Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

when I’m present



I have been invited to participate in a group art show in May. It is my first, ‘public’ showing of my work and while I have sold some pieces, I’ve never really focused on my art-making as a means of making a living. I love to paint — I’m just not prepared to commit myself to living off my work!

And then, I laugh. At myself. Again.

It’s not about the destination. It’s always about the process. And painting, expressing myself through my creativity is always about process, not product or even end purpose. The only purpose to my art-making is to allow myself to flow into that space where time and place and playing small evaporate into the mists as I enter into trusting  that whatever happens, I will be okay.

Art-making has taught me that. Writing a blog every morning for almost seven years taught me that too. To simply trust in the process. To have faith that the words will appear without my cajoling them, corralling them, rustling them up into sentences and paragraphs. To simply, let be and let what is emerging, become.

These are hard lessons for me. I like to be in control. I like to take it, keep it, use it, be it. I like control.

Which is why the creative process teaches me so much about letting go. When I immerse myself, there is no room, or space, for that voice which would have me believe I can’t do it. I’m not good at it. It’s a waste of time. Why bother?

In the creative process there is only me and the muse and the space I fill where when I let go, anything can happen.

Yesterday, as I painted with my girlfriend, she suggested a new aspect to a painting I had thought was already completed. I liked her idea, but in my desire to hold onto control, I hemmed and hawed and hesitated. Thought about how ‘perfect’ the painting already was. Told myself painting into it could ruin it.

And then, I decided to let go.

And, in letting go, I let flow the wonder and joy of creating something that makes me happy become the happiness I feel in the process of creating.

And what could be better than that? To simply feel content. Satisfied. At peace. To revel in the joy of creating something that gives me pleasure. that feeds my soul. That stirs my creative juices and sets my entire being on fire with the passion and wonder of making art happen in my world.

I had an amazing day painting yesterday and along the way, I learned a thing or two about being present, and in the process I was reminded, when I’m present, magic stirs, wonder appears and miracles happen.

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

14 thoughts on “when I’m present

  1. Louise you are so creative. I admire you! When and where is your art show?


  2. you seem interesting. I will follow your post.


  3. Congratulations! Love your work! I used to do art shows for a living. I also belonged to the Art Association in my area for years. I was more whimisical and did not really fit in as well with the fine art and oil paintings that deserved the places of honor… Though I did sell more cuzzz my pieces were usually a lot less pricey$$. Have fun! Creating is so freeing! I have given up my easle for a key pad… a lot less messy! (sometimes) lol. Your style reminds me of Flavia… do you know her? She did art shows with my mom…


    • Wow Diane! and yes, creating is freeing — and while writing is not as messy as painting, it sure digs into my creative core and frees me up to expression!

      that’s cool about your Mom — I love Flavia’s work. Question — do you miss painting? I find when I’ve been away from it for awhile, that I really miss it.


  4. 🙂 May 10 & 11 — South Calgary/Marda Loop Community Centre — 3130 16Th St SW == Friday 2-9pm Sat — 10 – 5 — I’ll post it on FB too.


  5. LG,

    Don’t you know, all great artists were poor in their lifetimes!

    So, paint on …. money and things aren’t what matters most ….

    Wishing you continued inspiration ..



  6. I was just yesterday in a conversation with someone about an article on creativity that really irritated me. It used such jargon as “productive creativity”, which I found value-laden and oxymoronic.

    As Mark says, just paint. I believe creativity has its own intrinsic value and does not need to be, as the article claimed, “appropriate, useful, and adaptive”!

    Hope the show is a blast for you.


  7. I think you are amazing you are so creative and such an inspiration to many …………..


  8. You are multi-talented!


  9. Louise,

    Though many days I didn’t read your posts, many I didn’t care for or they simply didn’t hold my interest – not suprising at all, because I often get feedback from readers (including you!) saying similar things.

    But what I write about today – is that I miss your catharsis, I miss your holding up a mirror for all of us to look in, I miss knowing how you are on a regular basis, I miss following your moods from joy to despair and back again.

    I realize you are hunkered somewhere grinding out that book, but for those of us who miss the ‘everyday of you’, I miss you every day.

    Hope you are well, or writing, or writing well … or all of that,




    • Mark, what a beautiful comment to read on this snowy morning. And…. I miss being present here every morning. Writing here every morning kept me honest. It kept me flowing. It kept me in the flow. and it kept me connected.

      I’ve been thinking that I need to reassess my decision not to write here every day — I miss it. and I need this process, this presence to keep me on path!

      And truth is — the book has ground to a halt. I’ve been painting up a storm for this art show and in the process, have been up late most nights, and pushed my wake up time ahead by an hour — which means…. I don’t have a two hour writing window in the morning. LOL — ain’t that life!

      So…. thank you for this nudge. Reading your words and knowing how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve told some other friends as wella bout missing being here, I have decided to reconnect beginning tomorrow morning.
      so there! 🙂


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