Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 61, 100 Happy Days: Ethiopian Food

So, there is an Ethiopian restaurant a half a block from my studio - Arada. I go there every few months, and every time I go I wonder why I don't eat there all the freaking time.

The owner (I wish I knew her name) is always there, and always remembers me. Tonight she even remembered what I like to order (the vegetarian platter). (Perhaps this place is becoming my Cheers...)

In any case, it's nice to go to a neighborhood restaurant with amazing food, and feel at home. 

Also, it makes me happy to support another small business.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 60, 100 Happy Days: Switcharoonie - New Use for Old Stuff

Operation "Spiff Up Tab's Studio" continues. The past two nights I dragged most of the stuff back into my studio.

It seems silly to me to go through all the effort of clearing the space out and painting every surface, only to put everything back the way it was. This was an opportunity to change things up - no matter how little those thing are.

So, I looked around my studio to see what was and wasn't working, and how I could make the most of what I had laying around. I came up with a switcharoonie so brilliant that I couldn't believe I hadn't thought it up before. I simply swapped shelves - back room (wall) paint shelves with studio bookshelves. I love it! My art books finally look like they deserve some respect. And the paint cans fit perfectly on their new shelves, and it freed up some room in that crowded back room.

Yay switcharoonie!

Also, I loved seeing all my latest Painting Soiree class paintings lined up on the wall. We're only a month into the new year and I have four new paintings to teach!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 59, 100 Happy Days: Guinness and Blood On The Tracks

Tonight I discovered that some wonderful person had left me a Guinness in my studio fridge!
So I took a break from putting my studio back together (after the big wall and floor painting project), put my feet up, and had an ice cold can of Guinness.

On the stereo was one of my favorite Bob Dylan albums: Blood on the Tracks.

Here is one of my favorite songs from that album...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 58, 100 Happy Days: Daily Stuff

Nothing stood out today as THE thing that made me happy (nothing I care to mention, anyway).

It was more of a myriad of things: a hot shower, an amazing cup of coffee, the ability to deposit checks from home, coming up with a new bookkeeping system, feeling somewhat organized. Little things.

Oh, and of course the ridiculously warm weather. It felt like late spring. What's up Mother Nature?? No clue, but I figure I might as well enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 57, 100 Happy Days: Home, Sweet Home + Sidewalk Universes

Ten nights and eleven days of pet/house sitting. Miles of dog walks.
It's good to be home. It's great to sleep in my own bed. It's wonderful to sleep in without having sweet little furry creatures trying to wake me up.

Pet sitting is great, but home is better.

Home is where the happy is.

I don't feel like looking for a picture that represents "home" (nor do I want to post a picture of my messy apartment), so I'm posting pictures that I took last week.

These are pictures of a sidewalk. There was salt (or some snow melt stuff) on the sidewalk, and it looked like stars to me.

It made me think of how connected we all are. The sidewalk looks like the sky, and it's all made of the same stuff. Pretty cool.

So I took some pictures, and played with the colors, and voila. Sidewalk universes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 56, 100 Happy Day: Studio Floor!

Wowzers!! My studio floor has the first coat down and it looks gorgeous!! Very exciting. 

Also, I'm home after 11 days of pet/house sitting! So happy!! I get to sleep in my bed tonight. And...actually already did. I came home tonight and crashed for 90 minutes. Bliss. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 54, 100 Happy Days: Fresh Studio Walls + Shrinking My Vocabulary

This is actually a "before" pic, but I love how empty it is.
My studio walls take a lot of abuse. I hang and rearrange my work on them (several times a month), paint of various colors gets splashed on them, and then there's First Friday... Every month I have up to ten other artists showing their work in my studio for the art walk. This means that once a month I take down all my work, and they put up theirs. And in the process they create dozens more holes in the walls. Later, I spackle the walls, which creates spots that don't quite look like the rest of the wall, and the cycle continues. Resulting in splotchy walls.

Today, my studio got painted for the first time in ages. And, it was done by a friend as a gift (sometimes you gotta take the donuts)!

My studio is absolutely sparkling now. Gorgeous white walls with not a spot on them. It's going to be difficult to nail into those things! I enjoyed looking at those flawless white walls today, because they represent potential. Just like a blank canvas.
Now to deal with those floors...

