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How exciting! We have come to another leap year! What will you do with your extra day this year? Perhaps a marriage proposal will arise? In Irish history, it was called Bachelor’s
day. Women were allowed to purpose to men on a leap day. If the man said no, he was forced to pay a penalty. He had to buy the woman twelve pairs of gloves so that she could cover her unbanded ring finger. Why twelve? I really have no idea. Perhaps a pair for every month of the year. Although, in Greece, it was unlucky to wed during the leap year, especially on a leap day!
Now, it’s just a formality. A time keeper. Just another day. I’m tired of “just” another day! Everyone says that. For me, this is my extra day! You know how people say, “I wish I had just one more day.” One more day to finish a project, one more day to
spend with someone, one more day of vacation. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure everyone has felt that way before! Well, it’s here! It may not be when you wanted it but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Your one more day has come and you can do whatever you want with it! If you need to finish that project, today is the day! If you want to see that special someone, why waste a minute; today is the day to do it! Even if they have already passed on, go place a flower on their headstone today. If you wanted an extra day of vacation then
go do something fun, or nothing at all!
No matter what, we all make our own choices. This is our extra day, people! Use it the way you see fit! And
you know the best part about having an extra day? It’s not even “extra”. Regardless if we see it as February 29 or March 1, that “time” was always there in our life. We always had that one more day. We just don’t always see it that way. You could see everyday of your life as just another day. Or you can treat everyday like an unexpected gift. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” ― Alice Morse Earle
Nothing is ever guaranteed, especially our time on this earth. So I guess that means that any time we have is “extra” to do as we wish. Everyday you wake up, you get that one more day to pursue what lies ahead. Before this gets too preachy, remember this; “Live everyday like it’s your last, because someday it will be.”
I am going to spend my extra day drawing. Are you at all surprised? What do you intend to do with your extra day? Share
a comment below and thanks for spending some “time” to read my blog!
Until next time,
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
It is unclear who originally said this quote; “Live everyday like it’s your last, because someday it will be.” There are several sources stating different people said it, each person putting it in their own words. The most common information I could find was the quote; “Live each day like it’s your last, ’cause one day you gonna be right” said by Ray Charles.
In case you were wondering…I chose my image of the Bonobos for my header because it is the Chinese year of the monkey!
Just a sketch for today’s post. Snakes and other reptiles have always fascinated me. The great anaconda is an earthly wonder! I marvel at their size. The snake in Native American teachings represents transformation. In “shedding your skin” you can tie up loose ends and create room for new beginnings. If a snake slithers across your path, do not fear. New opportunities are near.
Do snakes give you the willies? Or do you find them fascinating? There are all kinds; from water snakes to tree snakes, poisonous to constrictors. Which ones do you enjoy or despise? Share a comment below!
Until next time,
“Why’d it have to be snakes?”
I came across a bunch of old sketchbooks and school projects the other day. It’s really funny to look back and see the drawings you did as a kid and compare them through the years. I thought it would be neat to do a timeline of my work for my latest post. I wasn’t able to find something for every year but this is what I have right now. Here is a blast into the past of Free Spirit Meg.
(5 years old)
Well…That is not what happened at all. I did however move to Tennessee right after my 20th birthday. We lived right on the border of TN/KY. So that was eerily close. I never did get to race in the Kentucky Derby. I never got that brand new Dodge. I did, however, drive a ’98 Ranger. (Horse trailer not included.) I don’t own 100 horses, nor do I own 100 acres. Both are still a dream yet to be seen in reality. I am not an author though I did start this blog after all. I also have a million journals lying around the house and books out the wazoo. I haven’t talked to Ashley Smith probably since the year I wrote this. She is actually a body builder now. She looks completely different. I’m not traveling the world with her either. Although since I turned 20 I have been to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Vermont, and Massachusetts. I have lived in three of those states. So the traveling is the same and I plan on doing more! The best part about that project is the last sentence. “At least I can experience being a kid again.” Even though my life as an adult was spectacular I still wanted to be a kid a little longer. I had my priorities straight!
(19- 20 years)
So here we are. I have come a long way since the first time I “drawed” a picture. I guess I was just born to do it! I can’t wait for what future years may bring!
Until next time,
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Yep…I did it in the dark. I drew in my sketchbook with no lights on and it was crazy! (get your mind out of the gutter, perverts :P) I have a magical sketchbook entitled “Drawing is Magic” by John Hendrix. It is kind of like a guide book for artists. I have been trying to rediscover myself in hopes to improve my work.
One of the exercises is to take your book into a movie theater with you. Draw everything and anything you want to about the movie while your watching it. No flashlights, in the dark. At first I was like, “Eh, no problem. The light from the screen will be enough to draw under.”
Nope! In fact, I never really noticed how dark it actually gets in theaters when the movie starts. It was very difficult. I could not see anything on the paper. It was definitely a new experience. Some of my sketches I wasn’t even able to make out anything at the end. It was fun. It gave me the opportunity to draw and have no way to go back and correct myself. My lines were permanent and they were loose, wiggly, squiggly, and all over the place! Nothing made sense and nothing was perfect and I loved it!
I feel like I skipped (or took for granted) a lot of the basics when it came to drawing. I have always had a great talent to draw exactly what I see. Because of this, I felt like a lot of beginner steps didn’t apply to me. Now that I have gotten to a certain point in my work I’ve realized that I couldn’t have made a worse choice. I could see a stiffness in my work. I had lost the “play” part of art. My child-like view was erased. The view of creating anything and no matter how it comes out, it’s still awesome…because I made it. I had become too concerned with perfection. Exactness. Precise detail. Art is suppose to be free and fluent. Not rigid and exact. There is no right or wrong way to do something (especially with art) and for some reason when we become adults we forget that. We get set in our ways and then that’s it. No room for error but to err is human, right? So why are we all so worried about being perfect.
I’m not anymore. I’ve realized I am who I am and I am a lot happier when I can be that person everywhere. I’m not perfect. Very, very far from but I don’t care if people see that anymore. I’ve always been taught to uphold a certain image. It wasn’t an image of me though and that just becomes too stressful. I make mistakes and I have to try things over and over before I can get them right. (I can relate, Charlie Brown!) I’m a mess. I’m a freak and I’m shouting it. Who cares? We’re all freaks, we just have to be honest with the world and it makes it easier to be honest with ourselves.
This exercise gave me the opportunity to be care-free. No stress, no strife. I couldn’t worry about making my drawing look exactly like the image I was seeing. It was relaxing to know I didn’t have to create a spectacular masterpiece and if it came out like childish scribbles in the end, it’s ok. Not everything is perfect and I no longer feel obligated to appear so. I still love my doodles and they make me smile when I see them. I had so much fun doing this experiment. The lesson was great and if your an artist I would recommend giving it a try!
On a side note…
I went to Scotia Cinema with my husband and son to see “The Peanuts Movie” (if you hadn’t noticed). I won’t give anything away but it was a great movie. I had so much fun with my guys and it was a great day. I’m thankful I brought my sketchbook so I can always remember how much fun it was. I think a lot of that came out in my sketches. The fact that I could doodle funny cartoons while hanging out with my family….for me, that’s perfection right there! 😉
Until next time,
“Step one: Forget everything you ever knew about yourself.”
“Peanuts” characters referenced for the sketches in this blog are the original design of the late Charles M. Shulz. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time.
Have you gotten snow where you live yet? Perhaps you don’t get snow. Then you’re probably not waiting for it like I am. I live in upstate New York. It’s pretty high up there compared to the rest of the U.S. So you can guess that we get TONS of snow up here. There was one year we had a snowstorm the day before Halloween! You know your a northerner when you buy your kids Halloween costume one size too big so it will fit over their snowsuit! Luckily we didn’t have to wear our snow boots this year.
So no snow in October. Phew! Okay, here comes November. Thankgiving, fall, trees change color if they hadn’t started already. A beautiful season! More commonly people’s favorite and more often then not if it hadn’t snowed in October then our fall weather would definitely been cut short with a few inches of white on the ground. Eating turkey together and looking out the window to snowfall. Luckily we didn’t have to share the orange colors with the plain winter blanket this year!
So no snow during the fall. Phew! Now we’re current and we’re heading into December. Christmas time! Santa and sleigh rides, hot chocolate and ice skating, snowmen and doing donuts in the parking lot…ahem, I mean making snow angels.
Wait…over half of those things involve snow. Surprisingly we snuck by the first week with no snow. Week two went by. Everyone has their decorations up, put up a while ago to ensure it was done before the expected snowfall. Vehicles driving by sound like they’re eating the road because everyone has their snow tires on. Yet we are all still waiting.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Your telling me it’s mid-December in upstate NY and you haven’t seen a single freakin’ snowflake! Well I saw a few. A light dusting if that’s what you can call it, that melted an hour after it arrived. But since then…Nothing.
At first everyone is all like, “Yay! I hate snow! Longer it stays away the better!” But do you forget the balance of the seasons? Do you recall late winters in the past? Every time there is a late winter, that means snowy Easter my friends! Let’s hope not! That’s why I dedicate this post to snow. It’s time to let it rip mother nature! Give us a white Christmas! It’s time to go sledding and have snowball fights and make snowmen and all that snowy stuff!
Fun fact time! Did you know that snow isn’t actually white. A snowflake is compiled of tiny little crystals that are actually clear. What we see is light reflecting back and forth on the crystals, making the snow appear white to us. Depending on where you live it might not be white at all! Some places report pink/red snow because of the ground it sits on, being red clay.
Often snow can be seen with a blue tint or even purple. When the spectrum of light passes through the snow, it scatters. Light is absorbed as it travels, absorbing more from the red side of the spectrum as opposed to blue/violet end. This allows the blue or violet light to travel and reflect more easily than the other colors. Snow may even appear green or gray while being accompanied with algea or dust. Oh…and always remember how yellow snow gets yellow. I won’t get into that one. Just know it’s not lemon juice!
I’m not sure if your a fan of snow or not. You may even be Chionophobic, which is the fear of snow. If your from the north though, it’s a part of life. It’s the change of the seasons and a change in the world around us. We need that. It’s so strange to not see it yet. It just feels weird. Like the feeling you get when you think you forgot something. Even if you didn’t you still feel that way all day. Something is missing.
There’s a greek story you may have heard of Persephone being abducted to the Underworld by Hades. Her mother Demeter, the goddess of vegetation, was so distraught that it affected the upper world and all the trees and plants had died. Winter had come.
Zues ordered Hades to return Persephone, so to restore life to the surface. Hades was forced to agree, but before returning her, he gave Persephone seven pomegranate seeds to eat. This made it so the Underworld would always be a part of her and she would be forced to return and stay with him for four months out of every year. This created the change in the seasons. Perhaps Persephone is visiting her mother a little longer than usual this year, before returning to the Underworld.
In any case, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Do you agree? Do you love the snow or are you hoping to avoid it for as long as possible? Share your story below!
Until next time,
Get busy living, or get busy dying.
I had a random thought. I know… this could be dangerous! Have you ever heard the saying, “No one will be looking at your feet.”? Well first of all that is a bold face lie. I can’t tell you how many times I have received compliments from someone about my boots. I also can’t tell you how many jokes I have heard about my goofy shoes or my mix match socks or the occasional snarl my mother gave me when she saw me wearing my holey converse. Damn, I miss those shoes. Furthermore, can you honestly tell me you have never seen someone wearing bright orange high tops from a mile away! So long story short, people most certainly notice your feet!
Have you ever thought about all the different things your feet have done? Where have they taken you? We stand on them for hours, stub toes, drop things on them (which I did twice this week and it friggin’ hurts!). I think I speak for many when I say I’ve broken every toe at least once. I can’t tell you how many horses have stepped on my feet!
Don’t forget my phsyco dog that will run past me in a random act of excitement, digging his claws in my foot. How many of you have put a boot or slipper on and got a delightful sting from a creepy crawly? And oh yes, my personal favorite, stepping on a nail!
Our poor feet take quite a beating. It also seems like we push our pain tolerance when it comes to our feet. I mean, without them, we have to sit on our asses all day and who has time for that? Who cares if I have to hobble?! I need to get where I’m going!
Have you ever ran outside barefoot? I mean straight up ran! It’s so refreshing. The bottom of your feet have more sensory nerve endings than any other part of your body. Stepping on the prickly yet soft grass makes you smile (just look out for dog poo:P)!
Wiggling your toes in the sand and feeling the water skim back and forth across the tops; I bet you can’t find me one person that doesnt love that! I took a trip to Florida and I tell you what, five days of walking those beaches made my feet look gorgeous! I had no calluses and they felt so soft and smooth. It was nice. I’m not usually one for pampering but yea…that was nice.
