose bumps reading her story.

“I had started trying my hand at painting, at the suggestion of one of the therapists at the hospital. I have no training and very little talent but I saw your videos on youtube and thought I would try….”

To be continued….

Check back tomorrow for more of this inspiring story.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Parts of this article on art + healing were written by Lisa Jones.

 

An Artist’s Day Notes – 6/21/13

I AM GRATEFUL
that we finished painting
the outside of our house

I AM FEELING
like I need to drink more water

I CAN SEE
clouds covering the sky

I AM HEARING
my doggies heavy sigh as
she naps

I AM CREATING
a large abstract painting

I AM MISSING
calm days without the wind howling

I AM HOPING
to paint most of the day in the studio

I AM PLANNING
to work in the yard this weekend

I AM  READING
Following Atticus
by Tom Ryan

MY ART STUDIO

Lindy in Sprout On-line Magazine Artist Interview

Sprout on-line magazine

Click here to visit Sprout On-line Magazine.

I’m thrilled to announce an interview and feature article in Sprout, the online magazine that is sure to inspire. It is issue 20 with a theme of “Wild – find your roots.”

The magazine is filled with photos, poetry, essays and stories that will

inspire, uplift your spirit and get you thinking about nature, growth and how you view the world!

 

Sprout On-line magazine

Amanda Fall, the editor and publisher of Sprout, interviewed me with some great questions about my artist’s journey. Some of the questions really got me thinking and I share some of my life experiences and beliefs in this interview. Amanda asked questions like:

Connection to nature is the lifeblood of your work. When and why did your love of the natural world take root?

And

The symbolic imagery in your work references “the miracle of creation,” reflecting the spiritual energy and unity you see in all beings. Would you share more about this point of view?

Plus more!

Sprout On-line Magazine

Each monthly issue explores a different theme. I think you will really enjoy reading it! I know I did. It even got me thinking about writing some poetry. I have a number of poems I’ve written over the years but haven’t done any writing like that in a long time. So now I’m inspired!

Click here to visit Sprout On-line Magazine.

Wild Sprout Magazine

 

I love nature – being in it, being inspired by it, reading about it, painting it and even talking about it. Let “Wild” intoxicate you with its wonders.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

― Henry David ThoreauWalden: Or, Life in the Woods

 

An Artist’s Day Notes – 6/14/13

I AM GRATEFUL
for fresh air and blue sky

I AM FEELING
glad it’s Friday

I CAN SEE
the wind rustling through the trees

I AM HEARING
Greg shoveling dirt in the backyard

I AM CREATING
a painting with two ravens reflecting

I AM MISSING
the ingredients to bake peach cobbler

I AM HOPING
to get to the store soon

I AM PLANNING
to have a root beer float later tonight

I AM  READING
Walking in This World
The Practical Art of Creativity
by Julia Cameron

IMAGE TO INSPIRE

Cactus Flower
© Lindy Gaskill, Cactus Flower in our yard.