Beautiful Things Grow Out of Ugly Things


(Matisse’s Red Room from my sketchbook drawn at MOMA in New York City)

Here Are 5 Ideas That Are Giving Me Life This Week  

1.  I could let it be easy. It’s been a super busy month and this idea has saved me.  If I’m writing a book, make it a short one.  If I’m thinking of having somebody over, decide to meet them at a restaurant instead.  If it’ an outfit, where something I’ve worn before that worked.

2.  Beautiful Things Grow out of Ugly Things. This week I painted for six hours and had three ugly paintings by the end of business day.  I read once that we all have 1000 bad paintings in us …so I gueess I am 3 ahead.  As much as I hate working so hard for not such great results, my art mentor says that an ugly painting can be a gateway.  And, Brian Eno treats his creativity like being a gardener,

“Beautiful things grow out of shit. Nobody ever believes that. Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head—they somehow appeared there and formed in his head—and all he had to do was write them down and they would be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest.”

So I’m going to keep painting.

3. Things Can Change and Often Do.  All I can do is get ready. Be Present. I’ve been having random thoughts about slipping on a banana peel and getting older this week.  And I have to keep reeling myself back again.  Seneca helps.

It is likely that some bad thing will happen in the future, but it is not happening now.” — Seneca

4. Grief Is My Greatest Asset: I realized this week while painting that I started when my mom got sick back in 2017.  I ramped up on art making after she died in 2020 and now that my dad is gone too (as of March 2023) I can’t stop.  I seem to be fueled by this immense love that I have to express on the canvas.  I made a brief reel about it.

Nick Cave says it so well,

“It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.” Nick Cave

5. The Idea of Making a Commonplace Book.  Note: I have not actually made one yet!!:):):)

Are you in need of extra support or simply feeling as if 2024 is your year to lean into growth?  You can find all the ways to work with me HERE. 

AND you can always work together with me + Inger Kenobi and other fabulous humans like YOU each week by joining SHINE and make serious progress on your creative journey!

with love,


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