Lately some of you have been asking me where I get the inspiration for my paintings from. Of course there are many answers to that question; inspiration is a living thing, constantly moving. Often the lessons in life is turned into inspiration, and the hardest learned can be the biggest source of creativity, once we step into transforming action. I know that to be true.
26. “Every Body needs water/Alle har brug for vand” mixed media on canvas, 24 x 30 cm – 2.100 kr.
There is however a story that I treasure very much, to do with how it all began, just 3 years ago or less. If you like, you can read it HERE, including a song I wrote to a very special lady! (Yes, involving me in a youtube clip, guitar and all!!!)
And then that special lady, Kelly Rae Roberts, shared the song on her blog. Accompanied by the kindest words, which she is so good at. I am still moved by her words (and her blog in generel) – HERE is her post with the song in it!
I am inspired by many people, and Kelly Rae has definitely been a big source of inspiration. For me, AND for thousands of other people. Had I known back then how many people she reaches with her blog and books and courses and art, I probably wouldn´t have allowwed myself to write the song. Or sent it to her. I am so happy I did send it!!! After all, we are all just humans, trying our best with what we have got, and you never know who your song or painting or kind words is meant to touch or inspire. So, I learned along the way to just simply let it out, and let life (or God, The universe, the Angels or whatever you choose to call it) take care of the rest.
PS: for those of you who are more interested in the MAKING of paintings than in the inspiration behind, click your way through my Tuturials pages where I share the step by step in Paintings in process. Like this ONE.
With love, Lise.
2012 you surprised me. You showed me for real how to actively make dreams come true. Over and over you told me the story of the power of many small steps in one intended direction. You made me feel humble and sometimes not able to contain it all, and at other times so impatient that it almost hurt.
Some favourite moments with you:
One evening, after seing the art of Kelly Rae Roberts I was totally inspired and wrote a song. When Kelly Rae so openheartedly recieved the song, and in response posted THIS on her blog, it made my heart sing. Her post send many kind people to my blog, and also generated my first US painting sale. Like a circle dance of goodness and smiles, truly enjoyable.
From the exhibition in the shop/ vintage inspired café Emely and Elliot, one of my fav places to have a cup of coffee and a writing hour on my own
About 2 years ago I was unsure whether I would ever find the courage to have an exhibition on my own. With good help from an artist-friend who urged me to do this, I ended up having 5 painting exhibitions this year. One in a church, 3 in art galleries and one in a beautiful clothe shop/café. The paintings have been touring non stop, and I truly enjoyed the whole experience.
MULTIPLE ARTS COMING TOGETHER
As part of one of the exhibition-openings, a piano-player and I made a small concert. Later in the evening I told about my painting journey. Loved that evening so much. I have always wanted multiple expressions; the paintings, the songs, the stories. And here I was allowed to share it all in one go. I felt so grateful for that opportunity.
LETTING GO, AND FINDING SOFTNESS
(“Old friends”, original available, just e-mail me)
20012, You have shown me that I sometimes need to let go of situations or relations that for some reason are keeping me back. Even when there is nothing wrong with situation, or the people, or with me. Simply because – for reasons that I may not fully understand at the time – it is no longer a win-win situation. You taught me about trusting and following my “gut” in this, also when my brain don´t understand the full picture. You also showed me that the true part of friendships will rest safe guarded in my heart, even in times of low tide. You made me firm so I could be more true in my softness.
ASKING FOR HELP
(“Just knock”. Original sold. Print available here)
You urged me to dare ask for the help I needed, and you amazed me with the outcome of that simple act, many times. You surprised me when help arrived in often totally unexpected ways. You totally charmed me with that!
PAINT, PAINT, PAINT….
(“Match made in heaven” in process, original sold, print available here)
I found so much joy during days of painting. Those hours opened up a connection to places and things beyond me. This was exactly where I found the strength to keep pursuing the dreams for my business and my life. Being in a creative mood or not, that was not important. It just mattered that I showed up, willingly, week after week. And then it would sneak up on me, the inspiration. How come it took me so long to learn this for real I don´t know. But I know that this wisdom is now deeply engraved as experience in my heart and soul.
