A new calendar for June.

Focus on what is Good…

SCStateHouse2

SC STATE HOUSE • 40″ x 30″ original oil painting • 2016 Marie Scott

I love plants.

Plants are neutral. Plants are beautiful.

I like to focus my energy on painting plants. That feels more productive to me than gardening, which is an uphill battle. One definitely worth the fight, but an ongoing, never-ending battle, nonetheless.

Paintings of plants don’t grow weeds. Paintings of flowers don’t require water. They are gardens which remain perfect despite the elements. They are givers. Not takers.

Paintings that emit beauty, can bring peace to the soul as they require nothing of you. They have no agenda. All they need, is simply a space to BE. All they want is an occasional glance of your admiration.

I love South Carolina.

It is a place that is prosperous with natural beauty, wealthy in raw loveliness.

Like all places, however, it has its weeds. And unquenchable needs. The neglected, overgrown garden of issues that can feel hopelessly irreparable. 

I love peace.

Which is why I focus the time I spend in my painting studio documenting scenes which allow the mind to rest, and the soul to feel refreshed.

I need more peace. And most likely, so do you.

Just like a real garden, full of needy plants, paintings of beauty will eventually become takers too.

Paintings of peace, in and of themselves, will never be enough to calm whatever it is that eats away at the deepest core of your being. Paintings of gardens will never fill the unquenchable hidden longings of your heart.

There is nothing in this world that can truly satisfy the varying size hole, that each of us has within our soul. And that, is what will ultimately wear you down. And then wear you out.

A “Soul Hole?” Yes.

Wow. That sounds pretty hopeless. And peace-less. And, unfortunately true.

I love Jesus.

It is hope-less to put my trust in plants. Or paintings of plants. Or South Carolina. Or peaceful scenes.

But Jesus? Yes! 

He IS hope. He IS peace.

Jesus is the only person, place, or thing, — where unending, perfectly satisfying, honest-to-goodness, True Soul Peace can ever be found. 

Call me crazy if you want to. He is the real deal. I promise.

More on this, another time… another day.

I love a new month.

Time for a new page, and a new picture. A chance to take a deep breath and re-focus my thoughts. But with a lot less pressure than a new year commands.

Focus on this…

No matter where you are this June, my hope is that this focus-reminder will help to get your summer thinking off to a more healthy start. The words below, are from the Apostle Paul in a letter he wrote to the church at Phillipi while he was locked up in prison, around AD 61-ish.

I plan to spend the next 30 days trying to focus on what Paul suggests. I hope you’ll join me, in my “Focus on what is Good” Summer Thinking efforts. (Feel free to check-in with me on this. You know what can happen with the best laid plans…)

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9

JUNE 2016 Desktop CalendarSC STATE HOUSE • 40″ x 30″ original oil painting • ©2016 Marie Scott Studios • Click on the image to download this free wallpaper for your computer for the month, compliments of Greenville, SC artist Marie Scott. Enjoy the view!

Wishing you a month of peace…

Don’t forget your Focus!
— Marie Scott
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BTW… If you want to hear some more about this Jesus, from somebody who is an artist both with words and teaching, you can listen to one one of the South’s finest thinkers as he explains the bible in the most accessible way, at http://downtownpres.org/sunday/sermons/ 

Thoughts from a wise flower on May Day.

Life is a marathon.

There is no shame in walking. 

I used to run. But after five years, finally decided to be honest with myself. And my hips.

May 2016 Desktop Calendar

“RESTING” • ©2016 Marie Scott Studios Download this free wallpaper for your May 2016 desktop calendar, featuring the most recent painting by Greenville, SC artist Marie Scott.

 

I don’t like to run.

So now I walk. Big deal. The whole point is to move your body. 

So I walk fast.

And fairly often.

Give yourself a break.

You cannot do it all. But you do have something important to offer.

Do what you CAN do.

Get help with what you cannot physically (or emotionally) do. Let the rest go.

Be the person you were created to be.

Imperfections and all.

Resting.

Resting2
“RESTING” • 12″ x 12″ Original Oil Painting • ©2016 Marie Scott Studios

This weak, but wise flower called “Resting” has a story to tell. You can read it on my website at www.mariescottstudios.com.

Happy May Day! 5.01.16

Print
— Marie Scott

 

 

 

 

REST. (Desktop Calendar for April, 2016)

*Seascape1(Rest)Big

“Seascape 1 (REST)” • 14″ x 14″ oil painting • 2009 Marie Scott Studios

REST. 

Not something I do well.

Which is why, way back in the spring of 2009, I painted myself this little daily reminder.

