balance

Squound Hole, Rare Peg: A Perfect Fit

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Squound Hole, Rare Peg."
Squound Hole, Rare Peg | encaustic

Squound seeking rare

Sometimes I feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Other times, I feel like a square hole, seeking a round peg. In both situations, the fit just isn’t quite right. When I can stretch myself in the direction of something where I don’t usually fit, I feel like it also gives a little and meets me somewhere in between. And when the squound and rare come together, it feels like magic.

Seeking perfection

Finding “perfection” is often a matter of adjusting my expectations, attitude, and seeing a different point of view. Is that yellow dandelion in my yard a weed to uproot? Or is it a delicate yellow flower that will be in a child’s bouquet? Is the painting finished by a gut feeling, or does my brain tell me I need to add one more spot of paint? Is that pain in my back a curse that torments, or a gift reminding me that I can feel sensations? As in many things I’ve experienced, is it really some of both, rather than one or the other.

Good enough

Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough. I’ve heard this many times before. Sometimes adding another small detail would be nice, but I need to stop to do other things. Prioritizing can help, so that I can do what is crucial first, then I can add less important items as time allows. I’ve found that practicing painting with a timer can also keep me from over-thinking things. I’m also practicing “listening to the painting,” letting it tell me when it’s finished.

About Squound Hole, Rare Peg

My encaustic painting, Squound Hole, Rare Peg is inspired by the same dream as was my Dreamers Orb painting, where molten iron was thrown over the edge of a roof, forming a square-round ingot as it rained down. I used my favorite complementary colors, turquoise and rust, highlighted in gold. And creating that perfect fit felt kind of magical!

  For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.Save

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Wise Man

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Today With The Wise Man."
Today With The Wise Man | encaustic | 12″ h X 12″ w | 1st Place, Abstract & 3-D, Montgomery Art Association’s 2016 Creative Expressions

Finding the ageless wise man

On this day, and especially with June and a focus on Fathers Day ahead, I’m focusing on the ageless wise man. In my recent companion post about the Wise Woman, I noted that I often awaken in the morning, lie still for a few minutes, and try to set an intention for the day. So today, I’m thinking of and looking for the wise man. Where can I find him? If and when I find him, what questions will I ask?

Characteristics of the wise man

Who is this wise man? He is the one who knows all things from a masculine perspective. I don’t think there is such a being within one person, but I try to look for core characteristics in the many people, male and female, who I will meet today. When I think of male energy figures, I think he is a provider, protector, resourceful, a teacher. He knows how to work hard and work smart, and can show me how I can also do the same.

When I ask him to do something for me that I’m not quite sure of, he might ask me if I can spell the word “able.” When I spell it correctly, he might then say, “If you can spell it, you can do it!” In saying this, he is telling me he has confidence in me and I should try it myself. Or he might encourage me to reach for that apple out on the limb of the apple tree, giving me confidence to overcome my fear by allowing me stretch out while he stands below, ready to catch me in case I slip.

Other wise men I think of are steady in the midst of chaos. They don’t easily get rattled by insults and don’t get into fights… unless it is the last resort. He has a sort of power and knows how to use it to make the world a better place. I recently attended one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve every witnessed. The groom teared up during the ceremony as the emotions swelled… and it was quite moving and powerful!

You might like what a few others have to say about the wise man:

About Today with the Wise Man

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Today With The Wise Woman."
Today With The Wise Woman

With June’s celebration of Fathers Day in mind, I created this encaustic mixed-media painting in honor of the many wise men in the world. Since it is a companion painting, I also used my favorite colors, but in the opposite way with rust color surrounding the male symbol (also the symbol of the planet Mars) with turquoise highlights. The wires originating from the center follow a path pouring outward through the arrow. The short poem encircling the symbol leads to the bigger note: “Today With the Ageless Wise Man.”

  Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.

  For information about purchasing this artwork and/or its companion art, both on exhibit at David’s Café Gallery, located in the Parkview Building at 1300 Spring Street in Silver Spring, Maryland, contact Janet Fox.

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Wise Woman

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Today With The Wise Woman."
Today With The Wise Woman | encaustic | 12″ h X 12″ w | 1st Place, Abstract & 3-D, Montgomery Art Association’s 2016 Creative Expressions

 

Seeking the ageless wise woman

Today, I’m thinking of the ageless wise woman. When I wake up in the morning, I often spend a few minutes lying still, listening to my body and thankful that I’m alive for another day. Most days have a schedule. But on days that don’t, I like to choose an intention and see if I can work on it throughout the day. Some days, I think of who I might see and what question I might ask of them.

Characteristics of the wise woman

Who is this wise woman? She is the one who knows all things from a feminine perspective. I don’t think there is such a being within one person, but I try to look for core characteristics in the many people, female and male, who I will meet today.

Business woman, author and broadcaster Lynne Franks’ presents wise women traits in this TEDxWhitehallWomen video. In it, she notes traits of responsibility, connection, laughter, creativity, leadership, teaching, nurturing, confidence-building, mentoring, integrity, courage, and bridge-building to generations of the future. I’m also reminded of the Hindu goddess Kali, who is a creator but also known for being a destroyer of what is no longer helpful, especially the dark forces.

