Posts tagged gloucester ma
Time Lapses & Painting Trees
dark and light diptych jpg.jpg

I went back to painting trees a few weeks ago. 

When I was working on my Senior Capstone project for my Studio Art Major in college, I had to come up with a theme, and I was stumbling around in a meeting with my professor and looked out the window and blurted out "Trees. I will paint trees". For ten weeks, I painted trees, which resulted in two 8 x 4 foot paintings with my hand built frames for my show at the end of the year. 

My dad hauled those two paintings back to Los Angeles in a truck for me and kept them in storage until the following year when I had an art show in LA. My sister ended up with one of them, and I know it is with her somewhere in her world.  But at the show, I sold one to a lady who was a collector of my dad's work. A few years ago, she passed away, and I still wonder what's become of the painting. Is it hanging in a family member's house, stuffed in storage, or in the landfill?

A few years ago, I started painting again after a 5 year hiatus. It has always come in waves, the packing up and putting away of supplies and studio spaces, feeling like it needed to be all or nothing. For a long time, "nothing" is what had to be.

One of the first paintings I worked on was a diptych from a photo I took while walking in Ravenswood Park, in Gloucester. The photo was from 2006 when I first moved to the area, unable to believe that I was in the woods, living near the ocean again after being landlocked for so long. Unfortunately, walks in Ravenswood back then consisted of sometimes dragging screaming little ones along, because their legs were tired, there was a bug near them (20 feet maybe and way above their heads?), or because it was a dirt path and not a cement sidewalk. So these walks have been far and few between and then I just never came back around to it, like many things.

I just scrounged up a time lapse video I took for some reason while I was painting in the middle of the night. I was working on two at the same time, as you see at the end of the video...The finished product is below. 

In writing this, it occurs to me how our lives go 'round in circles, always changing, but sometimes coming back around to where we started in some ways. Right now, I feel like time is lapsing, moving slowly, but before our eyes, flashes by. I like to think it comes back around at some point.

IMG_0057.JPG
Non-"Micro-Habits"
 
 

For the last month or so, I've woken up at 4:00 almost every morning. At first I would toss and turn, waiting out the few hours before the alarm, and then one morning, I found myself walking at 4:15 in the morning on the back shore. I must admit, it's a little creepy. 

Now I get up, have a cup of coffee and wait until five. Five is much more reasonable when it comes to the habits of others, driving to work, jogging (right by my semi-fast walking self), waiting in the drive through of Dunkin' Donuts for their mochachinno/half fat latte/large regulars. 

Since early Spring, I've been listening to podcasts while driving, a mixture of Tim Ferriss, The Side Hustle Show, Gretchen Rubin, and even some Loving on Purpose (Danny Silk).  There is something to be said about hearing how others are inspired, motivated, and work through their life, or even daily goals. 

Our family recently subscribed to Apple Music Family Plan, (because we are all music freaks) and we have unlimited access to any music genre or song we could each possible wish for, so I thought I had it made on my daily walks with so much entertainment.

One day, while blasting Beyonce at 5:30am on my walk along the back shore, I decided to switch over and see what was new in my podcast subscriptions. This was a day where I was still working the day job, building my side hustle, driving my children to their jobs, friends and sports, and dreaming of putting paint to paper again in my little home studio. I was wishing that I could sit still long enough to watch a movie in it's entirety and have a decent meal on the table every night for the kids, something that wasn't potstickers and a bowl of fruit, because I was always on the run. And I wanted to sleep a full night's sleep. 

It was a podcast from the Side Hustle Show, "212: Micro Habits: The Too-Small-to-Fail Plan for Big Results", that suddenly alleviated some of the confusion and struggle I had with getting everything done, the way I wanted to get it done, through each day. When something is important to me, I find I still have a time letting go of the things that really don't matter. 

I started thinking about micro-habits, wondering what I could start doing to enable focus and routine to each day. In the end, I found that I really have none other than brushing my teeth and making sure I always have a water bottle and a sweater with me wherever I go. When I do something, doing it for one minute, really isn't enough, so I bagged the micro-habit idea and decided to pick something that I would do every day, in the midst of my work and caring for my children. 

1) Walk every day. I keep reading about how healthy it is for us to take a 15 minute walk every day. I suppose this could be considered a micro habit, even though it is 15 of those one minutes. I discovered that if I walk an hour a day, I am happier. I am happier by listening to podcasts that inspire and educate me. I am happier because I feel I can have a piece of cake when I get home. I am happier because I moved, saw beauty and got some vitamin D and breathed the air.

2) Actually enjoy my coffee. I started drinking my coffee black last year. I thought it would be horrible. But now, I make sure I have time to sit and enjoy it, black. Yes, I enjoy it. I buy really high end beans. I grind them. I use filtered water. I have an expensive coffee machine. It is all worth it.

3) Write every day. Sometimes it is in an old journal, long hand. Sometimes it's a blog post. Sometimes it's a text or email to a family member or friend. Sometimes it's a grocery list.

4) Paint. My studio is such that I can walk up to it, put a brush and paint to the paper, and walk away again. I can do that for five minutes or for two hours. I make sure I do this at some point every day.

5) Dust my dashboard. Honestly. I drive so much. I didn't used to, but with teenagers who are busier than I ever was, I am in the car constantly, driving them to work, sports, friends' houses, to their dad's for the weekend. I keep a dust rag now in my console because somehow the cat hair from the house, ends up on my dashboard along with a boatload of dust. 

I could go on, but I am just trying to put something out there in the world to my friends who have read this far along...to the friends who I always hear "I wish I had time for that" or "I always wanted to do that", or "my car is a mess"...I believe it when I hear it, and I am not pro, and right now there are some dead flies on my dashboard that I've been driving around with for two days. (because the beach was more important) I am determined to make things a bit more sane and fulfilling. I get to work from home now. I get to work with clients who choose me, and in theory, who I get to choose. I get to keep my laundry room a mess, but my car somewhat clean. It's all about what matters and making them a habit. 

 

Memory Layne Creative
memory layne 
creative.jpg

Years ago, when I moved to Gloucester, Ma as a single mum with my two young children, I knew two things. a) I knew that living near the ocean with my children and being at their beck and call (so to speak) was a priority  b) I wanted to be creative for my work.

At City Hall, I registered my business as a sole proprietor, and came up with the name for my business, which consisted of selling art, commissioned murals, and the odd design jobs for a few small businesses. I decided to call it "Memory Layne Creative" because the "Creative" part could pertain to pretty much any freelance work I would take on. I remember thinking, almost ten years ago, "this can go in any direction". 

And so it has. 

With what feels like many life changes, I am now back working from home. "Memory Layne Creative" not only encompasses the fine arts/painting side of what I do, but it also defines my small business marketing business, that includes content & social media management, website design & the design of marketing materials, at an affordable cost for small businesses. (I have been a small business, and know it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to get your identity, products and services out to the real world!)  What began a year ago, is now my full time "hustle". 

I've worked for an arts council, non-profit historic museum, and an investment firm. I've worked retail, been a nanny, a mountaineering instructor and owned a restaurant & piano bar. More recently I was a permanent substitute teacher as well as a cook and baker for a local tea room. I also even dragged my non-green thumb to a job I loved, planting at a farm that stocked it's own farm stand.

And now, I am coming back around, remembering that "Memory Layne Creative" is something else now, and down the road, it can keep changing & growing.