Painting Snow White

“Stay with it. It’s worth doing. It’s not a crime to fall short, but it is a crime to abuse yourself for not being what you want to be.”

“Snow White” is a painting I have actually had sketched and sitting on a canvas for 3 years. Yep, that’s right. 3 years. It was part of a project I began in celebration of my oldest daughter’s 3rd birthday. She’s now almost 6. Her party was Disney Princess themed, and at the time, her favorite princesses were Rapunzel from “Tangled”, and the classic “Snow White”. With all of the best intentions, I only managed to complete the one painting of Rapunzel in time for her party, and it has always bugged me that I never completed Snow White. In my defense, I definitely bit off more than I could chew with my pinterest inspired party (ugh, the pressure of pinterest! But that’s a topic for another post…), and shortly after the party, I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child. So into storage it went for a time when I might one day have more time…

But in all fairness, I should also state for the record that i always have trouble completing artwork. There is something in my mind that either says that A.) because this is just a hobby of mine, it’s not important enough to complete, OR B.) once it’s at a place that some might call complete, I feel it’s not good enough to call complete – there is always something that could be redone or improved upon and I have trouble letting go.

            And so, and in beginning my 2nd project as part of my 2 Hour Per Week challenge, I dusted “Snow White” off, and in the spirit completion, I decided to give her another try. If I’m being completely honest, I was not pleased at where I was when I got about ½ way done. And it sat for another 3 weeks before I forced myself to pick up the paintbrush again. Painting is something that takes time, layering, and patience. And part of this process is allowing myself to love the process, regardless of the outcome. While it’s not my favorite piece I’ve ever done, I finished it. It’s done. I can now move on and look forward to the next project. And my daughter finally has her painting to hang in her room in time for her 6th birthday.


Movement & Momentum

Committing to this journey to be more creative on a consistent basis, I have given myself what I’m calling the 2 Hour Challenge. Simply put, I will take 2 hours every week (usually on the weekend) to make something. It is my time to put my headphones on and create whatever my little heart desires in that moment.

In a quest of mine to document my children as they are right now, in this moment in time, I decided my first project was to take a photo of my youngest from a recent barbeque and turn it into a charcoal drawing. There’s something about the original photo that completely captures who she is: wild, independent, carefree, confident, (and a little sassy). At 10 o’clock on a Saturday night, I decided to just put in my headphones and work. I didn’t look at the clock, but decided I would work until I was tired enough to go to bed. I wasn’t sure how much I would get accomplished, but amazed myself by fully completing this sketch in 2 hours! It was so encouraging!

But more than the physical end result, I proved to myself that devoting just a small amount of focused time can leave me feeling accomplished, connected to myself, and in balance. As mothers, we often feel it’s too selfish to take time for ourselves. As a people pleaser (and a Cancer), it’s something I have struggled with since day one of motherhood. Guilt is just something that comes with the territory. But something else I’ve come to realize is that being out of balance doesn’t help anyone.

It’s funny what doing this little exercise this weekend did to my overall outlook and attitude. In the week that followed, I felt more at peace with myself, proud of my accomplishment, and looking forward to my next 2 hours of being intentionally creative.

I heard something interesting about momentum this week that I am finding to be very true. You can build up just as much momentum continually NOT doing an act as you can consistently performing an act. So, an easy example of this is the feeling you have each week that you don’t go to the gym building and building until there is so much momentum moving in the negative direction that is seems impossible to jump start the good habit again. But on the flip side, once you start doing something, it becomes easier and easier each time as the momentum builds on the positive side of the spectrum.

I’d love to hear from you – what are your thoughts on momentum? What has helped you to kick start that project you were dying to start? Once you started did you find it became easier to move forward as you consistently starting meeting your goals?