Day 54 Happy Bonus: Shrinking My Vocabulary
I realize that having a shrinking vocabulary doesn't sound like a happy thing, but if you take the right words out, it can make you much happier. Today I banned from my vocabulary a 9-letter word that starts with "ex" and ends in "ed". It means tired. And I have been tired for days. Today I realized that I've been saying that "ex" word a LOT lately, and that stuff gets in your head. So I immediately stopped saying it, and started saying that I had loads of energy. Yes, I knew it was a lie, but I told the lie so enthusiastically and I threw my arms in the air when I said it... well I may not have felt like I had loads of energy, but I definitely felt less tired.
Fake it til you make it, baby!!

Day 54, 100 Happy Days: Helpful Friends

This is NOT how my studio looked tonight. It was much messier than this!
I have been blessed with many amazing, helpful friends. And two of them really came through
tonight. They cleared my studio out for me, so that another helpful friend can come paint tomorrow. I'd like to say that they helped me, but wiped out as I was, they really did the work.

I am a lucky duck indeed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 53, 100 Happy Days: Watching People Create

I have to admit that I took to Facebook to complain after tonight's class. But it wasn't about the class - the class was wonderful. I complained because I was exhausted and just stretched too thin right now. And then I had to walk a dog, which was the last thing I wanted to do. But, just like last night, I was able to focus on the present during the walk, and bring myself back to a good state.

Which made me think about how amazing it was to watch people create in my creative space tonight. People came in with little or no painting experience, and came up with the most amazing paintings! Using my painting for inspiration, I give them a bit of guidance and encourage them to do their own thing on the canvas. And the do. And that is a brave and bold thing to do, and a beautiful thing to witness.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 52, 100 Happy Days: It's All About the Journey

I had a really great conversation with some ladies in my studio tonight. One of the things we touched on is that there is no destination, no end; it's all journey.
As artists we may be more in touch with that than the general population. As painters we love the process. I suppose some of us (and at times most of us) get frustrated with the process and look forward to the finished product, but... is a painting ever finished? No, not really. It just stops in interesting places.

So, creating art is a very zen experience. It's about the process, not the product. It's a journey.

I tried to think of this as I headed out into the dark, cold, snow packed streets to walk a dog tonight. Instead of trying to rush through the walk and get it over with, I enjoyed that leg of my journey.

Having that mindset made it possible for me to see things that I otherwise might of missed. It really was a beautiful night. I love how the snow seems to make everything more quiet - is that an acoustics thing, or is everyone just indoors? Probably both. But hearing the snow crunch under my boots is a wonderful thing. As is looking at the little trail of footprints that the dog in front of me makes.

Day 51, 100 Happy Days: Halfway There

Once again, I'm halfway through my 100 happy days. And, I feel great! Not all the time, every day, but I'm pretty sure that I feel a LOT better than I would be if I weren't doing this project.
It's funny to have done this before, and to know the benefits of focusing on things that make me happy, and to still not do it as a rule.
Each time I do the 100 happy days, I get better at it. There may be people with a set point of "happy" or "sad", but it's not the law. Happiness is a habit, and sometimes it takes work but it's worth it. My work with it is not only to find it (more difficult than you think at ties), but to write about it every day. I never go to bed without writing about the thing that makes me happy because it would be too easy to abandon. And my rule is: If I miss one day my happiness blog, then I have to go back to day one.

So, 51 days in and I'm feeling great!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 50, 100 Happy Days: Being a Working Artist

I had to cut an orange peel to see what it felt like. And to make a face.
Making a living as an artist - or even making an attempt at it - is a strange endeavor. We put ourselves out there, we bare our souls. We spin plates, wear many hats and often burn the candle at both ends in order to pay the bills.

Making a living as an artist is a lesson in asking and receiving. Asking for sales, for support, to be accepted into shows. It can mean asking for donations, asking for volunteers, asking for help.

And it means receiving. Graciously. Receiving money for one's art, receiving gifts of space heaters and art supplies and wall paint and yes, money. In The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer calls this "taking the donuts". It's not always an easy thing, but I'm learning. To ask and to receive.

Making a living as an artist makes me happy. The goal, of course is to make a great living at just selling my paintings. But for now I'll settle for selling my paintings, teaching out of my studio, renting my wall space, pet-sitting, and whatever other odd jobs come my way. There's no sick leave or paid vacations, and I work most evenings and weekends. And I love it.

Here are some of the things that made me happy today...

Beautiful sunny January day, walking the dog. (Why are those leaves hanging on in January, anyway?

New space heater! A gift from a good friend. This will change things up for me.

I'm so thankful for the cash that just appears now and then in the donation jar. A five-spot appeared in there today.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 49, 100 Happy Days: Facilitating Creative Healing

No pics of the class, but here is the cute kitty I'm sitting.
Today was the first Artist's Way class of the new session (first of 13 classes), and it was just amazing.
I had a hunch it was going to be a really good, cohesive group, and it seems I was right. This group feels like it was meant to be together.

It's a privilege to be able to facilitate the creative healing for these women (this class happens to be all women).

Today was a meet-and- greet, plus an overview of the class. Each person introduced herself and stated where she is creatively, and what she hopes to get out of the course.

I've been holding this class for several years now, and it is really wonderful to watch people progress over the weeks. Today I got to hear about where people are creatively, and sometimes where they are generally in life. It's great to hear that and to have some idea of where they will be at the end of the thirteen weeks. It's like having foresight; I know that if they put the work in - even minimally - that they will be a better place than when they started.

It's exciting to watch happen.


Day 48, 100 Happy Days: Jesus Shaves Mug

Jesus saves, aaaand...
Jesus shaves. Boom.
I belong to this really amazing woman's meet-up group. It's a very active group (sometimes several meet-ups a week), yet I only manage to get to a couple a year. But every time I go I get a warm welcome from ladies I know as well as ones that I hadn't met yet.

Tonight was the 5th Annual Procrastinators Xmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange. It's always a good time. I gotta tell you, I love me a white elephant gift exchange!

A couple of years ago I scored a sweet programmable slow cooker at a white elephant.  Tonight I came ever so close to getting a beautiful ceramic sushi set, but alas, it was stolen from me. As was the Duck Dynasty doll, the glass brick with white lights in it, the tea-for-one teapot with mug and tiny bottles of booze and... I don't even remember what else. It seems like I was up there every 10 minutes opening a new gift (there were more than 30 of us).

In the end, I nabbed this super cool Jesus Saves (money)/Shaves mug. YES. Pour hot water in, and the beard disappears. Does it even get more awesome than that? (Well, ceramic sushi set...)
I must say a few people wanted to steal my Jesus Shaves  mug, but I gave them the pathetic trembling lower lip, and they felt sorry for poor little old me who kept getting her gifts stolen. Bwahahahaaaa...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 47: Cancelled Plans and Blue Lights

Today was a good day, but I woke up exhausted and never quite recovered. So when my date let me wiggle out of our plans tonight... bliss. An evening in front of the TV snuggling with a pooch is just what the doctor ordered. I tend to overschedule my life. Need to stop doing that.

I took the picture on the left when I was out walking the dog this evening. Blue lights just seem to pull me in. As I took the picture in the dark, I noticed the vines below the lights, and realized that I have photographed those vines before. In fact, I think that every time I pass that house I take a picture or two. In addition to beautiful lights and groovy vines, it has trees that I can only describe as magical. They're like fairy tale trees. But not creepy "child lost in the woods about to get eaten by a wolf" fairy tale. Just dreamy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 46, 100 Happy Days: Clear Blue Sky

What a gorgeous day in Denver!

I did not see one cloud all day long, and the temp was... I don't know. But unseasonably warm. (Of course, I'm not really sure what "seasonal" means anymore...) Just a lovely day. It's days like today that I feel lucky to be a (sometimes) dog walker.

Look at the grades of blue in that photo; doesn't it just make you want to paint?! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 45, 100 Happy Days: Happy Dog + Repaired Car

This blurred cutie.

I was walking along, minding my own business, when what do I see but the sweetest puppy, stationed outside the neighborhood pub. This little one was the official greeter, and giver/receiver of love. SO sweet!

