Painting By Numbers

Art Doodles

My journey from Tampa to Seattle, landed me in a vaulted ceiling art studio at Seattle Central Community College in the middle of Capitol Hill. My nervous jitters at starting a “real” art class had me taking notes and sitting at the front of the group of new students. It didn’t help that I got a reality check when I only saw around 2 people older than me. I was returning to college…

Thankfully not shortly after my astounding revelation of growing older the teacher walked in, Tatiana. Warm smile, tingling aura of excitement about her and the understanding that she was going to be a lot of fun.

One of the first days of sitting at a horse bench with my drawing board and pencils, Tatiana played “1, 2, 3, 4″ By Feist. (Click the link to listen to happiness for the rest of the post.)

I immediately started smiling and a couple of tears sprouted in my eyes. The first time I heard that song was with my two best friends in college. We would go up to my 3rd floor “penthouse suite” blast the song and dance around together. Now while most people would think we were complete dorks, and maybe we were, but together we were happy dancing.

The joy of that moment transplanted itself to the art studio at that moment. I realized I was happy again. The first time in a long time. The satisfaction of following my dreams and lifting a paint brush all came together.

One of my favorite memories of Tatiana is when she was giving me a critique on one of my drawings. I struggle with drawing extremely lightly. When I’m drawing it looks dark compared to the white paper. But when it is compared to others on a wall or looked at from across the room I realize that it disappears. It could be from the fact that I live in a small apartment and can’t get more that 5 feet away from it . But Tatiana said this “Virginia, you may just need to only draw light. Sometimes the dark in the world demands light.” I realized that it was very true of me! I still strive to darken and add dimension to my drawings but also realize that I like light!

Thank you Tatiana for reminding of the joy in being myself. Also I must thank you for boosting my spirits when down, when the thrill of moving fades, the decline of artistic inspiration goes and the realization that I am … old … ish. Your words are a bright spot on a rainy cloudy day.

When happiness is found sometimes the memory is enough to carry you through a dark day.

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Lipstick with a “T”

Art Doodles

My love (and yes I mean love) of lipstick all started with Michelle and Loraine, the owners of Arthur Murray Dance Studio Tampa. They always said add a little color to your lips and it will look like everything is put together. They were right! Before this revelation, I was solely a Chapstick girl and occasional lip gloss applier. After a little bit of research, I found out that women ingest over 5 lbs of lipstick in their lifetime! I then remembered learning on one of the many field trips my mom took my family and I on that cosmetics, lipstick mainly, is made of left over pig remnants, preservatives, and harmful additives. I went to the  local Whole Foods store to browse the makeup aisle; hoping that I wouldn’t find hooves in the lipstick there. A wonderful customer gave me great advice along with the Whole Foods associate. They directed me to Dr. Hauschka. I now own multiples! They don’t smell like chemicals, have great stay power, and a no guilt mentality.

Another moment in time that I will always credit to Loraine and Michelle is the necessity of cookies with the afternoon tea or coffee. These glorious Irish women, who spent many years in London, respect the ritual of afternoon tea. I now feel the need to have a nibble every time I have a coffee, tea or cocoa. Which in the blistery weather of Seattle is quite often! If only an apple filled that need instead of a chocolate chip cookie.

Thank You to these Dancing Queens for showing me the steps to becoming a lovelier woman!

A little montage to the lovely Barry Ladies!

One Kick Goes A Long Way

Art Doodles

The person that everyone who reads this blog should thank is Nicole, my beautiful cousin. We had a conversation last February about following through on projects; mine being this blog and acting creatively everyday. It only took me 4 1/2 months after that conversation to actually get the wheels turning and the paintbrush wet.

Nicole has 3, oh so handsome, boys and is married to a heroic firefighter yet still finds time to look effortlessly chic everyday. Definitely one of my style icons to look up to.

Case in point: Here is Nicole, Baby Theo in tote, on her way to a beach picnic. Classic style points: Cabana hat, cut off jean shorts, flowy top, and rustic beach blanket.

Thank you Colie for being an inspiration, a guide to life, the “oomph!” that I need and Family! Love you!

I’ve always used the word “oomph” which can be credited to growing up in Rhode Island and the daughter of Mary. I found this definition at TheFreeDictionary.com. Spirited Vigor has just the tone to what I needed in life at that moment to start this blog and also what I live for everyday!