Keep Going.

Awhile ago, at a Christmas cocktail party, a fellow artist and I were speaking about art-making and the things we’ve learned through both writing and art-making.

Like me, she’s written a blog for several years but recently quit as she wasn’t ‘getting anything out of it’, she said.

I thought about her response and my own experience of blog writing and suddenly, like fireworks lighting up the sky on New Year’s eve, felt this crystal clear thought burst into brilliant light within my mind. “Writing a blog every day has taught me to always trust in the process,” I said. “And making art has taught me to always keep going. To not give into self-doubt or criticism. To trust that if I’m not happy with it, it’s because it’s not done with me yet.”

The Memory Bowls I created for both my sisters this Christmas were an opportunity to lean into what art-making has taught me.

As I layered paper and medium and then painted the bowls gold I kept hearing the voice in my head hissing, “This is ridiculous. It’s going to be a disaster. Quit while you’re ahead.”

I’d never made a ‘memory bowl’ before and was making up the process as I went along. I wanted to give in. To heed that hissing voice but, the muse kept whispering back, “Push through. Keep going.”

I don’t think it’s wise to ignore the muse, so that’s what I did. I kept going, layering and painting and collaging in pieces of memory to create two bowls that tell the story of our parent’s lives.

My middle sister told me she’s going to keep it in her bedroom for her jewelry. My eldest sister wants to put it on a stand for show.

Regardless of how they display or use the bowls, I am grateful for the reminder that, while in life we can’t see what tomorrow may bring, or what will happen next, when we remain committed to the journey, when we stay the course and keep pushing through, we create space for magic, wonder, awe and beauty to appear.

As 2022 slips away and a new year bursts open upon the horizon, magic, mystery and wonder shimmer in the darkness of the unkown the future holds.

There will be trials and tribulations. There will be trauma and grief. And in the midst of it all, no matter how dark the night, or rough the road, magic, wonder, mystery, possibility and above all, LOVE, will also be present. In the midst of darkness, love whispers, “keep going”. In the depths of despair, hope chants, “keep going” and in the dimness of day becoming night, possibility calls out, “keep going”.

2022 art-making taught me to ‘keep going’. What is a lesson you learned in 2022?

I wish you all a beautiful and loving New Year.

These are some photos and a video of one of the memory bowls I made.

14 thoughts on “Keep Going.

  1. Your memory bowls are very creative and look fabulous Louise … and yes I had lots of doubts about my writings, and I thought they were not very good … but I pushed on and persisted, joined some local writing groups, and they genuinely liked my poems … these days I know some of poems have started badly, but I seem to have the confidence to keep going and create something worthwhile … not pleasing to everyone, however still satisfying to my own somewhat restricted ability … and I think that is the most important thing… my writings are mine, my own thoughts, my creation, and no one else can take them … they are unique, and for the world to read and enjoy or whatever…. Happy New Year, and here is my post from this morning, which originally was not going well, but in the end I was ecstatic with the articles overall creative presentation …

    Will There Be a Boat To Steer? (a Tanka)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Memory bowls! Delightful concept, thanks for sharing. Your sisters are so lucky.a
    2023 just arrived here in the Middle Kingdom aka Ontario. Fog is settling in, snow has done its disappearing act, for now. Time to reflect has passed. There is so much to do, create, read, explore.
    Lesson learned – trust is so fragile, time is so priceless.
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These memory bowls are absolutely incredible Louise – what an amazing and cherished keepsake for your sisters. Such talent you have……so happy you shared these creations……..wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year filled with good health, much joy and love❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Val — they definitely stretched me! 🙂 And now, Marilynn has given me an idea on something to create for the Vale’s Art Show I’m in this June!

      Wishing you a beautiful, healthy and vibrant 2023! ❤

      Like

  4. I love the idea of your memory bowl Lousie, do you have instructions on how you made them? Or would you be selling them on etsy, I would like to create a bowl with affirmations and reminders to keep on embracing change and challenging my fears. Thank you for your blog posts they are so inspirational and I have shared some with my family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marilynn! I love your idea. You have given me an idea for an instructional video that I shall work on in the coming weeks! I was planning on making myself one as well — the idea of using affirmations and reminders to keep embrace change etc. is brilliant! I shall take a video of the work in progress and post it on my blog (within the next couple of weeks)– the bowls are relatively easy to make, just time consuming — and then it’s all about painting the foundational colour and collaging on the images and words. I print mine onto rice paper as it bends and blends better with the medium.

      It always feels like such a loving gift to me to know that people not only find inspiration in my posts but share them too! Thank you!

      Like

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