That nasty, four-letter-word spelled R-E-S-T, is what is wrote on the tiny sign in the water.

REST.

Seven years later, I’m still working on it. (Without much success.)

But once again, in the spring of 2016, I am giving it another shot. Giving myself the freedom to REST.  

Resting my mind. Resting my insatiable drive to want to build something that is bigger than one little person can handle while maintaining a balanced life.

Resting my body. Well not really, but at least doing something I love.

Painting. Painting walls. Painting woodwork. Painting furniture. Painting a house into a home. Painting muscles back into my neglected arms.

REST.

In the spirit of REST, that’s about all I’ve got to say about that today.

Other than, enjoy this old painting of mine as your desktop calendar for the month of April. I hope it is reminds you to cut yourself some slack, and give yourself some rest — whatever that may look like for YOU.

Marie Scott
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www.mariescottstudios.com

April 2016 Desktop Calendar

Download this free desktop calendar for April, 2016 by clicking on the image and saving it to your computer to use as wallpaper this month.

 

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

An unexpected memory of Serenity

Serenity2

SERENITY • 12″ x 12″ oil painting • ©2015 Marie Scott Studios

 

Today is the first day of the month. This is the day I usually blog about one of my paintings, and then also include a free desktop calendar which contains that piece of art.

I knew the painting I would use for the March Calendar was going to be the one I had titled  “Serenity.”

So this morning, as I was driving home from dropping my son off at school, I wondered to myself “what did I really mean when I named this painting ‘Serenity’ after finishing it last autumn??”

Then out of the blue, came a vivid memory. From the summer of 1991.

I was in college, and on a summer musical tour with a group called The Continental Singers. (It was really more traveling than singing, as we spent about six hours a day on the bus and only about three hours a day making music. It was also really kind of cheezey as I look back now, but oh-so-cool at the time!)

Part of this summer adventure took us to Brazil for several days. It is all somewhat a blurry memory by now, some 25 years later, but I still recall our overseas travels were well-seasoned with unexplainably frustrating problems for our otherwise capable sound team.

After spending hours on a tour bus traveling through the countryside of Brazil, we finally arrived at some huge city, assuming it was time to get out and see the sites. Instead of what seemed like a reasonable expectation, we basically just circled around the city. All day long. Looking for new parts for our sound equipment.

In thinking about times of serenity in my life, I remember radiating with an unexpected serenity on this particular day.

We were in a foreign country. We were tired. We were hungry and thirsty. We expected to get off the bus. And yet we circled around. Looking for mysterious sound parts. But for some reason, it didn’t matter.

Serenity means “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.”

When it finally became apparent to me that this circling of the city wasn’t going to end anytime soon, it was somehow easier to accept.

Why didn’t this unexpected, endless circling bother me? Why wasn’t I internally screaming “let me off this bus!”

Maybe, by that point in the summer, I was just so used to having absolutely no say in my schedule? Maybe I had just accepted the new reality which appeared to be “when in Brazil we spend our days circling the city.”

Or maybe, just maybe… It was the presence of God that day. Filling my heart with a Peace that is beyond all understanding. A peace that comes from knowing in my head, and feeling in my bones, that there is One much bigger than me who is ultimately in control of it all.

Whatever the reason for this unexplained Serenity. It was there. In a big way.

25 years later, it occurs to me that I’m back on that tour bus. Circling the city. Waiting for the next instructions. Not knowing what comes next. Yet filled with a surprising and unexplained Serenity.

When I titled the painting in October —“Serenity” was the very last thing I was feeling. But it was what I was hoping to find.

Five months later, as I sit writing to you from within a sea of boxes that contain more than a decade of my work and memories, I somehow find myself once again, in this unexpected state of Serenity.

And for this, I am most grateful.

March 2016 Desktop Calendar

To enjoy a view of “Serenity” this month, download this free desktop calendar to be used as your computer’s wallpaper this month. 

Wishing you too — a Peace that surpasses all understanding — throughout the month of March and beyond.

Marie Scott
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www.mariescottstudios.com

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7

 

 

Shadows with a plan. (February calendar!)

Coneflower2

CONEFLOWER • 12″ x 12″ oil painting • ©2015 Marie Scott

Coneflower is part of my “Sad Flower” series — a series of four botanical paintings, representing four heavy-hearted flowers I found growing in various locations.

In the twelve-plus-years I’ve been painting, I have never created a “sad series.” I guess I’d never felt such a heaviness of heart before as when I was planing this new group of four botanical paintings.

But as always happens, the process of putting color onto a blank canvas helped to heal my soul.

