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Tiny Drops in a Mighty Ocean of Words

A new writer to Medium ponders, what the hey? Breakers – watercolour by Cheryl O Art Amid thousands of excellent writers and myriads of fine articles, my words are teensy tiny drops. Not even a splash. That would be my current position, which is to be expected, being new. So what the hey am I doing on here? Audacious or naïve or just up for a lot of Grammarly icons? It could be those or something else altogether. Those baby ducks who jump out of trees and plummet to the ground? Oddly, they are supposed to do that. Perhaps I’m supposed to write. But this doesn’t answer the why. Confession: I’ve done some writing. Art courses for adults for over 25 years, a weekly art and creativity newsletter for 11 years. But this? This is different. Could I have an original idea to write about? Ha! Now, to think THAT would be naïve. Even if the fiery heat of my continually overthinking brain should produce the odd rough diamond, chances are huge: it’s been thunk before. A more plausible possibility is, that I may have a way of expressing an idea where the expression is uniquely mine. Humans are full of unique variations from the hair on your toes (yes, Bilbo, humans can also have hair on their toes) to the ideas your gray matter likes to cozy up with. We are individuals — distinct entities. You are uniquely you and here’s the point. If you like my voice, if my thoughts resonate with you, my writings could be a princess-missing-slipper fit for your treasured reading time. Stretching the mind with thoughts expressed in a particular creative way is one type of reading experience. There are also life experiences to share. I have a few and hope they make you smile. Laughing is good too — no judgment about snorting either. This next thing, it’s real for me. I don’t want to die before I have used up every drop of creativity the Creator put into me. Wrung out and drip-dried with the last bit of moisture sailing away on a summer breeze. Until then, for sure it’s about connecting; finding other like-minded humans; looking for the lovers of life. I know you’re there. We can cheer each other on. It can be deeply comforting to know you are not alone and I hope to encourage you to love life even more. The haters are real too, I’ve known a few and will likely share some stories about dealing with them. However, I will try not to bleed on you too often. Live for a little while and everyone has scars. Occasionally my scars, or joys, may show up as a poem. It’s that creative spirit — hard to hold it down once it starts flapping frantically. Quick example. While painting “Happiness Skips”, the little poem below also bloomed into being. I had to stop painting for a minute to write it down. Happiness Skips – acrylic by Cheryl O Art Pensive sits.Laughter slips.Sorrow saunters.Happiness skips!Cheryl O Art Creativity is paramount in my world. I have learned from happy experience, art friends are the best, but only a few years ago I came to understand that there is a practical 

Transformed: Embracing Moments of Wonder

How wonder has affected me and how to experience that more. Published in Illumination on Medium Surprised by Wonder I remember my first moment of wonder. I was about 4 years old at my grandmother’s house. In her sitting room (yes, that was a thing) my Nana had curtains with a red poinsettia pattern. The sun suddenly came out, striking that fabric, transforming it to a glowing intensity of color that reached out and grabbed my heart. Time was suspended. I was completely oblivious to anything else but that brilliant color. Wonder. Wonder frequently takes us by surprise. The deer vaults across the trail and then, just as suddenly, completely dissolves into the forest leaving us wonder-struck. Then there was the day a flock of red dragonflies accompanied me, flying all about me, even sitting on my jacket, while I walked to the institute where my father was dying. That never happened before, or since. I still feel a surge of wonder when I think of that. Stack Your Odds of Encountering Wonder You likely remember the moments when wonder surprised you. Often it’s in nature. Putting yourself into places where nature surrounds you can be a catalyst. Another place that Wonder frequents is creativity. Creativity in almost any form, whether you are the one creating, or enjoying someone else’s creations, creativity can also be a space that invites wonder. Music is a great example. We have all been moved to wonder by a special song and that joy can return to us as our mind plays it again. (No, not that annoying song. The good ones.) Yet wonder is not limited to any one place or type of experience. I have known moments of wonder when a friend expressed their understanding about something difficult I was going through. There is a sudden lifting of the heart when it becomes apparent that they do get it. The wonder of special connections is real too. Streamside – watercolour by Cheryl O Art Effects of Wonder Here’s something magical about those moments of wonder. They stop the noise. Without warning, the frantic racing of modern life is brought to an abrupt halt. Can you hear the focused stillness? Sometimes you hold your breath to try not to break the spell. Sometimes you gasp. Whether you are consciously aware or not, these moments carry conviction — there is more to life than work. There is more to life than the things that hound and worry you. There are moments of wonder. Stopping the constant noise of our world can be a revolutionary life-altering act. Instead of the mind racing toward the next item on the to-do list (AKA ‘do-do’ list), worrying about that thing you said or didn’t say — unexpectedly, you are here. Right here. Holding your breath or breathing in deeper with wonder. Mindfulness? I hear you saying, “Oh, mindfulness. You are talking about mindfulness.” Yes, but I’ve struggled with that term. My problem with the word mindfulness is, that it’s everywhere (overuse?) and I never really got it. Meditation was encouraged and that was supposed to start with breathing. I mean, thinking about your breathing. Concentrating on my breathing just reminded me that my lungs were damaged long ago from too many 

Artists Are Lucky

Artists are lucky. I’m looking out the window and seeing a steady rain. I associate this with guilt-free painting time. No brisk exercise walk. When I had one, no garden work. Although these can be quite lovely too, I’d rather be painting. Rain doesn’t make me gloomy. Well okay, if there are weeks of it, it can, but generally not. Rather than make me gloomy rain tends to give me time to paint. Hooray! It’s raining! Naturally, I don’t want to have to depend on the weather to decide to paint. However, I appreciate when I feel encouraged to get the brush moving, and am aware of the things that can help me with that. Some are under my control, some are not. It’s about knowing yourself. What things help you get to your art-making? Take note of those and make full use of them. If you would like to get weekly art tips and info on upcoming courses you can sign up for the newsletter here

Mona Paintings

Famously, Leonardo DaVinci kept his painting of Mona Lisa all his life because he never considered it finished. Not so famously, I had started this rose painting years ago. It doesn’t happen often that I keep an incomplete painting around so long. The vase originally came together quickly. and I really liked it. The rest of the painting, not so much. At long last, I pulled it out again last weekend and it sure felt good to finish it in a way I am finally happy with! I hope you like it too. You are welcome to book an appointment with me to see it if perhaps it might look good at your place. It’s time for this one to find a different ‘forever’ home. How about you? Any ‘Mona’ paintings hanging about? 

Swallows

“Swallows” “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” ― Jim Morrison Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers. 

Probably Pie

“Probably Pie” “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they will never cease to be amused.” ― Author Unknown Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers. 

Wild Flowers

“Wild Flowers” “Fill your brain with giant dreams so it has no place for petty pursuits.” ― Robin S. Sharma Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers. 

Spring Song

“Spring Song” “We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” ― William Gladstone Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers. 

Cyclamen

“Cyclamen” “Art is sharing your vision with others.” ― Cheryl O Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers. 

Baby Rabbit

“Baby Rabbit” “To be creative is to find the heart of your subject, and of yourself.” ― Cheryl O Sign up here for Cheryl O’s weekly newsletter to get art tips, techniques, more quotes and information on upcoming courses. You can also click here to find out more information about the various courses Cheryl offers.