Category Archives: Confession

How A Title Is Born

I just finished “Tithe”, mixed media on canvas, 36″w x 36″h x 1 1/2″d and I posted it “for sale”. I was asked about the title. It’s kind of funny how an artist can derive at a meaning behind a piece of work. It goes something like this…

There is nothing more strange than to find yourself making a drive to the car shop, which is across from your old place of employment. On this drive that I took for so many years, to many to count, an old high school song came on the radio. With the windows down, well only the driver side because it’s the only one that still works ;), the wind brushing across my face, I wondered where all the time went? I flashed back and in this moment, though realizing how far I have come, I recognized that I am all those “Anne’s”, flashing like nano seconds in my mind. I am still the girl who loved high school; yet couldn’t wait to get out and start the next chapter of my life. I am still the rebel who upon occasion likes to buck the system. I am still the girl who dreams of the proverbial white picket fence. I am still the girl if you tell me not to do something, I’ll do it anyway, just because I have to find out for myself. This has often resulted in excruciating heartache! I am still the girl who survived the betrayal of friendships and past lovers. I am still the girl who wants to do it all by herself. I am still the girl who likes to skip and dance. I am still the girl who is silly and happy and yet will cry at the drop of the hat. I am still the girl that wants to be the best. I am still the girl who will risk “love” at all cost to my sanity, well, taking a break from that last one. I am still the girl that feels every emotion so profoundly. I am still the girl who tries to see the humor in all situations, like how I am sitting in the car repair shop across the road from where I spent over half my life and knowing I don’t belong there. And as I look at the empty parking lot that should be filled on a Friday with cars, it’s as if I never was there- empty!

After finding myself living in the cubicle for over twenty years, I walked away for my spirit. I simply without a safety net, finally flew the coop. I left behind all the things that made the person I liked seeing in the mirror disappear.

I haven’t a clue what tomorrow brings, none of us do. I learned from a past relationship, we, I, often live in the false perception of security. And because I did, I stayed in bad relationships, I stayed at a job that didn’t truly value me and I accepted it. I accepted it until I just woke up. Little by little, I started finding strength to say “no!” “No” to the men who tried to change me, who didn’t value me, who didn’t treasure me. “No” to the friends who like drama, who spend more time tearing down other’s than building their own lives, who spend more time pointing fingers then willing to accept their own decisions. I started saying, “no.” It’s a simple word and yet one where I am not alone in battling with giving oneself the permission to utilize it more.

And you may be asking, “but what about the title? Why ‘Tithe’?” It’s simple really. As I paint, draw, or do anything that is what I was made to be, to do- I think of everything and I think of nothing. I paint my journey, my experiences, my sadness and happiness, my break ups and my new loves. I paint about my friends and their lives. I paint about being a mother and the longing for a better life for my children. I paint the feeling of a woman finding herself, a woman who will prevail against all the obstacles in her path. I paint!

I finished up and I just found myself staring at it. As I was reflecting upon this piece and trying to find the title of it… many thoughts and titles were swirling about; but nothing was sticking. Something that usually just speaks to me, wasn’t coming. Sometimes you need another person’s perspective, so I sent a picture of it to another artist and I typed, “Title?” When I got his response back, I did a double take. I laughed at first; but admittedly I was stumped at his comment. I read it a couple of times and it still didn’t make sense to me. He wrote, “I say go with it. First instinct is usually your best.” What the hell does that mean? I sent it to you for your help, I thought. Then it occurred to me to look at what I had sent again. You see I didn’t type “Title” but “Tithe?” And I busted out laughing at the irony of it all. Here is why. I have been refusing to wear glasses. It makes me angry when I struggle to read my phone, and God forbid when I paint with yellow and that juxtaposition of brightness against the stark white canvas sends my eyes all crazy in and out of focus. I have given up and accepted I can no longer read the fine print on my medicine bottles and have resorted to becoming my mother (again), and out against of total exasperation, just hand it to my youngest and retort, “Please read this for me!” So I sat back and I thought about how I am fighting against using my glasses that would help me “see” and then I realized how damn stubborn I am, even against myself. I spent the last twenty years refusing to “see” what needed to be done and well, twenty years later, I put the glasses on, metaphorically speaking of course. As I sipped my espresso, glancing at the painting, pondering the meaning of the word- “tithe”:

“Sometimes, tithes. the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.”

And I realized that we are of God. He is in us. We are intertwined and my body, my vessel which houses my spirit, my soul, is his church. And out of all the times I give to other’s, to help them, it’s more than ok to do for me. I have an obligation to take care of my spirit. I owe it to my children, to myself to “shine”. For with each brush stroke, each painting I take across the finish line, I am “tithing” for my spirit. And as a daughter, I can finally tell my daddy “I get it! I get my worth. I see ‘me’ the way you always have.” And I cry! I just “wanted an angel to wipe my tears, to make it all better” and I grasped in that moment and all of the hours put into this painting the significance of this. Sometimes you have to be the one that wipes your own. And as a mother of two incredibly perfect girls’, I hope they understand the need to “Tithe” for their own spirits. It all suddenly made perfect sense to me to title it such.

I know I am not alone in these glorious epiphanies we have as humans in such a complex universe and I read many across this blog platform. What I can offer in the form of advice, though admittedly, I am far from anyone who should give it… It’s okay to take care of you!

~ ❤ and light always ~

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Things to Come

When the days are long and the nights are longer and sometimes living in the “now” is not where you want to be, sometimes one must close their eyes and envision all the things that are on the horizon… And sometimes that’s all that is needed to see beauty even on our darkest days and during our tribulations!

“Things to Come”-SOLD
36″w x 36″h x 1 1/2″d
Acrylics on Canvas

 

Spring Surprises

I love this time of year!  There is an inner sense of renewal, rejuvenation that stirs achingly within me.  I can’t wait to get out of bed and start my day(s).  I LOVE that I am able to say that statement.  I spent way too many days of my life crying on the way to work.  I had lost… “me”.  Silly, I know!  What does that even me really?  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy life.  I did!  But sometimes it takes some of “us” a little longer to wake up our inner beings and to embrace who we were meant to be on this journey.  When you learn to have utter faith (not easy for us control freaks), and take the blind leap in knowing, just knowing in your very bones that the ground will appear…look out!! It’s a hell of a ride!!

As I spend the time walking my little one, “Boo” to school every day, I DO take more time to notice such things as how the air is outlined with sweet Jasmine and a hint of roses.  As the essence of these sweet fragrances are inhaled with each breath I take and with the witnessing of their very blossoms occurring at every glance in nature, I smile!!  For there is nothing sweeter to me than these morning walks I get to be a part of it all, this crazy universe and the ride it offers.  I realize that these “moments” I am so blessed to be able to share with her.  We stop and smell the flowers, we giggle, we skip, we catch and release baby frogs, we pet the neighbor’s cat “Smudge” (who by the way likes to sneak into my studio and grace me with his presence-ha), and well, we cut up all the way to school.  I/we notice the changes in nature, like how her favorite tree the “Magnolia” is in full bloom.  But just as importantly, I notice the change(s) that have happened in her and in me!!  I smile!!

Spring has been nothing short of a zillion little surprises like what was mentioned above.  It has also brought some sales.  Uhhh…. grateful…. YES!!!  I know I have said this before, however, I love, love, love when someone who buys a painting of mine does so because it touches them on a level that as every artist you hope and dream about.  When they take the time to ask you about the title, the color choices, where your head and heart were in making your art AND then they reveal why it touched them so, you go “YES!”  Because through your art you are able to form a bond, a universal connection with another human being that understands your journey, that can relate it to their own.  You are here, and they are there, and yet, there is something (emotions/experiences) that connect us all!!  So I am so thrilled to know that a piece of me, my art, will adorn their wall, their home, and their heart!!

Anne Oliver
“The Wandering Whispers of Her Heart”
Mixed Media on Canvas
60″w x 48″h x 1 1/2″d (SOLD)

It is my hope that as I grow and learn each day to listen to the “whispers” of my heart, to take heed at what it is revealing to me, that YOU too, take the time to listen to your own.  It is never to late to follow your dreams.

~ ❤ & light  to you all ~

A New Dawn

I suppose a considerable amount could be said about having the right kind of perspective in life.  I also wholeheartedly believe that it is a choice, in many ways, on how one looks at the events that unfold in their life.  I have had to make tough decisions, as we all have, about the direction I see for myself.  This means choosing to “walk away” for what does not ultimately serve my higher being.  The beauty of it all, I wouldn’t change any of it.  As with anything in life, I am learning.  I am learning to “let go”, I am learning to “stand up for myself”, I am learning “what I want-matters”, and I am learning “I have a lot to say”.  Okay, so maybe that last one is ridiculous since I have ALWAYS had a lot to say.  However, my voice matters, if only to me!

I no longer fret about tomorrow, not really.  I no longer allow  myself to be “bogged down” by all the visions of what has not even come to fruition.  This does NOT mean that I do not dream.  I do!  I dream about a better life for my girls’.  Everything that I am working towards is for them and selfishly; or better yet, with self-interest, is for me.  As I work towards achieving my goals to be an artist that can make a living at what I love to do, I see the chapters that end before my eyes as not an ending; but a beautiful unknown beginning.  And that is exciting!  It is afterall, “A New Dawn”.

Anne Oliver
“A New Dawn II”
Mixed Media on Canvas
48″w x 24″h x 1 1/2″d

Anne Oliver
“A New Dawn I”
Mixed Media on Canvas
40″w x 30″h x 1 1/2″d

 

Emotions Are Like Roller Coasters and That Is More Than Perfect

Emotions Are Like Roller Coasters and That Is More Than Perfect

This has been a week of ups and downs, like… Well, life! I am grateful for them all. Yes, even the hard times because I still choose to be open to the lessons that comes from these moments. They often give me quiet pauses and the ability to reflect. I don’t always like “me” that is revealed when I realize I have lost my compassion of seeing “the other person’s side” for example; or the lack of patience I have when people are just vindictive.

I found myself starting the week off standing by Mommy’s side attending a funeral. Ugh! Hello Monday! And even in this moment I realized life is beautiful! It’s mixed with such contrasting elements of emotions and I sway in them all every day a million times a day. I use to think I needed to change this part of me, that somehow being a ‘being’ that feels everything so intensely isn’t right? I should somehow come to expect from myself a more ‘even-keeled’ approach to situations. This is when one often has epiphanies, when you allow yourself to just “be”. And you know what I learned? I am perfect the way I am! I can stand at a grave and feel the enormous amounts of human emotions and they are all wonderful, even grief! I can witness generosity as a man I didn’t even know offered us his umbrella as it started to rain. I can feel the warmth of the sun breaking through the clouds and making it’s way to my face causing me to feel “his” love. I can cry instantly when I hear them play ‘Taps’. I can feel elation when I look at a coffin covered with the American flag and knowing that the man that use to inhabit that body fought for my freedom to be able to stand here at this moment and feel pure joy knowing he is free and his spirit lives on. I can bear witness to the testimonies of his life and be so hit in the face with the realization that what we do in this life impacts everyone we come into contact with, good and bad. And this reminded me of a Maya Angelou quote “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Amen sister!! I can glance up at the sky and watch and listen to the birds flying above and observe life goes on.

As I stood there holding the umbrella over my mommy, I was trying so desperately to avoid poking my Uncle in the eye who was right behind us. And in this process I kept doinking her in the head with it. So yes, even at a funeral and without a second’s notice I can get the damn giggles with my mommy. I leaned into her neck burying my face trying to maintain some sense of composure, avoiding her eyes at all cost because she was giggling too. I can at this moment be ever so grateful I still have her in my life! Her perfume engulfed my every fiber of spirit and twirled about and I inhaled her! I found myself lost in her. Then it hit me!! My eyes began to swell up with tears. She wears the same perfume I have always known, “Tabu” and the smell belongs to her! It is my mommy. And I just stood with my eyes closed, breathing her in and out, and I was just so damn freaking grateful that I had this moment with her.