The process of diving deep into “the hole” — the place where my mind can focus on dissecting the shapes and colors which make up a painting — is good mental therapy. Unravelling, and then transferring a mess of disjointed pieces onto the canvas is quite an intense brain workout. It is hard thinking with a healthy purpose.

The payoff usually comes about halfway through the process, as order begins to take shape, and the mystery of the dark shapes magically transform into a recognizable form.

Beauty out of chaos.

Creating a new painting also always helps to put the disjointed pieces of my life into perspective. I love this.

The process of painting, never fails to remind me that the God of the universe is at work on the painting of my life. And He really does have a plan for how it will look when it is all finished. A plan that is not always easy to see in the midst of the often seemingly unrelated, individual pieces set before me at the moment.

Coneflower is a reminder to me that even when I am in the midst of what feels to be the darkest of times, I can rest. Even though I may not yet know what the whole picture on will look like in the end, it is definitely a work in progress.

Progress with a purpose. Shadows with a plan.

And even when the shadows sometimes feel as if they are overtaking my world, and the sun will never reappear, my hope comes from knowing that this life here on earth is just the prequel to the perfect story I will live for all of eternity.

No matter how the painting of this life turns out… the best is yet to come.

 

February 2016 Desktop Calendar

But until then… enjoy this free desktop calendar featuring my painting called “Coneflower” for the month of February, 2016 by simply clicking on the image to download and then set as your computer wallpaper.

Be sure to enjoy the extra day at the end of this month too!

To see my entire gallery of colorful paintings, visit my website at www.mariescottstudios.com

“Transition.” A call to listen in 2016.

TransitionBig

TRANSITION • 12 x 12 oil painting • ©2015 Marie Scott

In September of this year, I designed a set of four small botanical oil paintings which I intended to paint as a representation of my current state of mind at the time.

For the first time since I began painting back in 2001, I felt compelled to paint a darker side to life than what I would normally choose to create.

This painting called TRANSITION is one of four pieces in my “Sad Flowers” series.

Ironically, as I began to work on each of the four pieces, I became less and less sad with each passing day.

But what was even more unexpected to me, was that each of the four flowers in this series didn’t really appear to be sad at all. In fact, they appeared to be quite the opposite.

How similar to life. Things are not always as they appear.

This is a good reminder to stop assuming that what you see on the surface is all there is to a situation.

A reminder that just because somebody appears to be happy, doesn’t mean that they might not really be carrying around a heavy bag of burdens, hiding beneath their seemingly cheerful exterior.

As a card-carrying introvert, surface-level small talk quickly drains the life out of me faster than just about anything else can.

In contrast, finding out what is truly weighing on a person’s heart is something that I find energizing. Happy or sad. It doesn’t matter. I just want to know what is really going on. Even if it is depressing, at least it is real.

I am always surprised at how open most people are to answering what may seem like a nosy question.

And then another. And another. Until eventually, they have told me their “story.”

It has been my fortunate experience to learn that people want to be heard. All they usually need is just the slightest nudge. A nudge that can be as simple as asking a follow-up question to something they have already offered up to you.

This painting called Transition started out as a visual depiction of my heart, which was screaming “Leave. Me. Alone.”

But fortunately, as the weeks passed and I made a very deliberate effort to take better care of myself, the ice-layer covering my heart began to melt, and the sadness and anger drained away.

This healing of my soul, was thanks in great part to the people in my life who were OK with me “not being OK.”

People who let me cry. A lot. And often. And very loudly.

People who let me send them texts that simply said “I am in a fit of rage” — knowing they would pray for my troubled heart to calm down. They didn’t need to know the details. Just that I needed Divine Intervention at the moment.

People who I sent a photo of this very painting to, telling them it was called “I Hate Everyone!” And they laughed with me. Not AT me. People who are OK with things not always having to be OK, are people that can help to facilitate emotional healing.

Thanks in part to these special people in my life, I think I can honestly say that my heart is no longer sad nor angry anymore.

It is ready again to accept the challenge of sometimes peeking past the petals that are covering up what’s truly going on, inside the heart of the people who cross my path.

“Transition” is a painting that says “it’s OK, to not be OK.”

There is a certain beauty that only painful situations will ever extract. Transitions can be highly-effective beauty extractors. Assuming you don’t stay hidden away alone, for longer than necessary.

As we TRANSITION from one year into another today, my New Year’s Wish for YOU, is that you would take the time to look past how things seem to appear, to truly Listen in 2016. And to trust the people who love you, with The Real You.

