I need some AIR….

Tonight I began the Evolve class through AIR. It is a six month long class that helps you define a project through the design thinking process. We each had to give a minute and a half pitch of our project. More on what that is later…..I am going to need your help with my interactive homework. YIKES!

I realize that most of us don’t like speaking in front of groups of people, but my fear of it absolutely takes over. I knew this minute and a half would feel like an eternity. I practiced in my head what I was going to say over and over again. And Ryan even caught me mumbling to myself a few times wondering who in the world I was addressing. His big brown eyes had a look of pure concern expressing my thoughts exactly.  But, I felt I had it and was proud of myself for being so prepared.

HA! Joke is on me.

When I got to class, it was like my mind was a dry erase board that had just been wiped clean. It was gone. And all I could think of was the rainbow screen that use to come on the TV at midnight once programming was over. There is a painting of that at a local restaurant that drives me insane. I can actually hear that endless monotone note that I am sure was designed to wake your ass up so you could wipe the drool from your face and force yourself to bed.

Focus Catherine.

I listened to others as they gave their project ideas. Great things! Inspiring ideas! What wonderful people!
Wait. What is my name? 
Everything including my name felt like a blur. I could feel my body firing nervous adrenaline and I had the shakes. How do people do this? How are they so comfortable? poised? articulate?
Oh no!!!…… only two people before me. And they are both REAL artists  What am I doing here? Good thing I am closest to the door. I can make a run for it. 
Uh-oh. I can’t feel my feet.

Wow! Her collaborative installation project sounds fascinating!

Damn, it is my turn. My face feels like it is inches from a roaring fire. My voice sounds like one of the Charlie Brown adults except not that confident….. shaking. Whaa whaa wha whaa whaaaaa…. and I am hoping that the next sentence that comes out of my mouth relates to whatever it is that I just said. And, I hope that I can find some oxygen soon. The more nervous.. the faster I speak.. I mean ramble. AH!!.. I need AIR.. pun intended. The shakes take over and I just have to apologize that I am so nervous, as if they couldn’t see?!?! But I am able to inhale and continue.  What a mess. Whaa whaa wha whaa whaaaa……. done.
I now think my project should be public speaking….. or not. 
Now onto the work of mission statements and vision statements….oh good…. we get to share those too. I think I am just going to be uncomfortable for 6 months. But, it is worth it. I know I am going to learn a ton and move forward with a plan, direction and guidance. There is definite benefit in that. Plus, I figure being in a room with such smart, creative and interesting people, I can’t go wrong. 

Hit the Easy Button

Have you seen that commercial for an office store where you can hit the “easy” button and then voila`, all is solved?  Believe me I have come up with a thousand uses for such a magical disk of red plastic; from the simplest of tasks to world peace.

Hit the easy button and a beautiful, organic, fresh dinner appears on my newly built deck that all of my children will love so there isn’t a single whimper at the table.
Hit the easy button and the cancers are cured and millions can take a big deep breath.
Hit the easy button and the smelly, filthy boy laundry is done, folded and put away.
Hit the easy button and my distinctive artist statement is well written telling my love and need of painting without sounding completely cheesy.
Hit the easy button and equality for all is a reality and a normal way of life, end of story.
and on and on.

But we have to go through it.
We have to learn, expand, and open. We have to cry and laugh and even rage through the uncertainty and fears. We have to learn to trust in those we love and who love us back. We have to open up to the support that is all around us. And we have to expand beyond our boundaries to create new opportunities to share with and validate others, even in the midst of impossible days. Going through it, whatever it may be, connects us.

Last week was so surreal for so many reasons. Nationally, locally, and personally. Extreme highs and lows. It was hard to find and clarity and stability. But what I realized is that there are easy buttons all over the place if you are willing to see them.

In a moment of anger, there is a lipstick (easy button) to write on the mirror to say “I am sorry.” making room for forgiveness. Pretty easy.

In a moment of exhaustion, a snow storm (easy button) dumps and a much needed lazy and joyful day becomes guilt free and easy.

When life is spinning and it is impossible to sit still but not able to really focus, cleaning out and purging all of the stuff in the storage room becomes easy.

Coming home to a plastic pink flamingo in the front yard… is an awesome easy button for pure silliness and JOY!

To dropping off boys at school after 6 days of being home and then escorted home by a beautiful golden eagle… AH!!!! Beautiful and stunning easy button for awe and perspective.

It is my hibiscus plant finally blooming when I am itching for spring and a colorful garden again.

What are easy buttons can you find today?

WHAT? Serioulsy? Did I just write that?

Sitting here trying to catch my breath. I just got the boys off to school and ran from my car to get inside. The wind is whipping, the snow is swirling and it is a lovely 18 degrees on this April 9th morning.

WHAT? Seriously! Did I just write that?


 I am always homesick for Virginia in April. I day dream of the rosebuds, cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils, and fields of emerald green that all are promises of lush, dense foliage to come. I am so itching to dig and play in the dirt. Obviously, we are a ways off from that kind of fun here. So today, I am going to take advantage of a quiet house that is picked up and clean enough to ignore and focus on starting to write an artist statement.

WHAT? Seriously.? Did I just write that?

So I will probably go paint first and warm up to that idea.

I called a friend yesterday who is a brilliant artist, by far one of the funniest people I know and has a heart with endless amounts of love and compassion. I had some questions for her as I was heading out to ship off the two paintings I sold last week.

WHAT? Seriously? Did I just write that?


Anyway, Barbara was helpful in answering my questions. I thanked her for her time and told her that I feel like I am playing dress up, or house, or doctor or something as I “play artist.” (though, I am taking this process much more seriously and focused than I thought I possibly could) She said that she still feels that way at times and like a poser or fraud.

WHAT? Seriously? Did she just say that?


I couldn’t believe it as we just finished talking about her opening in Denver next month, that the gallery was coming up to pick up some of her work, etc… and this by far from her first show. Go to her website and see for yourself. She is an accomplished and professional artist and she feels like that, too? Crazy.

But, in her direct way and funny way, she told me it is time to use the word. I felt proud.

artist. ARTist. Artist?

What? Seriously? Can I say that?

I am going to paint.