Unfortunately she/he was so excited and happy to be getting loves from yet another person, that I couldn't get a good pic. But that's okay. I was just happy to hang out for a few minutes with such a wonderful being.

Day 45 Bonus: My car is fixed!

My neighbors will love me again (or at least won't hate me anymore) because my squeaky belt was fixed. And my stinky exhaust leak was fixed, as was my leaky tire. Check engine light is off, parking brake adjusted. All for less money than expected, and in less time than expected.

Tabetha is happy. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 44, 100 Happy Days: Car Is In The Shop

Ray Charles stamps!
Having my car in the shop doesn't exactly sound like something to be happy about, but it is!

This is something that's needed to be done for a long time. Today, I finally anticrastinated, and it feels great! There were numerous reasons it took so long to get my car in - money being only one of them (I finally decided that this is what credit cards are for). The other reasons... well let's just say that me getting my car to the mechanic is a big deal in my world.

Also today I finally got to the post office to get stamps - I've been out of the ones with the correct postage, so I've been doubling up on old stamps and overpaying to mail things (usually I mail one thing a month, hence my procrastinating getting to the post office). So THAT felt great. AND there was only ONE person ahead of me in line  at the post office... happy!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 43, 100 Happy Days: Kicking Booty and Taking Names

Yet to be titled new painting for a class.
Busy busy business!

New session of The Artist's Way starts on Sunday, and it's going to be a good sized class. I'm very happy about that! More people make for more discussions, shared experiences, and opportunities to learn and grow.

Also, I have two very big Painting Soiree classes (private parties) coming up in the next few weeks - it looks like there will be 20 people in both - oh and a potential third with 20 people.

I'm kicking booty and taking names!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 42, 100 Happy Days: Living Life Fully

"Elemental Bass" Oil on Canvas ©Tabetha Hastings
So... this is one of those days where I'm not exactly at liberty to say precisely what made me the most happy.  (In case you haven't noticed, I like to say a lot here without revealing too much).

I could write about some other things that made me happy today, but they're all things that make me happy so often that I'm sure you, dear reader, are tired of hearing about them (painting, Paint Club, etc).

Instead I'll just say that I feel like I am living my life fully, and that makes me so happy! Had you asked me at other times in my life if I were living my life fully, I might have said yes. But at this moment in my life, it feels really full - in a great way. And, of course, it can always get fuller. I don't believe there is a capacity limit to how full one's life can be lived. The only limits are time and energy.

ps - In looking for a picture for this blog post, I was reminded of another time in my life were I was living my life to the absolute max. I was just post-divorce and happier than I'd been in my life.
The painting pictured above was created during that time, and it screams wild, fun energy to me. And a live lived fully.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 41, 100 Happy Days: Anticrastination

Anticrastination is a word I just started using, although I can't believe I only just discovered it. When I google it all that comes up is the www.urbandictionary definition, which works for me. I'm running with it.

As you might have guessed, anticrastination is the opposite of procrastination. It's finally dealing with crap you've been putting off.
Today, it was a trip to the cell phone store. I've been overpaying for my cell phone for ages, and I finally got down there to deal with it. I know I could have just called but... those people at the call center are robots! (No offense to the humans answering the calls - I know they're instructed to follow those scripts. It's awful.)

So I dragged myself down there and dealt with it, face to face, with a human being. And in 20 minutes (max)  I was done with this thing I've been procrastinating for months. 

The question I have to ask myself is - why do I procrastinate something that really wasn't a big deal at all? The answer: it involves answering questions and making decisions... Am I in fact, overpaying, and if so should I switch to another provider? Should I upgrade to the newest model, or is it time to switch to something else? If so what? I need to do research... should I poll my friends...?
I could go on and on and on with the garbage that goes through my brain preventing me from dealing with stuff.

The upside of procrastination is that when you finally deal with that thing you've been putting off, you feel really good!!

Next things I'll be anticrastinating: Dealing with my internet provider, and getting my car to the mechanic.

By the way, the picture above is from my edition of The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary, A Library of Essential Knowledge. Copyright 1954. Once belonged to Georgia Paddock. (No idea who that is, but her name is written on the inside in perfect cursive.)
I love dictionaries. And I love things with history.

Check out the lovely artwork on the inside cover...