Welcome, 2016!
— Marie Scott

JANUARY 2016 Desktop Calendar

PS If you need a new fresh look for your computer desktop this month, download this free calendar, featuring my painting called “Transition” for the month of January. To see my entire gallery of paintings, visit my website at www.mariescottstudios.com

Gold friends. Silver friends. Make room for both.

The Girl Scouts nailed it on the head.

I learned a deeply profound song back in the 5th grade. During my short-lived, one year career as a Scout.

As music often does, a Girl Scout song my mom taught me in my youth, still comes back to me when my heart is filled with love for one of my old friends.

We learned a song about friendship.

“Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.

A gorgeous view from Caledonia, Wisconsin. Sent to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends.

A gorgeous view from Caledonia, Wisconsin. Sent to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends.

 

A text from my Gold friend.

“I took Bella for a walk yesterday and this view made me think of you.”

That was it. A photo and one sentence.

But that one photo, and one that one sentence were rich with meaning. Rich with almost two decades of history we have together.

The photo told me that she STILL knows what I love. The sentence told me she knows, that I STILL know, what SHE loves.

Seven years, and seven states apart. She still knows me, and still cares.

In the midst of a particularly hard season of life this fall, that one photo and that one sentence lifted my spirits and carried me along for days.

My friend is not old — she is Gold.

Just like me, we are still spring chickens in our early ’30s. (At least in our middle-aged minds.)

And just like a few other special women I have known for my entire adult life, this friend is Gold.

Lucky for me that SHE didn’t stop calling me when I moved away. Lucky for me that she invested time pursuing a person whose proximity to her full, busy life now made this friendship less than convenient.

This is A Golden Lesson about friendship I am slowly learning from her. A lesson I want to pass on.

Even though our visits are too few and too far between, when I meet up again with any of my Gold Friends, it is as though no time as has passed at all.

THAT is Gold.

Thank you Gold Friends; thank you Girl Scouts; thank you Mom. For so many life lessons learned, and shared.

And thank you Silver Friends too — for the possibility of a Golden Friendship as we pass the years, and tears, Together.

Pretty Place Chapel (A peaceful place for December)

pretty place sign

This plaque is located at the entrance to the “Fred W. Symmes Chapel.” 

“May a Sense of The Presence of God
FILL THE SOUL
of Everyone Who Visits this Sacred Spot.”

“Filling the Soul with a sense of God’s presence” is no small order.

Yet somehow it happens at the Chapel located at the YMCA’s Camp Greenville. A spot that is more commonly known as “Pretty Place.”

If you haven’t been to this hidden treasure, located only an hour north of downtown Greenville, South Carolina — it is definitely worth the winding, mountain drive to reach this memorable site.

prettyplacechapel2

“Pretty Place Chapel” • ©2015 Marie Scott • 30″ x 40″ oil painting

Capturing the feeling of peace and serenity found inside the Chapel at Pretty Place, was definitely my biggest artistic challenge to date. This is by far the most detailed structure I have ever attempted to paint. 

My main objective in this work was to create a composition that would help to transport you, for a brief moment in time, to the place of rest found at “This Sacred Spot.” 

To achieve this lofty goal, it was imperative that the internal structure was clean, symmetrical, and believable. Anything less would be a distraction.

Fortunately, I’m married to a structural engineer who helped me make sense of how all the “lines” (of wood) connected to each other. If there were any technical flaws within my composition, your eyes would never be released to look past what was happening inside the building.

Through use of color and placement of angles, I designed this piece to first lead your eyes to the cross, which is the focal point of the Chapel.

Then secondly, my hope was that the endless expanse of sky and mountains beyond the cross would allow your mind and spirit to find rest amidst all the contrasting busyness of the building’s man-made elements.

It is the view BEYOND the chapel which gives way to a feeling that “there is something out there that is much bigger than myself.” The feeling of a Sacred Spot.

Looking back on the process of completing this painting, I have perspective on my struggles as I tried to create a soul-filling visual story of Pretty Place Chapel.

Just as in life…  

Most of my time, effort, and angst were spent focused on what is shown right in front of your eyes. The countless, unending intersecting lines made my eyes cross and my head hurt. 

I was so determined to “get this right” that it wasn’t an even remotely fun project. It was terribly taxing. Over and over again I asked myself “Will this ever turn out? Will it ever be worth all the energy I am pouring into this?”

But when the very last piece of the front story was finally completed, it was only then that I could literally look past (what was once) the turmoil of the demanding foreground, and see into the quiet distance.

The contrast brings relief. 

A foreground full of complex details is what causes the distance to feel so inviting.

I should have read the beam.

