Violet, Sienna and Gray: 2013-03-24

Monday, March 25, 2013

Daring Greatly

"Daring Greatly"-
The theme of a wonderful quote, from Theodore Roosevelt, was the inspiration for Dr. Brene Brown's new book.

Oprah hosted Dr. Brown this past Sunday,  for Part Two of a "Super Soul Sunday" interview. Dr. Brown's book "Daring Greatly" gives advice on living vulnerably, courageously, and whole heartedly.

Helebores in my garden. The "Lenten Rose" growing peacefully with Buddha!

The book is full of incredible advice for my students, my family and my friends......more on that later.

Here is Roosevelt's quote in full.

Read and absorb......!

“It is not the critic who counts; 
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, 
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. 

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; 
who strives valiantly; 

. . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, 
and who at worst, if he fails, 
at least fails while daring greatly.” 

—Theodore Roosevelt

Bravo, Dr. Brene! Decades of research and counseling has inspired her to write numerous books and travel the country giving speeches on the human condition. Imperfection, vulnerability, courage, self-acceptance, connection and living a "wholehearted" life. I find her so inspirational. 

 Please, check on Oprah's website, the OWN network or youtube, for the full interview. Also, Brene Brown's "TED talks" (Technology, Education and Design) have gone viral at almost 10 Million hits! They are worth watching, too.

As a teacher and an artist, I see on a daily basis, the struggles each of us have with confidence, vulnerability, fear of imperfection,etc. 

As artist's we lay our soul down on canvas, for all to see. That's hard.

And, unfortunately, some students deal with critical voices when then return home. 

Artist's rely on each other for support, because we have been "inside the arena" together!

 I find it important to honor my students, for their courage, hard work and risk taking. Look at these paintings and see the results! 

 I could go on and on about how so many of them jump in feet first, striving earnestly, meeting challenge head on, and "Daring Greatly"!!

Child in the Dominican Republic by Kathi M.
Her FIRST original painting!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go, Kathi!!!

Coneflower and Butterfly by Andrea V.
I'm always proud of her determination, and effort!

Carol C., paints another grandchild with another challenge! A challenge for me, too! The first time I have had to figure out how to paint sprinkler water! Also, from Carol--frost on hat and mittens, sunlight on red hair, sandy baby on the beach, etc. Thank you, Carol, for the beauty of those kids and for sharing your challenges with us.

Fireworks, check that off of the list! Thank you Hollis W., for bringing in another challenge! Beautiful accomplishment!

Jenny! Jenny W.! We hope you are feeling better, get back here and paint asap! Always, willing to jump right in, we love your tenacity! We are enthralled with your natural gift!

AnneWB! More challenges than I can recall, how many years?? And always pursued with vigor and ultimate success! Bravo, Anne!! Keep it up, sharing your growth gives us JOY!

Little tiny Tracy B.! Never a dull moment for her-- if it ain't difficult, she's not interested!! Actually, this dog was an easy break, between difficult paintings for Tracy! 


A note to my dear students who are "Daring Greatly"; look around, INSIDE this arena, and you WILL find supportive voices--and it will count! Remember, being a critic, from the outside, is just too easy. Ignore that critic, you are terrific! Keep striving!

                                                       "Hen" by Jo G.
Ok, the works of Ms. Jo Galloway! Perseverance--no agenda-- creator of beauty and blessed soul--that's our JO!  Thank you for being an example to all of us, in so many ways!

"Caldwell's Cows"Caroline E! Starting a new business and determined to keep up her new found love of painting! We understand. It's a meaningful and fulfilling passion, and so therapeutic! So, glad you have given it your all, amidst the distractions. This painting was a real jump in difficulty level for you, and look what you created! Wonderful!

Remember: Cultivating Creativity  means Letting Go of Comparison!

Lee B., searching for her "artistic voice" and getting ever closer day by day! A great talent lies within! (And a great soul!) Thank you for being you!

"Tough Mudder"- A FIRST time painting for Lindsey H., her first person and face AND MUD!
Good job!

"Floating Bubbles!" by Beth S.
Another FIRST ORIGINAL painting! First one! Awesome.

SO, here's the wrap up---Art is Hard! 

Art Changes Everything! 

Art means barring your soul; do so in an environment of "like minded" beings. 
Ask yourself, "What's worth doing, even if I fail?"
Let go of perfectionism, love and accept the real you.
Don't listen to the critics, if they aren't in the arena with you! 
Remember it takes courage to be vulnerable. 
Encourage other artist's. 
Practice kindness, always........

Have you Dared Greatly today???