Lisa M Kirk
Artist and Facilitator

Love Letters to Creative Souls

Happy Summer!!

Fairy Dresses on Canvas (with easels), each one 4" x 4", $40-

I hope you are enjoying your Summer, despite waking to the orange sun and the fog of smoke that is hovering above us. My heart goes out to all of those displaced people and wildlife, as well as the wonderful Beings who place their lives at risk fighting these fires.

Despite all this, Summer always feels like the season of hope, bounty and abundance.

As I map out our Summer ahead I am filled with gratitude as to all the opportunities that are flooding my way. I am not painting at Music Fest this year, which I will miss.

However, what I am coming to understand is that letting go of one thing, always opens up another.

I have just hung a rather unexpected art show at Sweet Surprise Gluten Free Bakery and Café, in Courtenay, which makes the most yummy sweets as well as savory things….and you would never know they are gluten free!!

At the bakery you will be greeted with the Golden Clothesline Series (yes, there are some new dresses!), Happy House series and some Star Drawings. I am slowly loading them on my website and I hope to have it done soon. In the meantime, I hope you will pop by the bakery for a look-see. The show will run until the end of August.

Dress of Transformation

Mixed Media Collage on Wood Panel, 8" x 8", $80-

It seems this year has been one of letting go of the old skins. I am reminded of a snake skin I found a little while ago in our garden….ah the shedding! Perhaps letting go is just part of our life process, not just a one stop thing. I am beginning to think that I need to shift my perspective on it and feel grateful for its arrival in my life. The thing is, often it is uncomfortable being in that part of the process, so I push it away, resist it. I wonder what would happen if I just accepted its presence…?

Trust Lives Here

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 8" x 8", $75-

Let me share with you a little of my letting go process both in my Life and in my Art, because I believe our art process echoes our life process. What we learn through the creative process can be applied to our life, and vise versa. So I hope you will stay with me while I give you a wee glimpse into my life these last months.

As I prepared for the art show, the usual companions of fear, resistance and judgment sat at my knee murmuring away to me. Some days it took all I had to drag myself to get things done. I have come to see that despite these voices, I need to “keep doing the work”. Steven Pressfield’s book, “Do the Work” comes to mind.

I need to let go of allowing myself to be dragged down into their small box thinking; see those voices for what they are, acknowledge them, and then, most importantly, shift my focus, putting one foot ahead of the other.

Patience Lives Here

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 8" x 8", $80-

For me, that involves not getting overwhelmed with the big picture, instead just seeing what needs to be done today, or this moment. As many of you have heard me say in art class, just focus on the blob of paint at the end of your brush….or the thing that needs to be done at this moment.

So this Spring, a different kind of letting go began when we needed a new bed and chose to pull up our flooring not just in the bedroom but in the dining room, living room and hallway!!

It was literally and metaphorically speaking, layers of letting go. In a couple of rooms, four layers were removed. To our delight, we discovered the original fir floor.

Through that process, we decided to part with a family piano. I did not realize how emotional that would actually be until the day came for it to leave. The connection to that piano threads back to my Granny. Granny kindly sent it across the country (from Montreal to Vancouver) to my Mom, who was single at that time. I was just a girl. I took lessons on it, and eventually Mom sent the piano to us here in Courtenay and my daughter took lessons too.

However, as I let these sad feeling move through, and spent some time with them, there was great love and appreciation for how the piano has served my family all these years.

The Power of Love Shared

Pen and ink on paper, 11" x 14" framed, $125-

Now, the piano has gone to live with the kindest of souls, who appreciate it with all their hearts and will play it. They have told me they will be the “stewards of this beautiful treasured piece of our past, present and future!”

The gratitude I feel helps me to move beyond to the opportunity this offers to see things with openness of heart instead of a closed fist.

Since we have been letting go of many things, so many things have been unexpectedly gifted to us—the lawn guy donated his services because Dan is a teacher, the Mary sculpture whose head was broken off and glued back on (I love the metaphor of this so much!), our flooring guy who created inlaid flowers in our front hallway, raspberry canes and flowers gifted to us by kind hearted gardeners, a wee nest that came to visit us, an accountant that rescued us at the last moment, a fellow who stepped up and paid for my small purchase at the re-store…these are just a few of the many gifts that came our way in these past months.

Letting go has been one of my life lessons and not an easy one at that. I am coming to trust that when I surrender and release with gratitude, something beautiful happens, often unexpected. It opens me up to possibilities.

And if I pay attention, there is often synchronicity involved in all of it. The older I get, the more I understand how everything is connected; how we are all connected.

I believe what shows up in our outer world often connects to what shows up in the art process.

In the creative process, we need to learn to let go of the outcome, to trust that we will be taken where we need to go. Sometimes we become attached to what it’s going to look like, or has to look like, and that catches us up, keeps us trapped in an old way of being, of creating.

Letting go, opening to the mystery of what might unfold, what might show up, allows Universal flow to happen with ease. It invites a new layer to be uncovered, discovered, and re-covered.

Another opportunity and chance to let go personally and creatively has opened up to me as well this year. I have chosen to take a week long art retreat in Victoria this summer and am very nervous. It is completely outside of my comfort zone. Since I am continually asking those in my classes to step outside their comfort zone, I thought it was time I did a little of it myself. Letting go of certainty, of what I think I know, being open to something new is scary. However, I know it is here I will grow.

She Spread Her Wings and Flew

Pen and Ink on Paper, 11" x 14", framed, $125-

I always am honoured by the participants who come every week, open and ready to let go, to shift, to transform their old beliefs into another way of seeing. It is all of you who give me courage to take this retreat and I will think of you every day I am there, knowing if you all are willing to risk it then so am I! So thank you for that push!!

Looking forward to seeing you in the Summer! Keep in touch…

And thank you for reading and supporting the work I do. It is because of all of you, I keep on creating…in all the many ways my heart guides me.

I encourage you to do the same...Keep on Creating in whatever way makes your heart sing!

May your day be filled with the sweet feeling
of releasing your hold on the old
and opening up a path of arrival
of something new and unexpected.

Kind Regards,