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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012- A Recap.

☑ 2012 brought me a new, fabulous word to live by, Bloom. As I wrote in this post, my wish for the nearly finished year was to open up to new things, flourish, stay healthy, express in my life the spiritual qualities of flowers- grace, simplicity, beauty, inspiration. I sincerely sent my wish out into the Universe, and it sent me back all kind of blessings in return. I can say now, looking back, this has been a fantastic word to live by...

☑ I attended (even if not in person) my first Surtex ever!! Can you believe that??? My art (and heart) exibiting in the Big Apple, and looots of new eyes onto it! Oh my :)


☑ I signed licensing agreements, had a steep learning curve, enjoyed the growing time so much. I had such a positive feedback on my work, refined it as I painted and painted, challenged myself, fattened my portfolio, managed to cope with "deadlines" and accepted my chronic migraines. Furthermore, I've worked on the concept that I don't necessarily have to accept them as chronic, and it's totally possible they go away. 

☑ After craving for it for years, I finally started (and succesfully managed to keep) an art journal. Actually two. I love to define art journaling as my Pensieve and have no idea how I could live without it before!

☑ I reaffirmed to myself Art heals and saves. It has helped me during the toughest periods of my life and it still does on a daily basis. I painted lots of meaningful and powerful pieces during 2012, and once again felt the urge to share my inspiration and colors with the world.

☑ I have had my nice dose of vintage and antique bliss over the year... and with my finds I've been able to produce lots of images that eventually will find their way to the gift industry. Just in case you're wondering- yes, I am still pinching myself in disbelief! 
I have also felt really blessed to be able to "see", "feel" and "hear", and profoundly realized this is a great gift I've been given.

☑ I have challenged myself to create from scratch journals out of discarded materials, and I have been really happy with the result. I am delighted this journal has become source of inspiration for others too.

☑ I have created a Biz Gratitude Book, and I feel so thankful as I fill in its pages with my job- related small and big joys ...

☑ I have serendipitously found quotes that spoke volumes to me, or as I like to think, they serendipitously found their way to me... Many of them, if not all, I found when I really needed them- isn't this practical magic? :)

☑ I finally understood there's nothing wrong with my being a (happy) introvert, and bravely stepped out of my comfort zone sharing my thoughts on the subject on my blog. In return, I have received several notes from people feeling the very same, sharing their own stories with me. For that I am honored and grateful, as they're going to enrich my experience.

☑ I already knew I was strong, but this year I had the chance to reaffirm that to myself. It's always good to remember.

☑ I have decided to stay open.

Photo by me- Necklace by Liz Lamoreux

☑ I finally launched a brand- new website and my new, main blog. It was emotional for me to finally see all I have been building for years disclosing under my eyes- not the mere site actually, but the wildest of my dreams. A career as licensing artist. A creative job out of my greatest and deepest passions. Something I need like breathing and am very good at. Something that allows me to do what keeps me alive, and something that many people around me thought was not possible at all.

☑ I have wholeheartedly trusted the Abundance and God's plan, and received lots of blessings even when our sweetest, beloved furbaby Kim decided it was time to free herself from her material body and stay with us in a different form. I know in my chest she's very proud of me
What's sure is that she has given me the gift of a steep spiritual growth and a steadfast, powerful inspiration. Each time I look at those eyes, it's like I can kiss her head and hug her in the flesh... 

☑ I had once again proof (and more than once this year) that everything happens for a reason, that our dreams do not come true at our own pace but only when the right time comes. I still have some dreams in my pocket, I know they will eventually come true. 

Farewell 2012! You've been a blooming year I will tenderly remember forever!
Monica x

Saturday, December 29, 2012

When the Stopwatch is Ticking...

Some of my treasured, family heirlooms.

As many licensing artists and people who work in and for the Gift Industry, I am so crazy busy because the Atlanta Gift Show is just around the corner! Actually, this is one of the two busiest times of the year (together with that before Surtex).

For those who kindly asked, no, I won't be in Atlanta in person this year... but my newest designs will be presented to the market by my fantastic agents. Needless to say, I still have several paintings in need of finishing touches before the big day!

It is so strange, that when the stopwatch is ticking, you kind of "awake" from lethargy and your right brain hemisphere starts working in such a frenzied way! Does this happen to you, too?

