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On Gratitude and Turkey...

I’ve been on the fence on whether or not to post today. So many people will be gathered with friends or family. Food and football, laughter and fun. For many there will be turkey and pie. So many others will be sitting quietly missing loved ones perhaps wishing their day looked little different. It’s a big day here in the United States and I always want to be respectful. It’s also however a big day for expressing gratitude, and so I’ve decided to send.

This past week as I contemplated a new 100 day project my closest friend and constant advisor challenged me. She kept asking me why, and again why and again why... If I didn’t have a clear answer what was the point? 

After much contemplation I was finally clear.

These daily projects are an anchor for me. I realized the reason #‎100daysoftracingmyhands worked so well for me is it was more about self discovery than making art. Some pieces worked out, some didn't. All taught me something. As far as I'm concerned this is really what making art is all about. 

I decided for 100 days to paint circles, my favorite container for creating. I have painted mandalas and other circular vessels as a means of creative expression, story excavation, catharsis and manifestation. Many are complex and jam-packed. My challenge this go round will be simplification. 

Exploring quiet. Exploring spontaneity and flow within a closed vessel. Exploring materials and pigment. Exploring with #100simplecircles…

I am 5 days in and it has been a powerful experience. I have allowed it to be a ritual each day. I light a candle, put on the same song, trace a special leaded crystal glass then fill it with water. I sit and wonder then begin the work. I have felt ease and gratitude each time I do the work, moved by the realization that I really can choose the way I move in to the process and amplify the spiritual experience that it has become for me. Each little painting created as an offering.
 
So back to Thanksgiving. This morning as I decided to write this I looked up the definition of thanksgiving and found listed before the holiday (Thanksgiving), thanksgiving: an expression of gratitude, especially to god (sub the word for whatever works for you).

Reading this definition it became clear to me, my process of creating these simple circles are that to me, a thanksgiving. An expression of gratitude to something greater. Painting as prayer!

Thanksgiving every day; No Food and football, turkey and pie. Just me, my gratitude and painting as prayer.