Been playing with this idea for months. I have a studio in one of the bedrooms upstairs. It acts as my office/studio and keeps things separate from the rest of the household. Gives me privacy and indirect sunlight (very helpful) and has tables and wall space and a closet for all my work and materials. Also slides and books and expensive tools of the trade. But it makes me want to be neat. It is after all a small bedroom.
So I finally decided that I would convert one half of our 2 car garage (a very underutilized space, mostly storage, bikes, recycling center, and junk collection center, etc) into a studio. The side I chose has 2 large windows and in the summer when i can keep the garage door open, i will face woods. Precious green woods. With bird song and flowers and a bit of driveway where the kids can horse around and Zoya can continue her fire experiments.
And I get to play with paint. I'll post back some pictures of the first few explosive moments. For now I have to go paint the walls, clear out the never ending cobwebs, seal the windows and layer the floor with some stuff. Its going to be awesome :-) And my art student (I only have one young 9 year old for now... who is as passionate about art as I am) and I are excited to start working in that space. Also, I will have space to invite maybe another student to join us. Love hanging out with children who love to create via art.
Ravi helped me clear out the space and get it prepped. Its looking more and more like the space I have in mind. Crazy and big and explosive and full of paint tubs.
I was reading 'The Dancing Wu Li Masters' by Gary Zukav. The book had been with me for years. But this time I was ready for it. I feel it bridged so many different cities of thoughts in my mind. Then a dear friend recommended "The Seat of the Soul" that Gary wrote a decade later. And I was blown away. Loved the vast vista I saw thru his words. It has been inspiring me to express more via abstract imagery.
Our relationships, our personal goals, our emotions, all get rather heavy and difficult to navigate sometimes. Taking the big picture view and seeing it all as energy flowing infinitely is rather like sitting by the ocean and just surrendering to the view. Seeing the interconnectedness between all that I desire and all that I apparently don't desire is making me feel less like a victim and more like a creator.
Veena and I often chat about our family members needs and the many roles we play. About how to wake up and feel inspired on days when the weather or heavy emotions swirl and pull us down. We have different ways to cope. I am no longer okay with just coping. I want to thrive. I want to bust out of my thought patterns and see infinite possibilities even in the most sticky situations.
A birthday, an anniversary, a Christmas, etc comes along and suddenly I find myself resenting the holidays. Feeling pressure to deliver on promises, on self imposed expectations and more. Did I bake anything? Did I buy or make a gift that would be appreciated? Did I create a festive environment in my home? I have been coaching myself to ease into the day. To ground myself and then set an intention to the day and then commence to work. And slowly, the sticky moments are easier to live thru because if i'm awake enough, the tape in my head is no longer tuned to channel KFKD (check out www.shmoop.com/bird-by-bird/part-2-chapter-17-summary.html for a quick synopsis or read her incredible book Bird by Bird). Instead its the channel of infinite possibilities, an innate trusting, that the way I look at things changes the very molecules I am looking at. So surely all is well.
I know this needs a serious expansion of trust and I should probably devote pages to explaining the connections here. However i'm going to trust you will check the books out and see for yourself. Or share your experiences in creating your world. All of this made me expand into my art in new ways. I feel ready to express without feeling pressure to do well. I suffer less and less from the 'log kya kahenge' syndrome (What will People say). And becoming more myself. I am happy to end the year and begin the year on these words from 'The Seat of the Soul':
Only thru responsible choice can you choose consciously to cultivate and nourish the needs of your soul, and to challenge and release the wants of your personality. This is the choice of clarity and wisdom, the choice of conscious transformation. It is the choice of the higher-frequency energy currents of love, forgiveness, and compassion. It is the choice to follow the voice of your higher self, your soul. It is the decision to open yourself to the guidance and assistance of your guides and Teachers. It is the path that leads consciously to authentic power.
I am in splits as I sit down to write my first blog post on my still shiny new site. My sister makes me laugh so hard as she describes her husbands brilliant impromptu stand-up comedy routines. Its good to laugh deep and hard. I'm grateful that I have a Studio Partner in my sister who loves me and my art. Veena and I are both unschooling mammas who are deeply immersed in our joint journey with our children. And are also pulled to creating a business that feeds our souls. I create art. She creates platforms for it to expand beyond my studio walls. We are learning, creating, growing and researching our art business while being full time life-learning facilitators, drivers (well one kid is almost ready for a drivers permit), home-managers, short-order cooks and more for our families. Hence the title Arting and Kidding ;-) Its a pretty messy ride but worthwhile and so spiritually satisfying.
So this month, I have my first Studio Tour (https://www.hemabharadwaj.com/open-studio-tour.html) My artist-photographer friend Parvathi Kumar offered to share her newly renovated garage studio space with me. Looking forward to recreating a bit of my studio in her space... my tools, my inks, brushes, paper etc will all be on display. I will be working on a piece the entire time... a live demo.... unless someone wants to chat with me. Its a lovely way to give children a view of what goes on in the artists' studio. Bring your children and bring yourself.... be ready to feel a creative spark. Try some ink dipping tools and ask questions... anything you wanted to know about the creative process.
Try making some art that speaks to you! Calvin says it best: