• Current Reading List

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Thich Nhat Hanh*** Eat, Pray, Love*** Peaceful Living - Mary Mackenzie(daily reader)*** The Vein of Gold - Julia Cameron (this is a read a chapter a week type book)*** Dubliners - James Joyce*** Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring - Jean Watson*** The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume I***
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Beginning a Creative Marathon

So this is my new venture. A friend ofmine first told me about this “creative marathon” thing a few months ago, and I was intrigued. What a better para llel for my actual marathon training than to “run” a marathon creatively. So, here is what 6 the thing is about: Essentially you are painting 26 paintings over a period of 13 weeks in an effort to delve into your right brain, open your mind and heart, and become “creatively fit” .

At first, I really I really wasn’t sure whether I would have the time to paint two paintings a week….I mean, one painting has taken me forever before, and I spent a lot of that time being dissatisfied with the results. Whitney Ferre , the brain behind this process, assured me (via video) that my painting was “not going to solve world hunger” and so it really didn’t matter if it was perfect, or even whether or not it looked very good. Plus, the beauty of it all, is that come the next mile, I am going to paint right over it. So it really doesn’t matter what the outcome is. I love this idea of impermanence; of stretching myself just to stretch and letting go of the outcome.

So I started on my first mile. Initially I had these nagging little thoughts that said things like “this doesn’t look anything like what they are doing” (students in the video I was watching), “that line looks terrible”, “what a mess”, “you can’t do this”, etc etc. Thankfully I ignored that voice, and told myself just to relax and enjoy the process. So, while this little critic yammered away in my head, another part of me just ignored it and enjoyed the feeling of the brush in my hand and the smell of the paint. When I finished, I criticized the result a little I must say. I didn’t like this tree, or that line, or that color, but it was fun and I left it to dry. When I came back to snap a photo of the result after it dried, I felt very differently about it. I loved it. I really didn’t want to paint over it, but wanted to keep it. Wow! My first “real” painting.

Mile 2: I was eager to start, but it took me a moment or two to let go of the attachment I describd above, and slap on a new coat of paint. Maybe it was because this image was so childlike and fun, or maybe it was because my inner critic wore itself out on the above painting…whatever the reason, the critic was absent for this mile. I just enjoyed the painting process. It felt really freeing to let go of the previous image and bring out the child within myself. Whitney suggested painting this one with your left hand, but I actually forgot to do that, which was okay. This little guy was just so much fun, and I loved mixing these colors. I felt childlike and joyous. This painting also took very little time, and I was almost sad to finish because I wanted more!

I plan to blog about the entire 26 miles. I am looking forward the new experience of each painting. Whitney talks about it being like meditation – and it certainly feels like it as afterwards I am left calm with a little center of childlike joy. I actually pulled out another board and started an “optional” mile #1 because I couldn’t wait for mile 3 to get here! Maybe I will post it later.

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