Paintings (and Yoga)

“Coming To Be”

 

A Time For Change

Spring is the time for blossoming, for reawakening.  The days become longer and warmer.  The soil is rich and fertile, ready to support new growth.  It’s my time to review the past and preview what’s to come.

Varied Interests

My first expression in the world was artwork.  My mom saved mandala faces I drew from the time I was 15 months old (mandala faces usually show up around age 3).  By age 4 there are drawings of people in profile, families interacting, prancing horses.  I loved to make art, and my parents believed that I was gifted.  It wasn’t unusual for me to come home from school to find a card table set up with art supplies for my after-school project.  I taught art to my classmates at recess.  I won contests and was chosen to create the posters for community events.  I eventually majored in art (and theater).

Life takes us in directions we may not expect, and I have always followed my diverse interests.  I’ve had a small business making gemstone jewelry, selling at art fairs and a gallery. I’ve learned to sew and weave and knit and craft. I’ve studied American Sign Language and French and Spanish. I performed in over 50 plays as a theatre actor with a special affinity for performing “language” plays like Shakespeare.  I learned ballroom dance and Zydeco and for five years in my 40’s I danced Argentine tango five times a week.  I loved every exciting new direction. As an elementary school art specialist and private art teacher, I immersed myself in my students’ artful discoveries. In the most recent decade, I’ve devoted myself to becoming certificated as a yoga instructor, a Creativity Coach, a Primordial Sound Meditation teacher, and an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor.

Upside, Downside

These journeys have enriched my life.  Tango informs sewing informs jewelry design informs acting informs yoga…it’s all intertwined.  However, my own artwork fell to the side.  I found that teaching art was so creatively satisfying that I didn’t crave time for my own artwork.  Years went by.

By the time I returned to my own painting, I discovered that I was full of fears. My fears were the usual suspects:  fear of success, fear of failure, fear that it was too late, fear that I couldn’t take the time or money to give myself back to my art. A famous watercolor teacher’s words rang in my ear:  “You draw like the wind; isn’t that enough?  Maybe you’re just not a painter”.  I feared that I had wasted my gift by neglecting it. Or worse, that I’d lost it. My inner perfectionist reared his ugly head when I sat down to paint. Tears would come, and I’d do my best to keep going, trusting that if I just did the work, the joy would return.

Resume’

In this way, I have created a few paintings in the past few years, and I recently entered them in a local garden tour poster contest.  Part of the entry was a resume.  I’d never created an art resume before.  Other artists my age might list their awards, collectors, galleries, and juried shows.  Seeing myself so starkly on paper, I realized that I have created an interesting and artful life, but while I have thought of myself as a painter, I have not been one. After all, painters paint.

The Artist’s Way

I’ve led Artist’s Way groups over the last 15 years, and was excited about the 2016 version, which refocuses the Artist’s Way principles on “midlife and beyond”.  I began to work through the book last fall, and my neglected artist child began to reawaken.  I am now leading a group of women through the process, and find that the process is urging me back to my painting!

My epiphany was that my innate talent was clearly making art, and I now want to re-earn my identity as an artist.  By making art.

A New Focus

As we enter our 60’s, we get the gift of understanding that time is limited.  We become more selective about the people and activities we choose. For me, that means more “studio” time.  If art is my true north, I don’t want to die with any of it still inside me.

So, why am I telling you all of this?

Because I’m doing an abrupt about face on this website.

Paintings (and Yoga)

I will keep the archive of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Meditation. It holds a great deal of information on these topics, which I hope will continue to be useful. I may take one Ayurveda client at a time or teach a little mediation or lead an annual Artist’s Way group.  I will keep a yoga page on the site as information for potential students (that’s why “and yoga” is in parentheses).

However, the focus will become my artwork and my artmaking process.

I’m not sure how regularly I’ll post or what shape it will take.  I may post my conversations with that ugly inner perfectionist.  I may post my paintings.  I may address the fear of making art, because many artists struggle with it.  I may address the joy of making art as the joy re-emerges for me.  I  may post available works for sale.

Or I may be so busy painting joyfully that I won’t post at all.  Time will tell!

P.S.  I’ve turned the comments off and ask that if you have questions or comments, please email me at marcia@marciarandalldebard.com.