PRODUCING LISE MEIJER POSTCARDS AND POSTERS
2012 was the year where I began selling cards and posters for real. Researching printing options and choosing a wonderful company to print my work. It also involved reaching out to shops I wanted to sell my products. 8 shops in Denmark and 2 in Holland now carry the Lise Meijer products. A fun, and for me completely new process. I am proud of this birth. It makes me curious how things may unfold in 2013.
FIRST WEB SHOP
(Dancing with life, original painting available, or print available here)
Yes, yes, yes, I finally did it! Opened my very first webshop on Etsy. I love my little shop and you (you!) sweet customers from around the globe, who have been buying prints and postcards for yourself or a loved one. Thank you so much for your support!
CREATING A HOME
2012, you became the year where me and my family could finally move into our loooong anticipated new house. (We lived in a caravan-home for 4,5 yrs.). And once we moved, you threw in an extra challenge we did not see coming: For 7 long weeks we were ill in turn, all 4 of us, and unable to create a home. A big test for me; I felt sick in my soul by not being able to unpack, make order, grow roots. So much bigger the joy when christmas arrived, and we finally got our strength and vitality back.
(“Home is where the heart is”, original sold, print available here)
What a blessing a home can be. Our new home includes a wonderful working space for me. Thepic above was taken before we moved in. Right now it´s still filled with boxes, but not for long. I can´t wait to begin create in it!
ENJOYING FAMILY LIFE
This year I had many joy-filled moments with my family. I think I like being a mom of growing up children more than the challenging years when they were toddlers. Of course I loved my children endlessly since they arrived. I just enjoy life as a family more now they have grown a bit. Celeste is now 9, and Vincent 6. Less awaken nights (we had 7 years of them due to skin-allergies). Less hard work. More spending enjoyable and relaxed time together. More laughs. Rune and I also celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this year. I think that´s worth a toast!
(“Sharing a moment”. I think this is my own favourite painting from this year. Original available)
This year, I have recieved help and presents that seemed to arrive on my doorstep from out of the blue. A friend gifted me money, and it wasn´t even my birthday, a sheer act of kindness. Another person I only knew via facebook offered to help sell my cards. She did so succesfully in her home country, Holland. One of my friends went on a trip to sell cards for me here in Denmark and landed my biggest order yet. And so many more stories of kindness and help. It all made me feel grateful and humble. I am very aware that no one can do it all alone, I definately can´t. I believe that true success in life is when the outcome is not personal, but spreads its benefits to many people. I found myself smiling at life, saying: thank you, sincerely, for being part of such rich a circle of goodness.
Thank you, 2012, you have become a dear friend!
I love the quote above (by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer). To me, that quote is not about winning over anybody else. It is about going the extra mile for something you care about. Because you have passion. Because you are willing. And because you can´t help but go for it.
The chorus of this song came to me after one loooong day. The rest followed later. Lyrics here.
For me, extra miles are about the quiet passion. The one you keep nurturing, even on a gray day. The passion you are willing to give an extra chance so it may have a place in your life, also when logic tells you not to.
These last 5 years I walked so many extra miles. I moved together with Rune and our two children to another part of Denmark to become part of a village project. To a completely bare piece of land! We lived almost 4 years in a caravan (a big-ish one, but still a caravan) and are right now having our house build on the plot of land we bought. As part of the move I needed a new job, and that process lead me to a search about what I can best contribute with, in this life.
I took up teaching singing and dancing classes for toddlers and babies. Created my own creativity workshops for adults and began teaching them. Had different job´s as a singer and even a PR job! I started my own company. And, I began painting again after more than 15 years. You can read about part of that journey here and here, also involving a song.
