When I create a painting there are several chapters that both the painting and I go through, some are planned, some are beautiful, and some are a hot mess. The story of how I arrived here has a lot of similarities to the process of creating a painting.
Chapter 1: The Foundation - Nature
Of course anything we create needs a foundation. In a painting this takes form in an idea, a spark of inspiration.
In my story, the foundation centers on my childhood. I spent a lot of time exploring nature. I was always seeking out little hide-aways in the forest where I could let my imagination take me away. I would keenly observe all the sights around me, big and small. The pleasure that I felt from the connection with observing nature would translate itself into doodles and stories. This connection with nature would be the continuous thread that would weave itself throughout the rest of my life.
Chapter 2: Toning The Canvas - Fun
Every painting starts on a blank surface that must be toned. Although this tone is painted over it remains underneath, giving the painting depth.
Very early in my adult life, my Dad was killed in a workplace accident. The experience of losing my dad at 21 years old defined the way I would view work and life. It crystalized in my mind that I would live life my own way. Unknowingly I chose the undercurrent tone of my life to be Fun and Adventure.
Chapter 3: Composition - Life is an Adventure
In this phase of creating a painting, the main shapes and colors are applied to the toned surface.
During this chapter of my life the building blocks were challenging outdoor adventure, learning to lead others, deep meaningful relationships, and entrepreneurship. I worked hard gaining expert training in ACMG Guiding, First Aid, and starting Mo’s Mountain Cuisine, a unique backcountry catering business that had me travel all over the world nourishing people with amazing food. During this time I enjoyed a relatively carefree life of skiing big lines, climbing big mountains, enjoying an amazing group of friends, and traveling North America while doing it.
Chapter 4: The Ugly Phase - Life is a Hot Mess
Every. Single. Painting. goes through an ugly phase. This phase can sometimes feel devastating. Then almost like magic, sometimes a single brush stroke, the whole painting is transformed.
Oh my first hot mess chapter. We all have one, and some of us have the pleasure of having several. For me my first one landed in my 33rd year, sometimes referred to as our Christ year. I was burnt out, sick, and my relationship was failing. Deep down I knew change must happen, as I was lossing myself to stress and unhappiness. I ended my 8 year relationship, and left on a solo adventure to Northern Canada. It is here that I found myself again, and was ready to return home to start anew.
Chapter 5: The Details - A New Path
Once a painting has worked its way through the ugly phase it is time to get into the details: The extra sparkle on the water, or glint in an eye, this is when the vision comes to life.
After returning home feeling a new sense of connection, and purpose I began to discover my spirituality. I gained training in Reiki, I had a strong tribe of powerful women, and slowly I created purposeful change in my life. I sold my business to be a full time artist, regained my health, and met my best friend, lover, and now husband (our story is one for the books, perhaps I will share it with you one day). Adventure and fun returned to the forefront of my life.
Chapter 6: The Ugly Phase 2 - My Spiritual Awakening
Sometimes an element of a painting can go totally sideways completely out of the blue. This is when it is vital to take a step back and allow the painting, and our brushes to take a rest.
At the end of 2019 my husband and I packed up and moved across the country. Although I have explored and travelled a lot, I had never really left my home in the mountains.
Shortly after moving Covid emerged. Not only was my woman of the mountains identity gone, my sense of isolation and loneliness was unbearable. My saving grace was my connection with nature, my exploration of spirituality, and unwavering support from my husband and loved ones. Although the term Spiritual Awakening sounds cheesy to me, I have no other words that can quite describe the experience of the last 2 years. I am a changed person, ready to step into the next chapter of my life.
Chapter 7: The Varnish - Putting It All Together
The final step in a painting is applying the varnish. It is an immensely satisfying step. The varnish pulls the painting together, makes the colors pop, and protects all the layers of paint.
The current chapter of my life has me putting it all together: Spiritual Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Art, Healing, Teaching, and most importantly FUN! I am so excited to share with you all that I have learned in hopes that the lessons I have learned can help you to open your heart and create meaningful, positive, loving change in your life.