Endurance. What is YOUR story?

My most recent “Endurance Story” happened in Charleston, SC.

In the middle of a sun-baked park. Surrounded by several years of my artwork. Protected only by a 10″ x 10″ tent. For an endless string of 17 straight days. 

By the end of DAY ONE — all I could think was…

“How did this ever sound like a good idea?”

At this point in the story however, that was not really a question worth pursuing. The more pressing matter was “How will I ever get through this? 16 more days? Are you kidding me!!?”

My story took place during the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Festival.

If you are interested in what it looked like, here are some photos I took during the very last hours, of the very last day, of this marathon outdoor art show. All the photos are views from within a 10″ radius of what had become my 10″ x 10″ outdoor home during the past 17 days.

 

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For once I listened…

To my own advice.

Here is what I told everybody. For an entire month. The month of March, 2017.

“You cannot do it all.
Choose wisely.
Because balance is a myth.”

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Which is WHY…

My June 2017 computer desktop calendar is SIX. DAYS. LATE.

This same monthly calendar, which I have published for over SEVEN YEARS. Every month. On time. Every time.  

Because that — is how I (normally LIKE to) roll.

This time it was LATE.

But nobody died. Blood was not shed. I was not arrested.

I had to CHOOSE.

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What would this Primrose Painting say if it could talk? “Call me ‘Nurture.’”

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NURTURE • 12″ x 12″ oil painting ©2017 Marie Scott

Sometimes it takes longer to process the meaning that a painting holds, than it actually takes to create the piece.

After several weeks of mulling this one over in my head, it has finally become clear to me what this little Primrose Painting has to say.

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This painting is the third in a series of three botanicals pieces which are snapshots taken from inside my painting studio.

The flowers in the bowl are a little primrose plant I found unexpectedly while getting groceries in February. I brought home this living bouquet of spring during the same week I learned some heartbreaking news. A dear woman I had admired from a distance — had finally completed the endurance test that had been put before her over the past two years.

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Some things never go out of style.

A common denominator between gardening, mercy, and love

What is Timeless?

I asked a group of friends to look at my newest painting so they could help me come up with a title for it. I wanted the name to convey a character trait they admire. And with Mothers’ Day on the horizon, I suggested that if the name was something that reminded them of their mom — well, that would be even better!

Timeless.

Timeless was the word that jumped off the page, appearing multiple times. A word so rich with meaning that a book is probably a more appropriate venue to discuss this topic.

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Three Easy steps to solving ALL of Life’s problems. (If ONLY!)

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TRUE • 12″ x 12″ oil painting • ©2017 Marie Scott Studios

When at a loss for what to do…

1. Do what you know HOW to DO.
2. Remember what you KNOW to be TRUE.
3. Find something NEW for YOU.

I like to explore ALL my options. So much so, that it has become a joke in our family. If you want something researched like a dog with a bone, than I am your go-to-gal for turning what could simply fit onto a 3 x 5 card into a 16-page official document.

Ideas are my hobby. And fleshing out new options is my-kinda-fun.

But unfortunately, all this “what if?” or “maybe this!” ends up being time-consuming. And confusing. And life-sucking.

So after spending months and months and months, exploring (and testing) all possible courses that my career/life could take, I recently came to a few conclusions.

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Remembering Moses and the Red Sea

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Do you remember Moses? He was that guy with white long hair from the Bible who was met in the desert by a bush.

Not just an ordinary bush. This bush was a talking, on-fire-yet-not-being-consumed-by-flames kinda bush. Probably the only bush of its kind to ever exist.

Moses wasn’t out looking for power. He had skeletons of shame in his closet. Murder being one of them.

Yet God chose Moses for an assignment that was much bigger than Moses’ talents, experience or pedigree.

An assignment Moses didn’t ask for. Or want. Or feel qualified for.

Rescuing a nation from slavery. Which by the way — involved getting all those people across an enormous body of water — without any boats.

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What are YOU expecting? Thoughts for the start of a New Year…

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“EXPECTING • A 12″ x 12″ oil painting  • ©2016 Marie Scott Studios

“Expecting” is one of many paintings I created during the summer of 2016. But this one was special. I painted it with a friend in mind.

A friend who was expecting.

Expecting. Hoping. Dreaming.

But with a heart that was understandably guarded. A heart that had been on this same course before, but disappointed many times.

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A red and green December… To help you Remember.

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If left to my own devices, there isn’t much Christmas in my heart.

Nothing within me looks forward to December. In my mind, this is a month that feels to me like forced-group-insanity.

  • I don’t like to be told what to do. I don’t like to go along with the crowd. 
  • And I especially don’t like to do things mindlessly, or out of obligation. 
  • I don’t even like the colors red and green put together. Not at all.

None of these are admirable qualities. All of these hard-hearted, prideful tendencies are merely symptoms of a bigger problem within my stone-cold heart.

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Hot water. And a bottomless list of reasons to Give Thanks.

In case you haven’t noticed, a new month is upon us. November. It starts tomorrow. A 30-day chance to break ground and cultivate a more grateful heart.

Off the top of my head, here are the very first three reasons I came up with to Give Thanks. But the list is only limited by time, observation, and the effort I’m willing to expend over the next 30 days.

(These are seriously the first 3 things I came up with. So do not not judge. There is no bad idea. Right?)

#1. Thanksgiving.
Such a generous holiday. It doesn’t require presents, or bows, or multiple trees to decorate.

All it really wants is for you to spend time with somebody you care about. In return, it gives most of us an extra day off from work. A day to rest and reflect. A day set aside to remember all the Goodness in our lives.

#2. Election Day.
No matter how you feel about the Candidates or this most unusual and polarizing political climate, have you stopped to think about how lucky we are to live here in the United States?

Lucky to be given a say in the matter. Lucky to have a vote that will be counted for something.

Regardless of how excited or uninspired you are with the choices, we are still FREE to vote. Without risk to your life, or harm to your family.

#3. Indoor Plumbing.
How often have I thought to Give Thanks for the maze of pipes running within my walls and between my floors and ceilings?

How often have I even acknowledged this interconnected system of genius called indoor plumbing? This hidden luxury which I never give a second thought, allows me the choice between clean cold water to drink — and clean hot water for washing my hands, and dishes, and clothes, and paint brushes.

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“Give Thanks” shown in progress. This oil painting was the cause of MANY dirty brushes. Each of them grateful to be washed in hot water.

The list of luxuries I take for granted is endless…

How many times do I experience a deep, sincere, feel-it-in-your-bones kind of appreciation for the blankets on my bed? Or the food in my refrigerator?

My life is full of endless luxuries which I recklessly neglect to appreciate — every, single, day.

If you are reading this, then I KNOW you have these kinds of luxuries too.

But not everyone does. There are people in other countries — some now without a country — who would trade anything for what we consider simple pleasures. These are people with feelings, and souls, and names.

There are people in our own cities who consider us rich. And dream for our lives. Dream for our “indoor plumbing.”

During this coming month, where the familiarity of the word “Thanksgiving” has been deflated of its once profound meaning, I encourage you to take a few minutes every day this November, to sit down and “Give Thanks.”

Write it on a napkin. Say it to the wind. Pray it aloud while you drive. Just find something that works for you, and then stick with it this month.

Give Thanks this month.

If you do that every day until November 24th arrives, I am pretty sure you will have begun to start to train your brain.

Thanksgiving is meant to be about gratitude. A gratitude which is then celebrated by one big, special meal on a holiday that shares its name. As opposed to the Thanksgiving holiday simply existing as a few harried days centered around preparation, and then the consumption of delicious food.

This is something I would like to change in my own life this year. I would like to celebrate an entire month of Giving Thanks, topped of towards the end with one big delicious meal.

Do you need a reminder? I certainly do!!

To help you grow your gratitude muscles this month, I’ve created a painting called “Give Thanks” which I would love to share with you this November.

Click here to access your own copy of Give Thanks in the form of a calendar that you can use on your computer desktop.

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Let “Give Thanks” be a 30 day-reminder, that a grateful heart is one that is intentional about noticing the infinite luxuries which are so easy to overlook.

  1. Happy Giving Thanks!
  2. Happy Voting!
  3. Happy Hot Water!

Wishing you a 30-day month of Giving Thanks… which begins a new way of life!

Warmly,
Marie Scott

PS To use the November calendar simply click on the link above, download the file to a place you can easily find on your computer, and then set that file as your computer’s wallpaper (or desktop.) If you can’t figure it out, ask Google. Or better yet, the closest teenager.

 

 

 

Gratitude. For friendship.

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Friends are like flowers.

Some flowers arrive to commemorate a special occasion. They are loved for their presence during that moment in time, but they soon fade away. Good memories that were short lived, but still oh-so-sweet.

There are friends like this too. Beautiful “bouquets” who fill your life with a rich fragrance that is remembered even after they are gone.

Other friends are like “annuals.” There with you for an entire season of life. Deeply loved; so appreciated. And despite the limited one-season-of-life you share together, they are still another beautiful memory adding a deep layer of richness to the fabric of your life.

Then there are “Perennial” friendships.

Like their namesake in the world of gardening, perennial friends return back to you season after season; year after year. They may take a break for the winter, but come spring, they are alive again in your garden. Their deep roots making them fuller and stronger as the years pass by, able to weather alongside you, whatever changes may come your way.

Like the countless layers of petals circling the inner core of this happy daisy in my painting called “Charleston Gerbera” — perennial friendships are built upon layers and layers of shared experiences and moments of trust. Petal by petal, they are formed, shaped, built, strengthened.

Bouquets. Annuals. Perennials.

Each of these friendships serving a purpose. Each beautiful in their own way. May your gratitude for friendships of ALL kinds, never end.

gratitude-pumpkin

Would you like to make a reminder?

A reminder to be thankful for your friendships.
[ All you need is a pumpkin. ]

And these directions.

And this piece of art.

“May this ‘Gratitude Pumpkin’ be a symbol to remind you of all the Goodness in your life. As you pass by it each day, let it cause you to reflect on all the different friendships you’ve enjoyed over the years. And how each of those relationships has added to the richness of your life.” — Marie Scott

If you’d like to read how my painting shown above reminds me of some of my own friendships, visit my website at www.mariescottstudios.com

Warmly,
Marie Scott