Thursday, June 6, 2013

Asta Lander's 365 Paintings Challenge

Painted as a fundraiser for Free the Bears Fund
How it all began...

Actually I have no idea how it began. For so many years I would not paint because I thought I couldn't, though I longed to, so very much. I was terrified of not being able to.

 I was nursing a wound from my childhood that told me that my painting was mediocre. For me mediocre meant 'failure', and why would you continue with something that you were a failure at? (Actually all of that was probably my very sensitive reaction to one incident.) Over the years I did every other kind of art form, and though some I am good at (and I do want to get back to them) it was painting that was whispering in my ear... luring me back. And then I discovered Luci Walker's Happy Accident Art. And fell into my own happy accident. I did something she suggests. I sat down with the colours I love, a piece of  paper ( or was it canvas?) and I painted with no agenda. Swirls and colours and joy spilled out and I was on my way to healing. It was a spiritual ah ha moment.

And then we moved house... and as we moved I painted my way to peace, through the grief of loss and change, and the excitement and yet uncertainty of returning to where I once lived,. And then this ridiculous idea popped into my head - paint one completed painting a day for a year! And so I did! And so I am.

And some days I get them done early. Some days I am up until after midnight. Some days they come easy... some days it is a slog. Some are probably good - some are certainly not. Sometimes I have to be satisfied with mediocre. But regardless, one painting is painted a day.

I never plan my paintings. They can be a reflection of what I am reading, a cause I am exploring, a song, a longing, a grief, a meditation, a prayer, a joy, colours, as a gift, as a means of standing in solidarity with a person or animal (usually in pain), to fund raise, to educate...  what I love to paint the most is feeling.. soul... usually I try to paint that into the eyes. Painting is an expression of my Christian Franciscan spirituality. Painting has taken over my world. I live in a happy little painterly world!!!

My art is selling, mostly prints. Early next year I will have an exhibition. Money is coming... trickling in. And though I am scathing of money, I should not be, for in our world a little is needed. There is no way of getting around it. It reminds me of that book I read long ago - now what is the title? Something like - 'Do what you love and the money will come.' With the money I can meet commitments that are important to me. I am so very grateful.

Is there something inside you that is dying to get out? Something that is pressing hard against your heart?  I have a journal for my art where I jot down ideas, poetry, quotes, contacts, sales and so on. On the cover there is a quote that says it all for me- 'And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom' by Anais Nin. Yes that was me. Is that you? Well go and do the seemingly impossible. I know you can, because I am living it.

Go in peace to love and serve the world in your own unique way,

Asta xxxx