Bodysurfing in Art

People who are so consumed by their art that they forget to eat or bathe have always been a wonder to me.

When I subtitled this blog “radical retirement,” it was my brazen way of saying I was nailing it from Day One. A friend had told me it takes about five years to get into a rhythm in retirement, and I set out to prove her wrong. Except I didn’t. In several postings I expressed frustration with how much I wanted to do and how little time I seemed to have.

I’m nearly halfway through Year Five. I’m still not sure if I’ve got it right, but I’ve done a 180 in how my days are structured, and now even I forget to eat (or delay till I’m starving) and skip a shower now and then.

Since I got my art degree,  I’ve been looking for something that would be “my” art–unique and identifiable, that I felt passionate about. I’ve dabbled in almost every medium, never feeling like I was getting close to mastery in anything. The closest I’ve come to feeling consumed has been this blog: when I sit down to put a piece together I stay with it like a dog with a bone. And body surfing. Whenever I’m in the surf, it’s always “one more wave.”

Through a weird confluence of events I believe I’ve found my true calling in art:

  • Because of a stressful family situation I was seeing a therapist, who encouraged me to put my creative needs first. She also told me that people who don’t find an outlet for their creativity release it in drama instead.
  • I started listening to Katherine Torrini’s Creative Life Spark and discovered I’m a High Voltage Woman. Katherine says if the voltage isn’t channeled it–guess what–comes out in unhealthy ways.
  • I received a link to a post card swap. Hesitated to sign up–could I produce 10 small pieces of art I wouldn’t be ashamed to mail to another artist? I worked on it for a while before registering, so I’d be sure to have something to mail. Discarded two or more for every one even halfway usable, but kept pushing through. Surprised myself many times with the results. Finally registered and mailed out the 10 pieces I thought were the best (with at least a dozen left over I wasn’t so sure about). I’m also receiving cards in the mail, and mine hold up quite well in the mix.

Now that the swap is finished I can’t stop. If I don’t make at least one card a day I feel twitchy. When I’m working at the computer I’m coloring something (right now, as a matter of fact, while photos load). I’m mailing random cards to friends, people I’ve just met–anyone at all. I scan everything before it’s mailed as a record.

First batch for the post card swap

First batch for the post card swap

My granddaughter sometimes calls me “Jillybeans,” so that’s what I call this work. I’ve created a logo, labels, a business card, and *TA DA* a new Jillybeans blog.

Jillybeans logo

Even if you can’t swap, if you’d like to receive an original jillybean, send your mailing address to

I’m getting my granddaughter into the act as well, and her recent work sort of channels Mondrian.

Chloe's Mondrian

Chloe’s Mondrian

The funny thing about this reversal or priorities–the laundry still gets done, as well as the grocery shopping and choir practice and even bathing and eating. Just not quite so obsessively. I suppose I’ve just changed my obsession, but this is a lot more satisfying, and way more fun.



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


fine abstract art

Julie Powell - Photographer & Graphic Artist

Creating & Capturing Life's Precious Moments

Poet Kate Hutchinson

Life From Both Sides of the Window


Discover the hidden world of ordinary objects

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech

A Madarasachap Muslim

Things you should know about Islam.

Deb Breton

Making the world brighter, one painting at a time...

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

Yuba Gold

Art and creativity with a touch of nature

Letters & notes

A collection of poems, spoken word & cooking from Gretl Feeson as well as being an online reblog magazine of sorts.

A Young Retirement

"Looking Back on Our Four Seasons of Life"

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry


A chronicle of our family's time in Japan



Ollie On The Move

The Horizon is my Home


art, sketch, portrait, lifedrawing, landscape, seascape, water color

%d bloggers like this: