The 100 Day Project

This last week I started something called The 100 Day Project. The 100 Day Project was started by an artist named Elle Luna and is an open invitation to any creative person who wants to commit to doing something (anything) for 100 days. It provides motivation and accountability to make time to create something small every single day and then see how that work adds up over time. Progress > perfection. It’s free, and everyone shares their project on Instagram using the hashtag #the100dayproject. Last year I drew a different circle each day for 100 days (you can see the full set of 100 circles here).

This year I decided to focus on gratitude. The project started on April 4th and ends on July 12th, which almost perfectly coincides with the last 100 days of my pregnancy. I figured it would be a good idea to focus on the positive and remember what I’m grateful for each day over the next 3 months. You can see my first 6 days below – and if you want to follow along you can follow me on Instagram here, or visit my personal hashtag for this project #lookseegratitude.

I usually try to post a little blurb about what I’m grateful for, or what the picture/illustration means, on the Instagram post itself. But I thought it would be fun to post my work here as well – it’s nice to have a record of it.

It’s refreshing to have a creative exercise to focus on, and I love that it forces me to stop and remember what I’m grateful for, and find the good moments in each day. It’s easy for me to be cynical and negative, and that’s not the impression I want to leave on people…

The project usually gets interesting the longer you go because you start to run out of ideas and have to get creative. I’m excited to see how it evolves over the next few months. At the end, I’d like to bind all these pages together and make a book…I’m looking forward to seeing the full 100 days together and have a feeling it will be something I can flip through any time I need a pick me up.

What would you do for 100 days? It’s not too late to join..

TGIF // 03

Happy 2017! Hard to believe that in a few years we’ll be hitting the 2020 mark…I feel old every time i think about that, so let’s not. Last year I started a series called TGIF and only wrote 2 posts before disappearing. Whoops. It’s hard to stay focused, and it’s harder to find motivation after working 40 hours a week at my job. But after listening to this podcast episode – I’ve decided to change my mindset. My real life, the one I cherish and am proud of, is the life in which I’m a writer and an artist. My side life is the life in which I work 40 hours for a corporation I don’t really care about. So instead of thinking of my hobbies and passions as the secondary or even tertiary parts of my life, I’m ready to put them front and center. It will take some work and time, but it’s an important mental shift that I’ll be working on.

So on to the TGIF portion…

This week I’m trusting that all of the unknowns in my life will work out just as they should. I’m trusting that I already have everything I need, and I’m trying to not focus on lack – but on abundance. Because I have so so much, and am very lucky – regardless of what my ego tells me sometimes (you need more money, that person is more talented, look how much they’re doing with their life!, etc. etc.).

This week I’m feeling grateful for family and friends. The holidays can be intense, and I always really miss my immediate family this time of year because I never can make it home to see everyone over Christmas. But how lucky am I to have people to miss; people I want to be spending time with and people who love me and make that known regularly (and for technology that makes it possible). I’m also extremely grateful for my in-laws. My husband’s sisters are some of my best friends – and his parents remind me so much of my own.

Lately, I’ve been finding so much inspiration in textiles. I love the deep indigos of shibori dyeing, I love the simple but beautiful designs of mud cloth, and I love the intricate mix of color and pattern in many traditional weavings. I’d love to incorporate some of these things into my art – my wheels are turning.

Vintage Medium Indigo Tie Dye, African Mud Cloth Pillow, Shibori Tie Dye,  Cotton Linen Pillow, 20 inch, Rose Gold Zipper, Bohemian Decor
you can find this beautiful pillow here.

ariele_alaskochair
read more about the history of mud cloth here.


Moroccan rug

This brings back some memories - a Navajo woman taught a class of us in high school how to weave blankets because
Traditional Navajo weaving

Lastly, my update on faith. I recently heard an Anne Lamott quote that really struck me, so I’ll leave you all with this.

“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”

The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Whoa. If only someone would have told me that at age 15…although sometimes the truth isn’t truth until you’re ready to hear it.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Yours,
Marci

P.S.If you’re curious about the origins of my TGIF posts you can see post 1 and 2 here.

TGIF // 02

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.19.40 PM

last week i mentioned starting a new series titled TGIF. You can read more about what this is and why i’m doing it here. but essentially, each week i’ll be writing about four things: trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith. i’ll recap how each of those words/practices has come into play over the last 7 or so days.

so without further ado…

this week i’m trusting that things will work out in their own time. brent (my husband) and i are waiting on a few big life changes to take shape at the moment…and every time we think we’re about to get an answer…it’s really just a postponement. but all the changes are great and beautiful things and i’m trusting that everything will fall into place when it’s supposed to.

this week i’m feeling so so so grateful to have a husband who takes care of the less-than-glamorous household tasks. such as…killing the freaking gigantic texas bugs that have been finding their way into our cabin lately. we live in the woods. and it’s been raining a lot more than usual. and in texas, no matter how clean your house is, you will probably have cockroaches. and we’ve had so many and i want to die. BUT i haven’t had to kill a single one because i have someone who does it for me. sorry, it’s a really gross thing to be grateful for but i had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as i watched my handsome roach hunter go to town last night on our behalf. yeah. moving on.

this week i’m finding inspiration from so many artists on instagram:

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.02.45 PM

^^ beautiful ceramics by willowvane ^^

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.01.52 PM

^^ amazing floral design/art by flora.forager ^^

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.00.45 PM

^^ colorful, fun, and cozy interiors by thejungalow ^^

faith. this week i’ve been thinking a lot about slowing down and paying attention. we have the tv on at home more than i’d like to admit, my phone is basically a part of my body, and anytime a slight feeling of boredom looms i resolve it by looking at a screen. yuck. i mean…i do read a lot, and draw…so i’m probably making it sound worse than it is. but still, we can probably all relate to the feeling when hours disappear with nothing to show for them. so i want to start being more present..when i’m with people, when i’m outside, etc. i think the screens serve as distractions from more meaningful moments, and i’m on the hunt for those. i have faith that they’ll appear.

the top image is a little sketch i did today while laying in the hammock. you would think now that it’s september the weather would be pretty pleasant…but it’s still in the “feels like” 100 degrees season in tx. looking forward to cooler temperatures and more time outside.

i hope you are all having a great holiday weekend! it’s crazy how much of a difference one extra day makes, right?!

xo,

marci

rambles, rambles and rambles

i just watched a webinar put on by gabrielle bernstein (she’s a teacher, life coach, writer, speaker…all that hippie stuff) and i loved it. the webinar was focused on how to do what you love doing and finally take action. one of the things she suggested doing in order to get started was to share your story.

i’ve never really thought much about this…or i should say, i’ve never really thought that i have much of a story to tell. so i’m going to figure this out as i go, because everyone has a story right? they just have to figure out how to tell it.

i’m 27 years old. i’ve been married for 3.5 years to a really sweet man. all of my immediate family lives half way across the country, which is hard. i love to paint and draw. i’m obsessed with reading. i have a small little rescue dog named elsi…she’s a chiweenie (yes it’s a real thing). and i struggle with a lot of anxiety. ok. now you say, “hi marci” like we’re in a twelve step meeting, because that’s what it just sounded like in my head. haha.

ok so this isn’t really my story, i guess. but in the loosely interpreted words of robert plant, i’m just going to ramble on here.

the thing on my mind the most lately is anxiety, because i’ve been having a lot of it. sometimes the anxiety isn’t so bad and i almost forget all about it – this can happen for months at a time. but sometimes, it’s completely crippling. the most frustrating part about this is that i dont really know what’s causing it. it seems like there are times when i handle normal stress, or even extreme stress, really well. and then there are times when it seems like nothing major is going on and i completely break down. it’s frustrating to say the least, and embarrassing.

i think some of the anxiety stems from not feeling like i’m living up to my potential. i’ve been stuck at a really boring office job for the last 5 years, which isn’t exactly the dream. and it’s really hard to have a good attitude when you’re surrounded by fluorescent lighting, stale air, and corporate policies. but it seems like a lot of people can relate to this…a lot of people feel trapped in their 9-5..i mean, dolly wrote an entire song about it.

Dolly Parton

so, i’m trying to figure out where this leaves me. how can i move forward, away from my office job, and serve other people who are on a similar path? i want to give inspiration to people who may feel the same way that i have for so long. i want to make people’s days a little brighter. either with my words, or my art, or both. i want to stop focusing on the negatives of my current situation, i want to stop saying “i’ll be happy when”, i want to stop dreading my day as soon as i wake up.

i want to focus on the positives. i want to be a light to people around me, including the people at my boring office. i want to stop waiting for the future for things to be perfect, and realize that i can be happy now and simultaneously work towards my dreams. and mostly, i want to really believe that i’m capable of these things. that i’m capable of succeeding. capable of changing my life, and capable of reaching people with my art or my words.

one thing i really loved about the webinar i mentioned at the beginning of this post was that she kept mentioning…who are you serving? how can you serve others? what are you doing to be a light to other people? and up until this moment it’s not something i’ve really seriously considered, especially in regards to starting a business. but it makes so much sense. 
so, i think i want to reach people who are like me. people who’ve grown up to realize that adulthood is a lot different, and sometimes less exciting, than we might have thought it was going to be. we don’t all grow up to be oprah or beyonce, but that’s ok. more than ok, right. we can have happy, joyful, fulfilling lives by pursuing the things we love and being a light to the people around us.

i’m going to continue to meditate and pray about who i should be serving, and how best to do that. and i’m going to try to make that more of a driving force in all of my business day dreams. and maybe it will look a lot different than what i’m expecting, it probably will actually. and maybe i won’t be super successful, or reach a lot of people, but i believe that i can. and i think going into something with the mindset of serving…means it doesn’t really matter if you’re successful or not, you’re on the right track regardless.

so y’all…if you read this entire post…thanks. i’m impressed. i’m really just trying to figure things out, and for some reason i’m doing it in a public way. seems like a greeaaat ideaaaaa. but it feels good to write it down, get it out, and let it go. and hey, at least you got a dolly picture out of it.

yours,

marci

 

 

 

creative doings

i’ve been trying to draw and paint more lately. i seemed to have had a slump for a few years where i barely even picked up a pencil to sketch. but that slump is coming to an end. i’ve had a lot of fun messing around and would like to eventually open up a print shop on etsy. i’ll need to keep practicing until i come up with something print worthy.

if you follow me on instagram, you’ve most likely seen all this already. but i thought i’d post it all here, too.

bekind

^^ sharpies above and below^^

livesimply

watercolor

^^ watercolor and metallic bronze sharpie ^^

woman

^^ graphite ^^

yada

^^ watercolor ^^

colorpencil

^^ colored pencil and ink ^^

bird

^^ graphite ^^

i think my strong suit is definitely sketching/drawing with pencil. but it’s been really good to play with color and experiment outside of my comfort zone.

xo

marci

music monday // 05

heyyyy. monday is here again and this week i’m excited to share a group i just heard about a couple days ago. they’re called jack + eliza and reside in brooklyn, ny. their harmonies are awesome and i love the poppy vibes. i think they have a new album coming out in a couple weeks, but they have an ep that’s already out called “no wonders” and it’s pretty good. i’m really excited to hear the new album!

here are a couple songs to get you started. happy monday.

turquoise and gold: 14/26 – 19/26

i. will. finish. this. project…

i’m ready to move on to different things..which is good, that was really the whole point of committing to this turquoise and gold project in the first place – to inspire more creativity. creativity begets creativity, right? so, i’m ready..ready to paint with a wider variety of colors and explore different mediums. ready to start drawing again. i’m also ready to start devoting more time to one larger piece – i consider these exercises..they only take me between 2-5 minutes to complete usually.

i know that none of these little paintings are anything special – but it’s been really good for me to start small. sometimes by setting limits you help yourself get outside of them – i’ve had so many creative ideas that fall outside of the turquoise and gold boundaries…and i can’t wait to work on them.

at some point this year i will finish all 26 that i initially intended to do. only 7 more to go.

select any image to see a gallery view.

p.s. the eye painting was inspired by a print i saw somewhere. not sure of the source or i’d link!

authenticity II

yesterday i wrote about authenticity.

i’m not sure anything i said made sense. or that i really said what i wanted to say. basically, i think social media has some great perks – but i also think social media can affect who we are by constantly forcing us to think about the perceptions of who we are, rather than the reality. this realization came to me when i was reading the letters i mentioned yesterday – because it seems like the need to be heard and seen has always been there, and probably always will be. but we need to be aware of how we compromise ourselves by only thinking of how we’re perceived or what others will think. does that make sense? oy. i don’t know.

“What others have called form has nothing to do with our form—I want to create my own and I can’t do anything else—if I stop to think of what others—authorities or the public—or anyone—would say of my form I’d not be able to do anything.

I can never show what I am working on without being stopped—whether it is liked or disliked I am affected in the same way—sort of paralyzed—.”

