Why paint? Why share? Why show people they can paint something in 1 hour? Why? Why? Why? What a strong three letter word………..Why? Because I read things like this:
“Seize the day: Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. -Albert Schweitzer
This made me think of Tracy! I think it’s been 2 years or more since I first watched a video of Tracy. I loved her spunk, her zest for life and most of all her “realness” ! I was going through some really hard things in life and at times felt they were getting the best of me. I emailed Tracy to thank her and she took the time to reply and there our friendship started. She has taught me that I “can” draw and that I can use painting and art journaling to help me on my journey through the hard times in life. I give my deepest thanks to her for helping rekindle my light. I’m sure there are more of you that she has done the same for!” ~ E. W.
“My word for 2015 is light. i have been facinated with the many ways we use the word or share thoughts about the light in our world. I too was in a difficult place in life when I discovered Tracy Weinzapfel Stratton. Light shines through her and we can, if we are willing, catch the flame of creativity and pass it along. Thank you Tracy and all the other amazing friends I have met on Mondays.” ~ B.S.
I have been meaning to write to you for awhile now about MMM and to say thank you. I pretty much have the craft room of my dreams and it is filled with just about every kind of craft medium you can work with. I was an unintentional craft hoarder with every good hearted intention of using every single item I purchased. Many times I started off raring to go and then doubt myself and eventually it went into the “it’s not good enough will do it later pile” where it would sit (and sometimes that still happens, but less often now) collecting dust. MMM has taught me to just enjoy the process. I am far from being an artist and for a very long time I just forgot how much I just love to ‘craft play’. I am not looking to sell any work and I have been a crafter since my early 20’s (I’ll be 51 in November). Okay so where is all this rambling going? Glad you asked…… I have been watching MMM for nearly 2 years now and I try to make it to the live shows, however, when my pain hits (which is often) I cannot sit and watch and usually will catch it the next day (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia). Much of the time I would just sit and watch the shows and that was pretty much it. Well a few months ago I purchased some mixed media journals and just started to ‘play’ again. I found that I was not criticizing myself if something didn’t come out ‘perfect’ I was just having a good time getting my ink on! I also notice that when I play in my journal I am not focused on my pain. Using my art journal has become my therapy. I thought “my new art journal fad” would end up being just another thing to collect dust in my craft room after a week or two. Well I am pleased to report that 7 months later I am still playing, having fun and most days I do it with a lot less pain. I thank you for giving me the confidence to go balls to the wall and to just have fun! I just wanted to let you know the impact you have made and like I said before ….. keep on inkin and drinkin!” ~L.F.
Yes I save the emails….
Love your art, it’s great therapy for me as I am dealing with ovarian cancer. I have remained positive throughout my cancer journey, but recently I have discovered that creating art and being inspired by artists like yourself makes the journey much more easier. Thank you, you have inspired me to create beauty in my life.” ~ L.W.
I see and watch a lot of mixed media, scrapbooking and other crafts on U-tube and Ustream, I am very good with making things from what I watch. But you, well let me tell you, you did something I thought I would never agree to, I painted a picture, my first ever without tracing, paint-by-the-number, just did it, all because of you and your relaxed way of doing things. Your laid back attitude is so inspiriting and you made be believe I could do it. I know this is all hokey. I am a retired neurosurgical nurse, everything by the rules and not able to free hand anything that looks artsy. I travel all over the country in my RV, by myself & my 4 legged friend, you have given me the inspiration to do something with all these acrylics and watercolors that I have collected now, when I come in at night, I have given myself permission to just put my ideas down on paper, no matter how good it is. Never to later to teach an old dog new tricks even at 73. A note: I raised 6 kids after a divorce, went back to school for nursing, had my own business and am now RETIRED, you have shown me I too, can have fun “outside the line”. I have never written to anyone and thanked them on the internet, but I just wanted you to know, I appreciate what you do and still take care of your children and all the other hassles, but still make us, your audience, feel we have you undivided attention.” ~ M.A.
Why?…..because someone can send an email that tells me the highs and lows they are experiencing and they pulled out their art journal. In the creative process they left those fears, woes, emotions on that page because they saw something I did. I too do the same thing. I grab my art journal and let it go. I bet you can sense what I was feeling here….
I think this one is pretty clear cut….
My art follows my emotions, my story…..one of my most latest pages tells a whole different story……..It is my safe place. So the answer “Why?” seems to be simple. I love to share, teach, inspire and be a part of something much bigger then I ever expected. I love to go to shows, teach classes, hug, shake hands, hear stories and know others share this passion I have. I love to see people try something that they thought they could not do. I wish there was more I can do but I am not a therapist, doctor….just someone with a paint brush.
I always say I have no idea where I am going but it has taken me to some amazing places and crossed the paths of special people. As I jump into some new endeavors and close the doors on some others I look forward to sharing more art, more of myself and Growing………..
There are those days I question myself and ask why too……on those days I have to trust the path I am on and re-adjust when necessary. In the meantime I am enjoying the new doors opening. I am also thankful for those comments, emails, etc. that remind me of why. Sometimes you just need to Embrace………
and enjoy the journey. Find the art that speaks to you. Don’t feed the “Why?” and doubt yourself. Instead let it propel you to try something new…Believe
Time to pull out that art journal and let it go……..
Time to tell your story.
Sometimes you likely catch yourself asking, “Who am I to think I can do this?” When in fact you should be saying, “Who am I to think I can’t?” Ignore your doubts. Forget about fitting in. Stand out! Think about it. If you spent your entire life focusing on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t save face and lose your soul in the process. Doing so does not serve the world. There’s nothing helpful about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you. You are meant to shine in a way only YOU can. You were born to manifest all the brilliance inside you. And as you let your light shine, you subconsciously give others permission to do the same. As you are liberated from your own fear of standing out, your presence automatically liberates those around you too.