I´ts been wild. And it´s been so, so good. So many extra miles. So worth it. A magic but truly testing journey that involved at lot of belief, and certainly also a lot of passion. Passion was the fuel. To me, extra miles are about passions. And faithfulness to your passions once you found them.
I had a wave coming my way. A wave of goodness and confirmation. It was awesome. Thrilling. Surprising. “Butterflies in the stomach”-ing. It all came my way because of a song.
More than a year ago I wrote a song to the mixed media artist Kelly Rae Roberts. When I wrote it I had no idea how popular she was. I had just discovered her amazing paintings, and felt a wawe of healing in my artist heart through them. And then a song appeared.
Not long ago I recorded the song with my camera and sent it to Kelly Rae, asking if she would be ok with being mentioned in connection with that song on my blog. She responded so incredibly warm and asked if she could post it on her blog. So she wrote the sweetest post with a link to the song and to my blogpost.
(Rain, mixed media on canvas)
Then the very feelable and positive side-effect to this warm response from her kicked in: Soooo many visitors came to my blog during those days. Oh my, I was almost blown away when I realised just how many people are plugged into the inspiration coming from her. So many kind souls came via her blog to mine. To hear the song, and to read my story about it, leaving sweet comments.
I started writing a blog half a year earlier and was not used to anything near that number of visitors. I began checking in on my blog for visitors several times during the day and also checked how many people had watched the video (lots!). I could feel what people describe when they talk about addiction. I knew the wawe was borrowed and that I had to stop the “blog-drug-addiction”. And just find my own feet. Because, that is what we have to stand on in life: our own two feet. So, I slowly began to step back from the hyped feeling and just enjoy the ride. And work on with the things I love to do.
(This is a recording of a song I wrote some years ago: “Quiet moment” Lyrics here.)
It´s quiet now. I am landed. Filled with gratitude. Some of you kind people who visited told me you will come back (welcome!). But the big wawe has calmed down. The song I wrote came from a quiet place in me. So does most songs I write. That is also where I create from when I paint. Quiet and timeless. I love to be in connection with that place.
But this experience made me realise something very important: I totally enjoyed the feeling of being part of something BIG. To connect big, share big. So enjoyable!
The song was written from pure gratitude. Because of what Kelly Rae had been able to be a channel for through her paintings. I am so thrilled that the song made her happy in return. Isn´t that what we want when we experience something good: to find a way to give back. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to give something back to the person who caused such a healing to the artist in me. And to have the honor of recieving this wave of kindness back. So, so grateful. What a wave, what a beautyful ride!
On now, to see where my own two feet will take me next….
(“Old friends” , one of the very first paintings I made in my week alone where I began painting again, inspired after watching this KRR video where she paints live)
Here comes the second part of the story about following my passion and beginning to paint again after more than 15 years. You´ll find Part 1 here if you missed it. Part 2 is actually the beginning. Like I promised, this one has a video in the end with a song I wrote one inspired evening.
Do you have your cup of tea or coffee ready?
Long, long ago I loved to paint and draw. The passion stayed with me as I grew up and later I thought that was what I wanted to do for life, paint.
LIFE TAKING OVER
So off I went to art school. Then I took up dancing to get more body in my paintings and got swept away with the love for stage-expression. So I went to theatre school. Later I got busy teaching and many other things, all good, and involving a steady income. I had two wonderful children with my dear husband, spending much time on family business. All the time thinking that of course I would paint again, some day.
Often friends or family who knew me as an aspiring painter, asked me if I had made any new paintings lately. That was so strange, because when I answered, I wanted to say “yes”, – I almost felt as if I had just been painting. Only I hadn´t.
(From Creative quickie book: “Imagine that you woke up one day and discovered something much greater than you ever expected growing out of your pot!”)
