Stray Dog Arts

Desire: The Art of Living Your Passion

I wrote this back in February, but (for no good reason) decided to share it with you here, today....

I want my world to open up. I want my life to include more. How is that even possible? All I know is that I have an insatiable desire to grow and learn and experience this existence to its absolute fullest.

Lately, I've been spending time hanging out with wild horses or, more specifically, with photographs of them. The more I look, the harder it becomes to pull myself away. I want to paint them and, in doing so, I imagine myself returning to some lost part of myself.

Hunched over a book or spellbound by the glow of an online image, I imagine myself standing in the middle of wild openness surrounded by the movement of horses and dogs. That's when it happens. Up come the sting of tears that tells me when I'm in the middle of something real and important. It probably sounds strange, but when I find a string of inner truth that pulls in the direction of my heart, my physical body reacts the same way every time: with tears. It's weird and amazing and I am grateful for this ever-consistent nod from the universe that says: "YES. This is it. Follow it."

These days I have been painting a lot. Being a pet portrait artist, you’d think I would get used to that. But I never do. I wish I could find the words to describe what happens in the act of painting animals--specifically, right now, a dog named Roxy. I am pulled deeply into the center of myself. It makes my skin feel thin. The layers between myself and something that I cannot explain seem to disappear. In short, I feel connected. But the feeling is more ethereal than that. Words fail to describe whatever it is that happens.

When I paint, my desires become clear. I can feel them from the inside out and when this happens the creation of those desires begin to take form. It is the beginning, the knitting together of a new reality--even when I don't yet understand what or how or why, there is something in the center of it that I know and feel my soul being pulled towards.

These days I feel a bit like a caterpillar in chrysalis. I don't know that I'll emerge as a butterfly, but I do know that a transformation is in process. Let’s face it: passion pushes us past our comfort zone—whether we think we’re ready for it or not--transformation is bound to occur.

This past year I have spent a lot of time pushing to get my dream off the ground. I pushed my work, my self, my abilities, my levels of bravery, motivation, and determination. I pushed myself physically, mentally, spiritually, and creatively. Over and over again, I nudged myself well beyond what I thought I was capable of--and, in the process, I have built something out of nothing.

But right now I don't want to push. Right now I just want to give myself over to the work at hand. I want to dive into it deeply--and I want to dream. But please note, this dream space is by no means a passive environment. It is fueled by something akin to fire. The caterpillar cloisters itself in the chrysalis because every last ounce of its energy goes into the manifestation of desire, into the creative/creation process of transformation. My chrysalis is made of paintings.

And, in this process, I am finding what has been waiting for me all along...

*Painting of "Roxy" :: 40"x30" :: Oil on Canvas



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