Benefits of Khichadi For Cleansing

Benefits of Khichadi For Cleansing

Khichadi (or Khitchari, or various other spellings you’ll see for either choice) is pronounced kich’-uh’dee or kich’-uh-ree.  The spelling with the “d” comes from the Sanskrit pronunciation of “r” (gently tapping the tongue).  Khichadi is a traditional Indian dish which is often the first solid food babies are given, because it’s nourishing, soft, easy to digest, and tasty.  It’s also often given to the elderly or sick, for the same reasons.  In Ayurveda, it’s eaten during cleansing, and is thought to encourage spiritual growth.  It’s a regular part of the Indian diet and also considered a comfort food in India.

Khichadi can be made a variety of ways, depending on the purpose.  The basic ingredients of kitchadi are rice and beans.  Rice and beans together create a “perfect protein” combination.  Our bodies can create 10 of the 20 proteins we need for great health.  The others are called “essential amino acids”, and we get these through the foods we eat.  Animal proteins have all 10 essential amino acids, but plants must be combined to be “complete proteins”.  Rice and beans work together, each providing what the other cannot, to create a “complete protein”.  For example, rice lacks lysine, and beans are a good source of lysine.  Beans lack methionine, tryptophan, and cystine, and rice provides these to balance out the meal.Read more: Benefits of Khichadi For Cleansing

Omnivore, Vegetarian, Vegan–Which Is Best For You?

MORNING-GARDEN-

An Ayurvedic Perspective

According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe has one of three gunas (qualities), known as satvic, rajistic, and tamasic.  Satvic means “pure”, balanced.  Rajistic is energetic, active.  Tamasic is dark, inert. People exhibit gunas: we may be enthusiastic about an idea (satvic), but begin to obsessively strive toward the goal (rajistic), and then we may become exhausted and lethargic due to burnout (tamasic).  The gunas in foods change as well; the ripening apple is rajistic, the perfectly ripe apple is satvic, and not long after it becomes overripe (tamasic).

Balance is a dance that is always in motion, tipping out of balance one way, returning, and then tipping another way.

Satvic Foods

Satvic foods are freshly prepared, light, soothing, and easy to digest. They include fresh fruit, land and sea vegetables, pure fruit juices, nut and seed milk and cheese, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, honey, and herb teas. Read more: Omnivore, Vegetarian, Vegan–Which Is Best For You?

Willful Resolutions or Joyful Sankalpa?

Bhujangasana--Cobra Pose

Willful Resolutions Or Joyful Sankalpa?

This is the time of year when many of us review the past year and preview the coming year.  Sometimes we see habits that didn’t benefit us in the previous year, and we resolve to improve those habits in the new year. We are sure our willpower can make it happen.

Most New Year Resolutions last a month or two at most.

For many years, I was a consistent, 4-times-a-week gym member. As January approached, I always mentally geared up for the sudden crowds as the gym became swollen with new members keeping their “get fit” New Year Resolutions.  It was a minor inconvenience, really–waiting for a machine or signing up for a turn on the aerobic equipment.  The inconvenience was short-lived; by February the crowds started to thin out and by March, the gym had returned to “normal”.

Haven’t we all set resolutions, only to see them dissolve within a month or two? I think it’s because even the word “resolution” has a sort of striving, clenching, gritting-the-teeth feel to it. Read more: Willful Resolutions or Joyful Sankalpa?

Ayurvedic Strategies For Holiday Balance

MORNING-GARDEN-

Holiday Balance

“Holiday Balance”. If those two words sound like an oxymoron to you, read on.  Many of us feel tremendous pressure during this time of year.  We want to enjoy the events and our loved ones, but it can be challenging.  We try to ignore the ads and the media; our culture pushes us to be more and do more–and be and do it all perfectly.

Let it go.  Health and contentment are more important.

Stress Comes From Overload

When you’re carrying too heavy a physical load, your muscles become stressed.  When you’re carrying too heavy an emotional burden, your heart becomes stressed.  When you’re squeezing too much into your schedule, your body, mind, and spirit will feel the stress.  Stress = Overload. Read more: Ayurvedic Strategies For Holiday Balance