Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who do you think you are? What is it about those words that makes me feel defiant and dig in my heels? The only time I heard these words was when someone wanted me to feel small and insignificant. When I was a child I knew what I wanted to be, it was all so clear…an artist. Unfortunately I believed what a parental figure said…“That's much too hard! Find something else.”

Today I am living the dream I gave up as a child. God's plans are greater than what someone else thought of me.  At the age of 28 it took all my courage to go after my dreams. I started taking art classes at the city college. What would happen if I found out what she said was right? I would be crushed. The desire to be creative was stronger than my inner fears. I just wanted (needed) to be creative.  The more I painted and the harder I studied things began to change. Doors were opened and opportunities were offered. I simply stepped through those doors.

My boss (myself) is constantly pushing me to do more, more, more. I struggle for balance in my life with family, faith, time to recharge, play and grow in my art. As we know everything has its drawbacks…the bitter and the sweet. Recently I had to tell my boss to back off. Some doors that open I don’t have to walk through. I need to be purposeful. What does that mean? It means I am doing more things that enrich my life: building relationships, spending time with those I admire, visiting more museums, digging deeper in my own work…and traveling less to teach. I’m still teaching lots of workshops (13 next year) but I won’t be nearly as tired from constant time changes or losing so many days flying across the country.  Does this mean I want to stop teaching? No way! 


One of the greatest joys of being a painter, sketch artist and teacher is the people I have met along the way (especially women). My life has been changed by their kindness, love and encouragement. I’ve found my story isn’t that different from theirs. Each of us have obstacles to overcome. Life is about creating ourselves. We’re a work in progress till we take our last breath.  

Be the person you were intended to be... 
Who do you think you are?

Hugs, Brenda




P.S.Would you like to join me in a workshop next year? click Workshop



16 comments:

  1. Brenda, I so appreciate this and the journey your life has taken--good for you, girl!! And this is an encouragement to me--I'm 40 years past when you stepped out, but with remaining life, I intend to pursue the life God has for me and continue to find great satisfaction in that, whatever it may be. Bless you!

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    1. Sandy, You're best years are ahead. When you look at the lives of painters most find they are their best better in their 70's and beyond. Maturity adds wisdom and content to our work. Bless you!

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  2. You ARE who you THINK you are... that's who. Your title reminded me of a phone conversation I had a while back, I'd been asked to be 'in charge' of an event and my phone number had been given out as the contact person. I was telling folks, times, location etc... anyway, one fellow called about the event, and didn't like something about the arrangements, and he said DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I said, No, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? He said No... I said then we're even... now... blah blah blah.. I later told someone about the exchange with this man... turns out the fellow was a quite famous x-mayor of my town, as a new resident I had no idea... I did meet him at the event and he was quite gracious to meet someone who wasn't that impressed with him.

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  3. Love this post, Brenda. And I am much more able to join in one of your home studio workshops than I can one of your fabulous trips... so I'm all for more options at your studio or plein air opportunities out west. :) Maybe one day I'll get to a European class, but that's just a dream for now. You are an incredible teacher and I can't wait to sit under your encouragement again.

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    1. Katie, You are a precious soul. I hope we have the chance to paint together again or just have a cup of coffee and chat. I connect with you on so many levels. Thanks for being a friend...
      Hugs

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  4. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts, Brenda. I, too, am struggling with maintaining balance in my life as I "live the dream" of teaching across the US and internationally. I'm learning how to say no to things that don't feed my soul or nurture the relationships that are important to me. It's an exciting time, but we need to be careful, don't we? Too much of a good thing can drain the joy out of life. It sounds like you've found a good balance - I hope I'm as successful in finding mine.

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    1. Leslie, You're right! We must be careful. We live and work in a profession that has few boundaries. We must be careful to guard the boundreis of our heart, time, family, health...which means we need to set the boundaries so when the questions come up we say yes or no, without hesitation. Next time your in the S. California give me a heads up. I'd love to have coffee and chat.
      Hugs

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  5. Brenda, This is a great post. I am so glad you followed your dreams. Many people, myself included, have benefited from your wonderful teaching. Also, thank you for the reminder that we don't have to walk thru every open door. We need to protect the joy of creating our art!

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    1. Annie, Thanks for letting me know my post hit close to home. Your words confirm what was upon my heart. ~Hugs

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  6. Best blog post! I had the same message driven into me many, many years ago...thank goodness I didn't let it stay in my head forever! I appreciate your message, and I'm sure there's lots more out there that need to heed your encouraging words!

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  7. Roxanne, Thank you for the reaffirming words. Hugs!

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  8. Great post! And it's interesting to see how the written word can be interpreted. I read your title at first not as a questioning reprimand (as in "What were you thinking!?"), but as an invitation to explore who do you think you are? But after finishing you post, I so glad who didn't let that early comment determine your direction for life! Each of your classes have truly expanded my horizons as to who I am and my potential as an artist, even at the late stage of 66! Thank you!

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    1. Diane, Love your response. It's been a joy to know you, too!
      ~Hugs

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  9. Great post, Brenda. I also wanted to be an artist when I was a child, but it was never encouraged. So I was well into adulthood when I started. It's always been on the "back burner" due to jobs and other commitments, but I'm inspired to do more!

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    1. Stevie, That a gal! It's never to late to live our dreams!
      Hugs,
      Brenda

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