I’m Up to My Eyeballs in It

This week I’m crying “UNCLE” cuz I’m up to my eyeballs in it.

I had a great post planned for you and started to write it. Somewhere in the middle my commitments, life happened. In the last 10 days I’ve helped my husband launch a new product line, taken care of a kid who had 4 wisdom teeth extracted, attended a funeral, gone to some art classes, celebrated my birthday month and made an earnest attempt to be in the studio every day. If it sounds like I’m making excuses, your radar is working, because – I am!  I feel like I’m running behind schedule and if I don’t cry uncle, nothing will get finished! Yeah, I’m panicking, just a little.

Nothing major, just that I took Leslie Saeta’s  “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge and it’s (gulp) JANUARY 29th! So, I’ll fill this post with pictures of my process and throw myself on the mercy of the court.

I began the challenge with the intention to do a daily ink and watercolur piece that depicts a blog post I’ve written. It took a LOT of research and I completed 11 of them. Here’s a sample 

Crying uncleThese drawings took a long time, because I had to peruse ALL my posts to select which would be appropriate, the topic and then create an image. I wondered if I could reach my goal and then made a slight adjustment. Continue reading “I’m Up to My Eyeballs in It”

The Value of Grit

(This is a “reprint” and a bit of an edited “hybrid” of a previous post. I selected it because, while I understand the value of grit, I also understand the value of the combination of letting go while still engaged in joyful pursuit. It’s a balance I’m struggling with….so while I struggle, you may want to read this…)

Grit work ethicI used to have a sticker next to my computer. It said “Die Trying.” It was the culture of the company I worked for – where the boss hurled battle cries like, “Play hurt!” “Dig your cleats in!” “This ain’t no country club!” We were a small, yet powerful, team. What we were able to accomplish was remarkable, and our successes drove us to work harder. We celebrated often, whether it was for conquering the competition or recognizing our own mammoth efforts. It was a constant thrill and the work ethic built confidence in each of us.

That job was a good fit for me. This recovering Catholic doesn’t feel like anything is finished until I leave a little blood on it (click to Tweet if you’re RC, too!).

I know it’s a fallacy, but I believe it has to hurt – just a little – for me to feel like I’ve done well enough.  I am convinced this guilty masochism keeps me striving for excellence. It pushes me. It’s my quality control.

There’s a difference between those who are willing to die trying and those who are not. It usually shows up in results. (click to Tweet)

I’ve noticed a lot of creative people expect things to happen organically. I can understand that because  that’s how our creative work is processed. Intuition and inspiration play a large part in knowing how to approach our work, understanding when something is complete and, at least for me, there’s an entire “letting it go” part in the middle of the creative process that allows the best work to spring forth…almost on its own.

Letting “it” come to you it a critical component in achievement, but shouldn’t be relied upon…at all. It doesn’t work very well in practical pursuits like productivity and marketing. You have to do your legwork. You have to stretch. You have to be willing to die trying. That madness that has you working in the studio at 2:00 am – that’s not always inspiration…sometimes, it’s a DEADLINE!

And that’s okay.

Because stuff happens. Stuff happens when we are willing to “die trying.

Most of us value success, fulfillment, recognition. Whether you get it or not depends upon a few things. Luck? Sure! Opportunity? Certainly! Talent? Yes! Then there is that other piece…Grit. If you aren’t the luckiest and most talented contender, you must have grit. It’s the fuel that may just make the difference. It’s the ingredient that might just get you there. If you don’t get “there” every time, that’s natural. You’ll probably pick up some other bi-products along the way – things like confidence, camaraderie, strategic skills, faith.

And speaking of faith…a little reminder that the very best things in life often wear disguises. They come wrapped as parcels we may not have chosen. Sometimes, they just choose us, because, newsflash, you don’t know everything. As you forge ahead, may your grit be curious and accepting. May the burning in your “trying muscles” have stamina and faith. May you be bold and tireless,

Go Get It, or Die Trying,




Michelle Andres is a writer and  artist. She writes this blog in hopes it may help you, also, create a well-lived life. Writer, Artist, Coach
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Don’t Judge ME!!!

“Don’t judge me!” “DO NOT judge me!”Don't Judge Me!

I’ve said it before, in jest, haven’t you? I’m sure most of us, when we self-confidently push the envelope,  have asserted that statement with humour and followed it with broken laughter or giggles.

Sometimes, it’s not funny. There are times we’re alone in our head,  times we think or suspect we’re being unfairly assessed that can have big, nasty impact. What happens when we believe we’re amongst friends, and suddenly we feel judged? Actually, the bigger question becomes are we really being judged, or are we insecure and feeling out of our element, so we make the fatal mental leap? I’ve seen people turn this assumption inward – after all, you can’t confront it when you simply suspect it, so the only evidence becomes your own self-doubt. Continue reading “Don’t Judge ME!!!”

Abstract Art 101 A 1/2

Let me preface this lesson by disclosing I’m not an art historian; I’m People looking at artjust a writer and painter. I mainly paint non-objective abstracts (that means they don’t look like anything recognizable) and I’ve noticed a considerable number of people are baffled by abstract art. Some people don’t know what they’re “supposed” to think about it.

Now, this could turn into an art history lesson – but I’ll do my best to spare you. I’m not an art history teacher and have no desire to overwhelm or confuse you. Okay, I like to confuse you a bit, but overwhelm, no. My main objective is to engage your curiosity and get you to perhaps look a bit longer, think a bit more openly and try to see art with your heart. Continue reading “Abstract Art 101 A 1/2”

The Path’s Purpose

Have the planets aligned? It’s New Year’s Day and a perfect chance for me to harangue you with a bunch of questions, like “What’s your word for 2016?” “What big, audacious goals are on your horizon?” “What steps do you have planned to achieve your dreams this year?” or “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”

© 2015 Diannepoinski.com
© 2015 Dianne Poinski Photography

Not. This. Year.

I think 2016 is time for a grace period. Why? Well, I recently saw this from my friend,  Joseph White Wolf:

My New Years resolution is to not change a thing about myself and to simply love myself just the way I am… Never do I want to change the path that I am on, my path is here to change me… ”                                           

Continue reading “The Path’s Purpose”