Friday, March 16, 2012

What makes YOU tick?

"Still Moment", acrylic+oil glazes on 36"x36" gallery wrap canvas
©2012 Cat Tesla
I've always been interested in how people tick. What makes them do the things they do, and how is it that they are who they are? People who reinvent themselves I find particularly fascinating. They shed the old - whatever wasn't working or didn't feel right - and create a new path, embracing the fresh and the unknown.  Then there are others who exude confidence. They have a positive aura that flows out of them - you can feel it. They're on top of their game.

The past month has been busy for me with some great shows in southern Florida and Tennessee. Commissions have also been rolling in. One thing I know about myself is that I thrive on ideas and visions - - I'm constantly doing little sketches and thumbnails for new paintings. Ironically, this can get in the way of the immediate work at hand!  To that end, I've been working on mindfulness. As Pema Chodrin says 
"Cultivating mind’s inherent capacity to stay put is called mindfulness training. Mindfulness is like the rope that keeps the wild elephant from destroying everything in sight. The rope of mindfulness bring us back to our immediate experience: to our breath, to our walking, to the book in our hands."

Meditation has opened up a door for me in so many ways. It has helped me stay in the present moment and to really feel what's happening NOW. It lead me to something so simple during recent art shows:  I had a whole new appreciation for other artist's work and their journey. One artist - Kathy Wolfe - a photographer from Atlanta -  is changing gears, going for a softer, lighter vibe. Her photography is both artful from a design standpoint and also just plain beautiful. You want to reach out and touch the petals of the flowers in her work - you know they'll feel like velvet. Check out her new "Flora" works under "Porfolio" on her website. You can see that she's shedding layers and revealing something fresh and new. Stunning!

Ohio-based father and son Gary and Luke Stretar are on top of their game. Painting rural America in oils (Gary) and rural industrial objects (Luke), their work is skilled and refined. The light in their paintings is soft and just oh-so-right. There's something mysterious that holds you there - you find yourself lingering when you see their work.

Have you ever thought about what makes YOU tick?