I feel like this extremely over looked part of our body needs a shout out. I have been collecting photographs of my feet and the places they have taken me. I never had any expectations for these photos. It was more of a personal collection of mine. It’s one of those silly “creative type” things I guess. At this point I have so many I figured it would be a neat project to share. Perhaps it’s something you may want to start doing. Once you start paying more attention to your feet, from an artist’s perspective, there are so many cool possibilities.
Fun fact time! Did you know 25% of our bones are in our feet alone. If your feet are out of whack, your whole body suffers!
Moral of the story is: take care of your feet and follow them to adventure! Remember… even if you have two left feet, cold feet, a lead foot, your dead on your feet, have a foot in the door, following someone’s footsteps, getting off on the wrong foot, getting your feet wet, have one foot in the grave or putting your foot down….you can’t get anywhere without them!
What have your feet gotten you into? Leave a comment below and share your story!
Until next time, you stay classy San Diego!
How’s the weather! The weather in New York is having mood swings. Yesterday I was outside all day in a T-shirt, warm in the sun. Today, I have a thermal shirt and winter coat on and that breeze is still a bit nippy! That’s just how it goes though.
I finally found a site provider that I really like. As you can tell it’s wordpress. You can make a nice little site, start a blog, very user friendly and I like the way it looks. So here we are! This is the official blog for M. Phoenix Art! What will be discussed you ask? A little bit of everything!
I entitled my blog “Free Spirit Meg”. I have been called a free spirit quite a few times in my life and it seems to sum me up pretty good. I threw my first name in there because this blog is ALL me.
It will be about my work (fine art & photography). I will discuss my techniques, my inspirations, and stories pertaining to my current works. I will continue, as I always have, documenting my life and the world around me through my camera. The only difference is I will be sharing everything with the world from now on. That includes my trials, errors, and lessons learned along the way. Speaking of, I have just recently learned a very valuable lesson and it is one of the reasons I am starting this blog.
I thought I could be an artist and stay hidden from the world. Quiet as a mouse. Just look at my pictures, don’t look at me. Sounds ridiculous, right? Can anyone say confidence issues!? Not to mention how shy I am. I feel like I’m being judged 24/7 . Like I’m doing something wrong, never making the right decisions, and never being good enough. I’ve noticed that other people’s opinions were affecting me more than I had thought. I don’t actually believe I’m worthless or no good but I kept telling myself that. I argue with myself all the time about what’s proper and acceptable. Then I realized, I’m not arguing with myself. I’m arguing with the people surrounding me that make me feel that way. The influence of outside sources telling me I should be doing something better. Asking me when am I going to do something with my life. Telling me I need to change what I’m doing and the way I’m doing it. Instead of standing up for myself I listened to it. I believed it. And I followed it down a path of misery and paranoia. A life of constant ridicule and saying “Oh, I’ll be happy as soon as I get to this point” and changing things in my life to accommodate to what others thought.
I’m not going to do that anymore. I am my own person. I’ve never really been open about how I truly feel about things. For a while there, I didn’t even know myself. Now…I am me again. I’m not what others say I should be. I’m not doing things that make me unhappy just because that’s what is expected of me. I am a ruler of my own fate and if I don’t grab the reins and take control of my own life, someone else will. I am not a sheep. I am not a dog. I will decide if I need to change my life. I will decide when I am happy. I need to be true to myself and live a more fulfilling life because of it. I am happy with who I am and where my life is and no one will tell me I’m wrong. That’s not their right or choice.
I need to stop hiding who I really am in fear of offending someone else. If you are offended by the type of person I am and how I live, that’s your problem. I am embarrassed it took me this long to realize that. In keeping this blog it will allow me to show my true colors with confidence. I believe in myself and I know I’m a good person. I’m a free spirit and I need to start acting like it. My life becomes a helluva lot happier when I do.
Damn, maybe it’s not just the weather that is having mood swings! To make a long story short, my true essence as an artist will be expressed through my blog. I am very passionate about what I do and the work I create and I will never let anyone tell me it isn’t good enough!
If you can take anything away from this, remember to live your own life. Do what makes you happy. We are all different and view the world in different ways. Have your own voice and don’t let others speak for you. Only you can express what is going on in your head!
Thanks for reading! Until next time…