Day 40, 100 Happy Days: One Damn Good Meal

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with quickly melting ice cream.
Okay, so it wasn't JUST the damn good meal that made me happy. It was also the fact that I was
celebrating a birthday with an old friend. In fact, this makes 25 birthdays that we've celebrated together... actually 50, if you count the 25 of mine that we've celebrated since we met. That's a lot of celebrations!

Today we spent four or so hours in my studio painting, and then we went to dinner at Table 6. So good! If you would have told me that brussel sprouts could make me happy, I'd have said you were off your rocker. But... happy they made me! Granted they were fried... with horseradish, gouda and some sort of a sweet and tangy "special sauce". The amazing Butternut Squash Rissoto made me equally as happy. Out of this world.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 39, 100 Happy Days: Being Easily Amused

It's getting to be a habit (again) to look for things to be happy about. Sometimes getting from "not happy" to "happy" is the matter of a simple focus shift. And some days it's easier to focus on the good stuff.

Today was easy. I had a great class with some great ladies, then I ran around town getting supplies for classes, office supplies, and doing some birthday shopping. I went to Cost Plus World Market for the birthday stuff. I've got to have some energy to go into that place because there is so much great stuff! And I seem to need to look at every little thing. But hey - it makes me happy!

I didn't buy them, but I found this awesome pen set. It's called "Borrow My Pen?" and people might not be inclined to steal these pens... then again, I suppose it depends on the person. These are pens from fictitious business with great slogans. For instance, Shecky the Clown is available for Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and interventions. Because really, a clown at an intervention would really help lighten the mood. And I love the proctologist whose slogan is "Turn your head and cough". His address is "301 South Main (please use rear entrance)".

Why yes,  I am easily amused!

Day 38, 100 Happy Days: Stress-Melting Shower

What color is stress?
Steaming. Hot. Shower. At the end of the day. Yes, please.

I was fairly stressed lately. I have too much that I want to or need to do, not enough time or resources. It got so bad today that at one point I just collapsed into a puddle on my couch, and stayed there for an hour (or more). This was some serious analysis paralysis.

Getting out and teaching tonight helped. But stress had waited patiently for me back home at my desk. I sat down to get a bit of work done before bed, and was soon overwhelmed by it all. So I walked away, and headed for the shower.

Showers have a way of bringing me into the present - especially evening showers by candlelight (or night light as the case may be).  Listening to the water rushing past my ears, hearing it drop onto the bath tub, and feeling it pour over me... everything else can melt away except for me and the water. Happy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 37, 100 Happy Days: Dreaming Up New Classes and Other Studio Stuff

This is what we'll paint in the first oil Painting Soiree!
It was another great studio day, and today I got to paint with a good friend. Also, two people I didn't know - other artists - stopped by my studio and we had a nice discussion about art.

And someone else stopped by asking for a private lesson on the nuts and bolts of painting - she wants to know how she can assure that she is selling a quality painting to her customers - quality materials. This may just lead to another class. How exciting!

Today I tried my hand at a Robert Henri painting: The West Coast of Ireland. I saw it in a book recently and fell in love with it. The way the hills blend into the sky just makes me crazy. I had a good time experimenting with different brushstrokes to try to see how he captured that beautiful stormy sky.

And after today's adventure in painting, I've decided that I CAN do a Painting Soiree in oils after all! I've been thinking I couldn't do it without painting like Bob Ross, but I found a way. It just takes the right painting. I'm imagining that a lot of my current students who are curious about oils will sign up to check it out. How exciting to be able to introduce people to beauty and wonder that is oil painting!

Day 37 Bonuses: 
The weather (high of 58 degrees!), the incredible sunset (and that I live in a place where I can experience both those things), help from friends in the form of a much needed dry erase board, and an unexpected dinner and visit with a friend. 

Sunset from my studio window. I LOVE that if you look closely you can see one of my sunrise paintings reflected in the glass. (Right above the Grease Monkey sign.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 36, 100 Happy Days: Childhood Snack and an Adult Beverage

Most of the Tamales sank when I tried to rearrange for a better pic
I tell ya, today has been one of those days. Not bad, but... not good either. Just sort of a beginning of the week/beginning of the year/I haven't done much in the way of admin in a long time and my phone is ringing off the hook kind of a day. And everything needs to be done right now (or 2 weeks ago) and... you get the picture.