I’ve been fortunate to know many wise women. They show strength, vulnerability, compassion, humility, respect, love. They use their smarts, experience, and hearts to make the world a better place.

Here are a few other ideas about the wise woman:

Which energies do I need most today?

Hmmm. Is it laughter, creativity, leadership, mentoring, courage, letting go of something… or something else I need today? When the opportunity is here, will I serve as a mentor to another? How will I make the world a better place for the generations of the future? What can I contribute? How does my purpose today fit into the purpose for my life?

About Today with the Wise Woman

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Today With The Wise Man."
Today With The Wise Man | encaustic | 12″ h X 12″ w

With May’s celebration of Mothers Day, I created this encaustic mixed-media painting in honor of the many wise women in the world. I used my favorite turquoise to surround the rust-colored feminine symbol, which also happens to be the sign and the color for the planet Venus. The tiny round glass beads fit nicely with the larger copper staff with the carved bead. The short poem encircling the symbol leads to the bigger note: “Today With the Ageless Wise Woman.” It’s companion painting is my next post.

  Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.

For information about purchasing this artwork and/or its companion art, both on exhibit at David’s Café Gallery, located in the Parkview Building at 1300 Spring Street in Silver Spring, Maryland, contact Janet Fox.

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Balancing Act

Image of a mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Balancing Act II."
Balancing Act | mixed media (sold)
 
Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Balancing Act."
Balancing Act II | encaustic (sold)

Running, jumping, balancing… yes!

Dreamscape… I’m in a fitness center, walking on a treadmill while a small group gathers on nearby mats for an aerobics class. The instructor begins class and everyone starts moving to the music. I like the music and find myself walking to the beat. I’m having fun and before I realize it, I’m running and jumping. I didn’t know I could move like this any more! So I keep going, dancing and elevating on my toes with perfect balance, thoroughly enjoying that I can, once again, move my body this way. 

Finding balance

When I’ve experienced awful things, it can feel like ages drag by as I move through the rawness. But through processing the situation, the intensity of the feelings and details often fade over time. Similar steps unfold for wonderful experiences, although I want the happiness and good feeling to last longer.

With faith, hope, perseverance, hard work and others’ support, I make it through. And at some point, I find a new balance point after integrating the “before” with the “after.”

Rediscovery

Sometimes, I rediscover a valuable something that I previously thought was lost forever. When this happens, my heart wants to dance and jump again, up on my toes with elation. But staying up there for even a few seconds requires immense focus and strength. As I come back down, I appreciate even more the mystery of life and its changes.

I hope you might also enjoy these related ideas from others:

  • As a child, I read “The Little Engine that Could,” by Watty Piper. It’s helpful to remember “I think I can, I think I can, repeat…” Here’s a history of this story by Roy E. Plotnick.
  • In a medical context, “The Anatomy of Hope” by Dr. Jerome Groopman, explores the role of hope in treating seriously ill people. This summary is in the NYU School of Medicine’s database.
  • The contemplative song, “Before and After,” by Carrie Newcomer, features Marin Chapin Carpenter.

About Balancing Act and Balancing Act II

I felt so great when I awoke from the dream above that I decided to paint it not once, but twice! I explored the different results I could achieve using mixed media or encaustic. I also turned on some happy dance music while I was painting, to help me capture the energy of sound and movement.

How do you regain balance?

  Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.

  For information about commissioning a similar artwork, contact Janet Fox.

Rain Drip (encaustic mixed media)

Image of an encaustic mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Rain Drip."
Rain Drip | encaustic mixed media

What Does the Journey of a Drip of Water Look Like?

Water

We are water.
Mysterious beginning, starting small.
Raindrops, running into a stream.
Flowing, over rocks, through valleys; either muddy or clear.
Into rivers, now rushing, roaring.
Supporting life, destroying life.
Carrying what’s sometimes meant to be left behind.
To an ocean, calm and restless.
To who knows where?

As a contemplative teen back when, I penned this poem while sitting near the edge of a small waterfall near my home. I’ve thought back to these metaphoric words many times since then, especially when a rain drip startles me by hitting me in the eye or when I hear the sound of a dripping faucet.

Water is an estimated 53 to 75 percent of an average human adult’s body weight; it is essential to live. When I get very thirsty, the sensation provokes anxiety and an urgency to drop everything and find something to drink, now. But drinking too much water too quickly can kill by so-called water intoxication.

So like many things in life, finding a balance between the extremes is important. Do I drink enough, but not too much, water?

As a society, how do we value water? Do we take it for granted? Do we conserve it or waste it? Do we pollute it? Do we protect it? How do my actions contribute to those of the whole?

My encaustic mixed media art, “Rain Drip,” is a contemplation on just one droplet or drip of water as captured during its free fall on its way to puddles below.

Here are some others’ ideas about water; enjoy!

How do you relate to water? What does water mean to you?

 Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.

  For information about purchasing this artwork, on exhibit at David’s Café Gallery, located in the Parkview Building at 1300 Spring Street (south-west corner of Georgia Avenue) in Silver Spring, Maryland, contact Janet Fox.

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