I am not telling that I work better under pressure, though, actually being the contrary (I suppose it's because I want to totally enjoy the creative process). I am very disciplined and I never wait until the last minute to do things I have/want to do. I always have my (Christmas, birthday, etc) presents done with plenty of time before the due date. But being highly creative, it's a habit I start many things all at once, and then... well, you do need to finish them sometime, right? :)

I must confess things have been hidden in my drawers for years before I finished them, and so is for paintings. At times I have such a powerful idea that I can't help starting and finishing it in no time; however,  sometimes the ideas remain in form of messy sketches in my notebooks for months and even years, before they eventually find their way to a finished piece. I often find that my work has to "rest" for a while, before I impart it the finishing touches and send it out there for the world to receive.

Nonetheless, a bit of pressure often leads my brain to unexplored territories, and usually gives me "coal", and I instantly become a running, steaming train that no one could stop! Well, the wonders of the creative mind never ceaze to amaze me!

Better to go and paint now. My sweet Kim has gifted me with a huge, strong and steadfast inspiration, I don't want to miss a single bit of it.

Have a nice weekend, everyone, I'll be back on the 31st with my "recap" for 2012.
Monica x

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Precious Kim...

... is now free from her material body and running happily once again!
I cannot tell you how much I love her, how much she has loved me. She has blessed my husband and me with years of love, joy, true friendship and inspiration.
Thanks from the heart for all the well wishes, love, prayers you've sent our way. They helped to keep her here with us for 4 intense, abundant months.
You have taught me the ways of the Force, you have been my best friend, my baby. I cannot thank you enough for helping me through those scary times,  for always being there for me and with me, for allowing me to be your best friend and Mom during your physical experience. We will always be together.
Monica x

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This Year...

... we have the simplest of decorations...

... but the richest Christmas ever!
Monica x

Friday, December 21, 2012

On Hiatus.

"Feathered Friends", one of my Licensed snowmen.

This blog will remain silent until the first week of January.
Until then, you can always find me posting on my main blog, Life is a Painting.
See you there!
Monica x

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Blessing.

"Winter Blessing", one of my Licensed snowmen!

I just love painting snowmen, they simply put a smile on my face!

Hope this brings a smile to you too, today!
Monica x

Monday, December 17, 2012

Creative Christmas #10: A Holiday Exchange.

"... What's meaningful, are not the gifts we exchange, but the reason why we exchange them."
Excerpts from "The Gift of Friendship: A Holiday Exchange", by Monica Sabolla Gruppo, Somerset Life, Autumn 2012

"Thinking of how busy everyone is during this festive time of year and how stressful it may become when we are caught up in it all, I started asking my girlfriends to just exchange a card for Christmas. Not just any card though- a beautiful, meaningful card filled with words from the heart."

"Not to deprive ourselves from the pleasure of gift-giving, I suggested we also add an ornament; having it displayed on the tree would always remind us of our mutual affection and friendship."

"With these humble presents, my girlfriends and I are definitely exchanging the most precious gift of all, and building up warm memories to shine on our Christmas tree for many years to come".

Find the complete article in this magazine.
Monica x

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joyful Simplicities: Snoooowwww!

This morning, we awoke to a Winter Wonderland...
Even if it may be impractical, snow is magical to me. The more I proceed along the path of my spiritual journey, the more I am conscious of my blessings and deeply grateful for them, the more I am open- the more I feel its magic. 
No surprise, the first snowflakes fell down in the exact moment I needed them!

"Years and years ago, when I was a boy.... It snowed and it snowed". 
(...) "It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."

 "But that was not the same snow"... "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

 "Were there postmen then, too?"

"With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells."

"You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?"

"I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them." 

D. Thomas, A child's Christmas in Wales.
Hope your corner of the world is white and magical, today!
Happy weekend.
Monica x

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creative Christmas #9- Upcycled Vintage Lamps.

A couple of years ago, I bought these vintage lamps for the crystals, but of course, didn't throw the bases away! They might be useful one day, I thought.
This year, I found the just perfect use for them. A coat of gesso, toothpicks (or skewers), candles and greenery. ... VoilĂ ! Pretty, vintage candle holders.

Monica x