Joy grows HOPE, my word of 2020

Recently, after picking up our older daughter from college, we started with a lively conversation, driving home in the December darkness. Twenty minutes into the drive, it got quiet. I turned back to see our two daughters snuggled up to each other, one with her head on the other's shoulder, sleeping. My nest was floating home. Instead of imagining all of the things that could go wrong, or reviewing the long to-do list, or feeling the weight of the winter darkness, I simply felt joy--and took photos, of course. Maybe in 2019, my year of JOY, I have learned to sit in vulnerable, joyful spots and be still, although not so still that I go without taking photos.

In other 'joy' news, my large painting Path to the Tamaracks, below, sold last week from our small artist-run gallery. Wahoo! I must celebrate, right? Especially after saying in my post just two weeks ago, "At the pinnacle of an achievement, I tend to downplay it, and immediately push myself to the next goal... I like to have goals, and it is okay to stay humble, but girl, take a breather and enjoy the view every once and awhile." The view is good. Thank you, art collectors and patrons! ALSO, a big thank you to my gallery partners, Laura, Dawn, and Jeremy (who sold my painting)! My first instinct, again, is to downplay the sale or worry about how I can repeat good things in the future, but why not be still in this vulnerable, joyful spot and enjoy the moment?

Path to the Tamaracks, 2017
A path of hope & healing,
in memory of loved ones.
In 2019, I've found that authentic, unforced joy, must not be pushed down or ignored as it bubbles up. I also learned that joy is usually the result of overcoming challenges and struggle. This leads me to my word for 2020, HOPE. Allowing yourself to feel joy grows hope. I think both joy and hope die with excess anger, anxiety, and fear. What else grows hope? Hoping to find out in 2020.


Art & Thinking in This Century

Recently, I shared this updated Bloom's Taxonomy (below) with my secondary Art students. Bloom's Taxonomy shows levels of thinking skills. This pyramid aligns with what has been identified as the most important skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. No wonder such a high percentage of Nobel Prize winners in Science have training in the Arts. 

My students' current winter art show displays how they are applying art techniques, using critical thinking skills, and communicating with originality and humor. Like life, the art process is messy. There are a lot of rough drafts, paint spills, restarts, and ideas lost if they aren't written down or sketched out. With humor, persistence, courage, and usual teen energy, students can find their voices, develop skills and confidence, and tell their stories in Art. It's their time!