I've hardly left my desk today. And that is saying a lot since my desk is at home. It's probably been a 12-hour day. Luckily, I've learned from years of NOT taking breaks, how important breaks are, so I get up and move around a lot. If I don't, my body suffers. I even take little yoga breaks here and there - mini happys!

So finally, after I got enough stuff done tonight, and I could take no more, I decided that popcorn sounded like just the thing. And then I remembered the box of Hot Tamales (candy) that I got the other day normally I would not keep something like that around, but... it was only 49 cents... what was I to do?

Now, a lot of people think that I'm crazy, but back in the day (high school), my friend Jane and I would go to movies and mix Hot Tamales with our popcorn. YUM!! Hey - don't knock it 'til you try it! So I was super happy to make an old school snack at the end of my day. And I just happened to have some Kahlua on hand too. Perfect. Life is good!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 35, 100 Happy Days: Another Soiree Painting

As yet untitled windmill painting. ©Tabetha Hastings
Another day in the studio! This one with a group, thanks to Paint Club. And it was a great group - three newbies showed up and lost in the paint and conversation.

Since I have trouble working on my own paintings (the more detailed, in-depth paintings that I paint to sell) when there are other people around, I decided to create another painting to teach. My goal is to create two new paintings a month for my classes, and I've already hit that goal for January - not bad!

I think this painting will be a tricky one to teach (with all those straight lines), but it's definitely doable. And it's one of those paintings that students will feel really good about completing.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 34, 100 Happy Days: Back in the Studio!

New Painting Soiree painting!
Just when I was starting to have a really solid studio practice, the holidays came and along with them, multiple pet sitting jobs. Depending on the pet I'm sitting, I may or may not be able to break away for a bit to paint, but never for more than a few hours. To make matters worse, that terrible cold snap came, making it easier to stay put, snuggling up with a warm dog and a TV or fire.

So today, after a two-week absence, I ventured into my neglected studio for a lovely snowy day of painting. It was good to get back! And I came up with a new painting to teach.

Day 34 Bonus #1: A happy fortune... "Happiness will bring you luck" Yes, let's hope so!

Day 34 Bonus #2: Windshield wipers! Thanks to the joint effort of two friends (one who diagnosed the problem via Facebook, and one who fixed the problem in person), I now have two working windshield wipers. Which is handy in this weather...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 33, 100 Happy Days: Blue Skies and Sunshine

Beginning of the year. The perfect time to start a new bookkeeping system, right? Well, maybe not
perfect,  but the best time. The truth is there IS no perfect time because - in MY humble opinion - bookkeeping is the pits.

So in the midst of my "new bookkeeping system learning curve" stress, someone sent me a text saying that we were having a heat wave. Sure enough, I looked at my phone and it told me that the temp was in the 30's. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to stand up and walk outside.

Ahhhh... blue skies and sunshine!! A Colorado winter day. Stress melted, and happiness ensued.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 32, 100 Happy Days: Inspiration

Sunrise with a PS filter on it. I love how hazy it looks.
My alarm was set for 8 AM this morning, but I woke up just as dawn was breaking. I thought about how I should go back to sleep, but then I thought that it was a good opportunity to watch the sun rise.

Now… I didn't want to watch the sunrise because I thought it would be pretty. Let's face it: a pretty sky won't get me out of bed at the crack of dawn. No, I wanted to watch the sun come up to see the trees in the backyard in various stages of light.

It was the last morning of a pet sitting job. I've been working on a series of sunrises based on the view from this particular house, and I just needed more information. For instance: why does it look like there's a hill in the backyard when I know there's no hill? Why does the horizon look like it so high up? Why do those trees that are so old and tall look so short when silhouetted against the morning sky? These were the questions they got me out of bed.

So where does my happy come in? I tell you, it comes from the feeling of being dedicated to my work, and it comes from being inspired to work. Even though I haven't painted in 2 weeks, I'm still working. I'm working on those paintings in my head, I'm figuring them out.
To be excited to get back to the canvas is a wonderful thing. To know that those paintings are waiting for me and that I have fresh information for them… That makes me happy.