Authentic and Intense COLOR

Resolving to be authentically and intensely COLORFUL
in 2105!

After I stepped outside our back door and snapped
this photo the morning December 31, 2014, I
decided my word for 2015 has to be COLORFUL.
It is time to embrace more actual and metaphoric
color--noticing it, using it in my art, encouraging it
in others, and simply not yielding so much to
inhibitions when authentic color is needed. No,
this doesn't mean more swearing... although
when I am overtired, watch out.

Authentically and intensely colorful? It is in me,
as well as my family, friends, and students. As in
the photo, nature teaches us about timing and color.
Intense color is this breathtaking and uplifting
because it contrasts the ordinary. We don't get this
drama every morning, but we can notice it when
it happens and is needed. Had I kept looking
toward the gray western sky, I'd have missed it.
Glad my word of the year isn't OBLIVIOUS.

I secretly love the color gray, and could mix varied
gray paints all day long. Concrete floors, gray fuzzy
rugs, shiitake grey counter-tops--just about any bold
and vivid color looks great next to these. Sometimes
we are the gray, sometimes we are the glowing
yellow-orange center of the sunrise. Timing. Some-
times we are the gray fox, sometimes we are the
red. Contrast. CONTRAST could just as easily be
my 2015 word too. There really is no enjoyment of
color without knowing the contrasting gray or
some darkness.

In 2014, my word was BRAVE. And it was a year
to be brave and vulnerable in the face of challenges
and opportunities. I have written a lot here about
how making and sharing art requires courage and
vulnerability, as does living. To put really authentic
work out there, you have to be vulnerable. In 2014,
I made a lot of art and shared it. It also was a year
of intense grieving, for our family. There was a
contrasting need for BRAVE beyond the opportun-
ities I predicted. So now I wonder, why is COLOR
needed? It will be another year of challenges and
opportunities, I'm sure.

Brene' Brown said once in an interview, "One
of the most painfully inauthentic ways we show
up in our lives sometimes is saying 'yes' when
we mean 'no,' and saying 'no' when we mean 
'hell yes.' I'm the oldest of four, a people-
pleaser -- that's the good girl straitjacket that I
wear sometimes. I spent a lot of my life saying 
yes all the time and then being pissed off and

We get to choose to watch the sunrise.