My week, even today, has been filled with so many of these emotions. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster! I awoke this morning to a text from my incredibly vivacious eldest, Lindsay. She sent me a sound clip of a song her and her girlfriend were listening to and the text said, “And listen to what we’re listening tooooo! It makes me miss you so much😢.” I had no idea the floodgates were going to be crashing through again. I hit the ‘play’ button and a Dido song was playing. I began bawling! This song has so many memories attached to it and every one of them hit me square in the face. I cried and I laughed reliving them all. I cried because well, that’s what I do! As I tried to get coffee going and breakfast ready for my Boo, tears streaming down my face, I listened to the song. I cried because it reminded me of difficult times. I cried because I survived them all! I cried because I remembered how we would play it over and over again singing it at the top of our lungs. I cried because she heard it and thought of me. I cried because in this sound clip I could hear the two of them singing at the top of their lungs in the background and I envisioned two young girls’, footloose and fancy free, being happy and letting go, and learning life goes on! And they sing! And I cried! I cried because the sound of my daughter’s voice is one of the sweetest there is.

This week, full of tears and giggles and everything in between…I thank you God for all the lessons and beauty you surround us with every day! I embrace each moment fully in all of it’s minute pieces of glory and I laugh and I cry and whatever else happens to come over me and it is all perfect.

~ ❤ and light and many blessings to you all!

Sometimes Ego Wins

As I spend my time lately seeking more of a spiritual connection with life, I am often surprised at how fast my little patootie can swing full force into ego!! It happened so quickly, really. There I was. There he was. It was just the two of us. He stood about 5′ 10″, dark eyes, and that’s all I remember because after all, this is all about moi!! Here I was standing only 4′ 11″ in front of a boy I could be old enough to be his mother. Then it happened. I giggled. He stared blankly. I didn’t care!! So with a little hesitation, I looked down, opened up slowly, and with one more little school girl chuckle reached for it! As our eyes locked, he smiled. I melted! Then it happened. I handed him my drivers license and as he looked at me, then my ID, and back again he said, “You look young!”

This moment right here… I am feeling on top of the world!! I’m really quite amazed I could fit through the darn doors as surely my head would get stuck! But who cares… I just got carded folks!! Bam!! It’s a great day!!! Lol

Happy 4th of July everybody! I hope with all my being (big head included) hahaha that it is filled with sparkles and dazzling fireworks!! Be safe tonight!!

~ ❤ & light ~

The Final Release

It’s funny really when you stop to think how the most random of events, places, people, and/or conversations can wake you up. But it can and they often do. I had an epiphany this morning while in my studio, painting and quite lost in my thoughts. You see it dawned on me, in the course of conversation with two incredible people at dinner last night, I had one more hurdle to accomplish in order to “let go” the final bondages. Though I have made leaps and bounds in the direction of learning the art of forgiveness, I realized I was allowing others to write my story by simply speaking of the past. So amidst painting hundreds of leaves, something sparked the conversations the night before. Then I remembered my dream… And it clicked!

Last night I woke up from a sound sleep, to the sound of a man’s voice so pronounced and so distinct, it made me check my house thinking someone was inside. As I crawled back in bed, I replayed the words he had spoken over and over until I must have drifted off. When I woke, I felt alive. I felt the weight lifted. So while I was in my space, I realized I wanted to release them of the wrongdoing because in the end, we are all human, we all make mistakes, and we all have hurt those we care about the most. And It just doesn’t matter anymore. It no longer holds any bearing as to me in the ‘now’, nor me in the ‘future’.

What did this voice say to me? “Anne! Are you ready? It’s time.”

Here’s to all of us making the discoveries along this journey that teach us: “to forgive, to release, to embrace the lessons and to just love!”

~ ❤ & light ~

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Final Release