GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life

Forced to Slow Down

Last week during an indoor cycling ride, I really pushed myself. It was the 1st stage of the “Tour de Zwift” event titled “Flat is Fast” on a route I had ridden before so I wanted to see if I could break any previous PRs (personal records).

Two days later, my knee hurts whenever I straighten it. I could go back and look at my stats to see if I set any personal records but I don’t remember off the top of my head. I do know I have to walk slowly, and mindfully. It feels like my knee needs to pop but I’m afraid if it does, I’ll go down and it’s going to be painful. So I’m alternating propping it up with some ice packs, and taking a hot bath.

I’m missing stage 2 “Mountain Madness”. I hate hills and inclines while riding, but it’s what I want to work on this winter. I’m tempted to see if I could do stage 2, but then stage 3 “Round and Round” (Crit style race) is tomorrow. I don’t think there are any inclines and if there are, they’ll be minimal.

So I’ve done more art this past week. I signed up for Carla Sonheim’s 2022 Yearlong Course and the 1st lesson from Starheadboy came out so I’ve made some stickers on regular sticker paper. I have vinyl sheets coming so I can make stickers to go outside. I’ve made my acrylic painting of the character that came out when I was doodling for sticker ideas. It was fun to create without really worrying about the end product. I think I try to convince myself it’s all about the process and not the product but I want something “Instagram worthy” when it’s all over with.

Cat or Gremlin?

There’s a phrase that has come up a few times lately. “If you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right” It really does apply to both art and cycling. It applies to a lot of life if you think about it.

Slowing down, having fun. That will be my focus for the upcoming week.

Lazy Day

My intention for this year is to write a post on Sunday mornings but yesterday after waking up to care for my corgis at 7am (which is really late for them to sleep!) I opted to go back to bed.

I slept until after 11am. It was glorious.

I then started laundry and my husband mentioned needing to pick up some things a the grocery store. I needed to get more dog food & cat litter at the pet store. I got dressed and we went to run the errands.

I didn’t have an agenda for the day, other than laundry. I have been trying to do more things throughout the week so I don’t have to spend the weekend playing “catch up” on housework.

I cleaned my art area in preparation for the 1st lesson in Carla Sonheim’s yearlong course. I went through my files, shredded old items, and cleaned off my computer desk. I’ve kept the kitchen sink cleaned & the dishes caught up. It makes a huge difference when nothing is piled up to the point of being overwhelming.

I’ve noticed that even when it seems overwhelming, like dishes piled in the sink and on the counter, it takes less time to tackle it than I expect. What in my mind is going to take hours, may only take 20 minutes, if even that long.

It’s the same with art. I feel like I need a large chunk of time to create, but 10 or 15 mins in my sketchbook consistently adds up. Consistently. That’s the key.

I tend to be an all-or-nothing person. I don’t want to do things halfway, and sometimes drawing the sketch and coloring it later feels prickley. Like a pebble in my shoe, or the seam of my sock going sideways. If I can’t do it <this way> then why bother doing it at all. Then nothing is accomplished.

So I’m practicing doing small bits. So when they add up, I can see the results and have some time to be lazy, or get to the large creation without feeling like other things are undone.

Ready for Fall

The last month has been busy, a lot of ups and downs for me emotionally.   After a minor … okay, more of a major… meltdown regarding finances I decided I’d take a 2nd job.  I decided to apply for a retail job with the upcoming holidays and was emailed to set up an interview.   After contemplating working 40 hours a week at my normal job, and then 20+ hours at a 2nd job, holiday hours and weekends, Black Friday and the rush of Christmas shoppers, I cancelled the scheduled interview.

I’ve re-discovered geocaching and have picked up a few on my way to & from work.   There are upcoming events, on the weekends, that I would have to opt out of if I were working on weekends.   I’m 3 caches away from hitting my 200 mark.

I’m also planning on attending some Sketch Meets.   The Oklahoma Arts Guild group meets on one Saturday a month and the OKC Urban Sketchers group meets on one Sunday a month.

Then there is the once a month art journalling group ladies I meet.  I so could not give up that time. It’s a recharger for me, able to get with like-minded people, and journal.  Sharing ideas and inspiration when I feel worn thin from daily life.

So with my creativity boosted, I’ll be listing my paintings for sale to make some extra money.  I’m getting photos and will calculate prices.  I’m not sure yet on how to ship them but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

On the Puppy front, Vision was 6 months old last week and is scheduled to be neutered tomorrow.   He’s getting a bit of an attitude when playing with Jarvis and there’s been a couple of times when Vision got a bit snarly.   Jarvis is 14 months old and has mellowed out quite a bit.  He is good at tattling on Vision though.  If Vision is into something he shouldn’t be, Jarvis will bark until I go check to see what’s going on.

Spiritually, I’m back into the “I can’t deal with church” mode.   I attended one church consistently until I broke my foot.  David took me a couple of weeks but once I was able to drive, he didn’t go back with me and I couldn’t muster the incentive to go on my own.  I went back today and I was bored.  The sermon didn’t do anything to me.  I played on my phone and gazed out the window.  I thought of going back to another church I had attended in 2012 but had a bad experience.  Then I thought “Why!?”  I’ve tried, it just doesn’t click.   I would love a small group to study spiritually with, but without the baggage I’ve experienced in “organized religion”.

I’m still craving community, but perhaps I can find that with the sketch groups and geo-cachers.


Last weekend was wonderful.  Art, spirit, cleaning up my art area and hanging paintings that have been stacked up.  It caught up with me though and Tuesday I was exhausted.   I wanted to keep up the momentum but I’m learning that I need to honor those cycles of energy and rest.

Luckily it was a short work week but I can’t take days off every 3 days in order to rest and recover from activity.  I’m hoping to find more balance where I take times daily for rest, but not idleness.  My phone doesn’t help.  I waste so much time browsing social media.  I’ve debated uninstalling those bothersome apps but then I feel so disconnected.  As an introvert, most of my interactions are online and I don’t want to cut of my nose to spite my phone.  But true connections and conversations are different than checking pictures on IG of people I barely know, if I know them at all.

I did finish up my 2nd moleskine sketchbook this week, and I thought of starting my 3rd one, still freshly wrapped in the plastic covering.  As I was going through my cabinet, I found many partly filled sketchbooks, visual journals, altered books.  Those books I started for a specific reasons then neglected.   I’m setting a goal to complete as many as I can before the end of the year, and before I open and start a new journal.  I keep a small 3×5 sketchbook in my purse I’d like to finish up as well.

I feel like I need to work on completions.  I’ve posted on my previous blog that I’m good about starting projects, but finishing has never been my strong point.

I’ll see what I can finish this week.