– georgia o’keeffe

so anyway, social media can be a great way to check in with people and keep up with people. but i find myself too often thinking about what others will think – as if it matters – and then i find myself paralyzed and wasting brain space on all the wrong things. sometimes it causes me to forget to check in and keep up with myself.

p.s. is it ironic that i’m blogging this? probably.

authenticity

i’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity. is it possible to be authentic in a world where we share everything we’re doing on social media? we post glimpses of our lives, or what we want others to believe our lives are like, but why? in the hopes of getting “likes” and affirmation from friends or strangers? or because we genuinely have something we want to share with the world? another picture of our face? another picture of our dinner? sometimes i feel like the only way to be authentic would be to delete all social media and allow my world to be private. to be driven by what i really want, and not what i want to show off.

i’m currently reading this book, lovingly, georgia. it’s a compilation of letters between georgia o’keeffe and anita pollitzer from 1915-1968. i’m about halfway through, and the letters i’m reading currently were sent in 1915 and 1916 during the height of georgia and anita’s friendship. georgia was not famous yet, nor had she received any real recognition for her work. she is an aspiring young artist who has a desire to express her inner-most feelings – and makes bold claims about not caring what anyone else thinks. but every so often that tough exterior cracks, and she admits that she is overjoyed when someone likes her work. she waffles between caring and not caring – always insisting that her work is personal, and for her, but admitting that she gets excited about others’ reactions. so, is there a difference between her struggle and mine?

red-poppy

not really, but the answer of what to share and when is becoming clear to me. the bottom line is…do i have something worth sharing? is it meaningful to me? if i’m attached to my art, and it says something important to me or about me, or about the human condition..then it makes sense to want to share it. if i just want to post another picture of this cool thing i’m doing over the weekend because i like seeing how many likes i can get, and it puffs up my ego…is that really healthy? a question to ask is, am i sharing this because i want to be perceived a certain way, or because i really want other people to see and experience this? i think a majority of us share for the sake of sharing…instead of sharing because we really have something to offer. one seems insanely selfish, and the other not…and yet they can look interchangeable.

this isn’t to say i’m judging anyone – this is really an internal rant/struggle that i’m trying to work through. do i think everyone posting selfies on instagram is selfish? no, although the term “selfie” would imply some things…but i do think the age of instant everything has made us all a bit more shallow. posting art online to send the message “hey, i’m an artist!” rather than whatever it is the art is actually supposed to say seems so sad and convoluted. we’ve lost the art of art, in those instances.

Summer Days Painting by Georgia O'keeffe; Summer Days Art Print for sale

in lovingly, georgia anita pollitzer repeatedly refers to georgia’s paintings and drawings as “feelings”. i showed your feelings to so and so, i’m keeping your feelings safe, etc. etc. – and isn’t this what art should be?

here’s a little excerpt from a letter that anita wrote to georgia shortly after receiving some of georgia’s latest work.

“astounded and awfully happy were my feelings today when i opened the batch of drawings. i tell you i felt them! & when i say that i mean that. they’ve gotten past the personal stage into the big sort of emotions that are common to big people – but it’s your version of it. i mean if they’d been stuck on a wall & i’d been told XZ did them I’d have liked them as much as if i’d been told picasso did them, or someone i’d never heard of. pat (she calls georgia pat) -well they’ve gotten there as far as i’m concerned & you ought to cry because you’re so happy. you’ve said something!

now, i’m not saying i’ll never post a picture of my daily experiences on social media – i do think family and friends across the country enjoy seeing those things. i know i like to see pictures of people i know and love living their lives. i’m also not saying that i’ll always feel deeply about what i create. but maybe we should think more about our motivations – and if we really need to share as much as we do. do you have something worth sharing? and if not, why? it’s easy to be shallow, it’s easy to post a picture of your latest dinner, or that coffee drink you ordered – you have to dig a little deeper to create something you care about, and actually care about sharing.

let’s all try to say something. instead of anything.

images: “red poppy” and “summer days” by georgia o’keeffe

no work all play

i drew this the other night while watching a movie, and today i added some watercolor. i stuck to primary colors, which i kind of like – but i think i’m going to invest in some better/more diverse paints soon. these watercolors were probably under 5 dollars and i’ve had them for years..i guess it’s good to use what you have. which is probably the most anti black friday statement i can make. haa, what a gross day, right?

use what you have.

primary 1

(click image for larger view)