Now I can see that all those years I avoided taking responsibility for my deep passion: creating. I mean this in no regretting way, truly not. I don´t believe we are here to get everything right straight away. I simply believe we are here to do our best and learn whilst we do. And I learned so much. Many things that are utterly useful for me in what I do today. But true passions have a way of not leaving us alone. They are our own voice whispering persistently, and they will keep on whispering (even shouting) until we listen. Sometimes a lifetime. We may not be open, but the passions are there, ready to play the moment we are still enough to feel who we are.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND ACTING ON IT
One day I stumbled upon a book about finding your passion and creating your life and income from that. I was totally on fire about this and systematically did the self-study during almost a year. Through that book I learned that we may have many passions in our life and that it is no shame to pick and follow one, then another, and then a completely different one. I had always thought that I had to get it just right, and did not dare to fully go for my passion since I was not sure if I knew which passion would be the right one to go for. I was also afraid I would make a fool of myself because of lack of true talent.
TALENT, PASSION and WORK
Oh, talent! Talent is wonderful. It is the gift we arrive with, ready to use as we choose. We all have them. But we need more than talent. I have a talent for being creative in many different ways. But god knows I wasn´t born with a big talent for taking charge of my dreams. It took me so long to realise that I had to deliberately work for that, if I wanted my own direction in life. Working with the book helped me choose one dream, for now, and try out what may happen when I dedicated time and effort to follow that. After finishing the book (only available in danish, but I believe there are many books on the subject in english), I attended a workshop with the author. Truly inspiring! And enough for me to get started on my first dream: to teach workshops about creativity.
During the coming year I created workshops designed to spark off a daily inspiration and a clearer vision of what you want in your life, using bits from all the artforms I knew and loved: Dancing and movement, writing, vocal exercices, creating images and working with life visions.
After each workshop I taught I was happy. And proud that I had given my dreams wings in the real world. And then, when I was done celebrating that, I started to hear a whisper that had been waiting patiently underneath this whole time:
“I want to paint. Please allow me to get dirty with paint and real canvas. Are you going to be too tired or busy for that forever? Isn´t that what you teach in your workshops: How to create time and space to do a bit of what you truly love, each day? So please listen to me, I REALLY WANT TO PAINT!”
(A creative quickie: “When you wish to help a plant grow, It won´t help to pull in it. Instead you need to discover how to nourish it´s own power to grow.”)
I felt ashamed. I had found my passion and followed it. I knew a lot about how to nurture creativity and do more of what you love doing. I was even teaching it, and still, the thing I kept dreaming about seemed almost impossible to do. I had been thinking about it, longing to paint on real canvas for so long that I was terrified I would let myself down if I dared to paint again. What if i was no good, or even worse: what if I would find the painting process donwright boring?
I needed a shift, a helping hand, something that could bypass the fear-effect that came from dreaming about, but not doing the painting.
One evening in october 2010 as I was sitting at my computer, I finally listened to the advice from a very caring lady who told me to visit Kelly Rae´s blog. She said that I absolutely had to check it out.
That was my first visit to Kelly Rae´s wonderful universe. That night, I just sat there at the computer, watching one painting after onother. I remember becoming very, very still inside. Such simplicity and freedom in the usage of colors, forms, words, images. The free mix of it all. Wauw! Here was the spark of inspiration I needed. I was transported into something similar to meditation, I must have sat there for hours, soaking in the goodness. And the following evening too. The paintings worked like healing, and up and out came a song, want to hear it?
(You can find the lyrics to this song here)
Seing Kelly Rae´s paintings helped me find back the freedom to paint from goodness. And to keep it really simple and close to my heart. A big thanks to her for inspiration, courage and belief! I know she helped so many creative souls listen to their passions, following their dreams. Whilst stayting true to her own.
(Heart, spread your wings of joy)
To end off this celebration I want to thank to all of you who gave your support this last year. You told me to keep going. You spoke kind words. You bought paintings when I started selling. You gave me a practical helping hand. You listened to me and was bearing with me during lots of words about my process. You commented faithfully and cheered me on here on my new blog. I believe all creative souls need some cheering and confirmation. In the end, all humans do. This year, your support meant so much. Thank you!