Did you notice what is inscribed on the main beam at the front of the Pretty Place Chapel? It says
“I WILL LIFT UP MY EYES TO THE HILLS. PS. 121:1 ”
  

Ironically, (just as in life…) this was one of the very LAST things I painted. 

Maybe one day I will learn to trust first, and do second.

Psalm 121:1-2
Assurance of God’s Protection

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

A bigger picture…  

It is hard here on earth. Friends are sick. Families are dissolving. Evil seems to be winning. But this is just the front story. A foreground that feels too complicated to deal with most days.

The cares and worries of today’s life can so easily consume our focus, causing us to forget that there is a bigger picture. One we can’t see today. But one that ends with a perfect resolution.  A picture that brings relief. 

The story does not end here.
The verses below remind me that the yuck, muck, and gunk of this world are NOT all that there is. 

A better place is on the way.
God says so.

Revelation 21:1-4 
A New Heaven and a New Earth

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Remember the beam.

If like me, you need a visual reminder that the best is yet to come — just click on my December calendar and download it for use as your computer desktop. May it help your mind focus on the One who offers True Hope for all of the struggles that may cross your path throughout this busy month.

DECEMBER 2015 Desktop Calendar

If you are interested in seeing the photos I took each day while working away on this project, click here to watch a short video of my painting of Pretty Place Chapel. It shows the painting coming to life from start to finish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are just a few snapshots I took to gain inspiration while visiting the Chapel at Pretty Place.

Wishing you a December in which you focus on what REALLY matters,
Marie Scott

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To see the entire collection of my colorful, peace-filled paintings of landscapes, flowers, and other beautiful things, visit my online gallery at www.mariescottstudios.com

5 years later. 5 years wiser. (Did I actually learn something?)

FishingPier2

FISHING PIER • ©2015 Marie Scott • 30″ x 40″ original oil painting

“Stop trying so hard.” 
“Stop working so hard.”
“Stop trying to prove something.”

Did I Stop?

Looking back over the last five years, I think I actually DID!

Last night we went to an annual event that in years past has caused me much sadness. It was an opening reception for an exhibit of 100+ local artists; an exhibit in which each local artist had a small piece of original art for sale.

While walking to the reception, I commented to Tim that this was the 7th year since moving to Greenville, SC that I’ve been trying to sell my art in this city. Seven years trying to find my place within a local community of artists.

Seven years later, not much has changed. At least on the outside. Practically speaking, that is where I still am — on the outside.

What happened AT the party?

Nothing much. At least on the outside.

We hung around for a while. Looked at some beautiful art. Ate some snacks. (Clarification: Tim ate some snacks. I did not, as I am freakishly grossed out by food that has been spread out on a table to be touched by who-knows-what-kind-of-germy-hands.)

Then arm in arm, walked peacefully back to the car with my favorite date.

What happened AFTER the party?

1.) A huge revelation. A huge change on the inside.

Walking back to the car, while surprisingly NOT in tears, I realized that I might actually be at peace with my place in this city.

Instead of wondering why my beautiful little painting didn’t sell, or why I am not “in with the cool kids,” I simply felt satisfied by the fact that I had had two meaningful conversations with two different people. Conversations with artists that had nothing to do with me. Conversations where I was able to listen to what was on their heart, and the chance to help them feel like they had been heard.

I would never have met these two women if it weren’t for my art.

2.) I didn’t cry. A huge change on the outside.

Instead of performing my whole tear-filled “why don’t I fit into this art scene??” schtick that I like to bring out several times a year, I suggested we stop at Five Guys for french fries. So we did. We ate them. And they were delicious.

A huge question. A huge answer.

This morning, another thought occurred to me, along with an immediate and definitive answer.

Q. What if I had actually fit in, and become one of “the cool kids?”
A. I would have worked myself into the ground.

5 years later. 5 years wiser.

Five years ago I heard a life-changing sermon on the concept of REST called “Two Ditches and True Rest (#257.)” As a result, five years ago I decided to take the 4th Commandment as more than just a suggestion.

Exodus 20:8-11New International Version (NIV)

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

For five years I have been resting on the Sabbath. And it has felt pretty good. Really good. Much better than working all the time, feeling like there was nothing to show for it.

Taking a break is a way to reset my emotional (and physical) clock. When I don’t stop for a day of rest, I get more and more wound-up and the weight of the world descends upon me.

I need to rest every 7th day. Whether I want to or not.

When I walk away with 80% of my list un-done, upon returning from my Sabbath I realize that most of the unfinished goals for the previous week do not have nearly the consequences I feared they would.

Of course, there certainly will be fall-out for choosing to leave things un-done for the sake of rest and sanity. Some of which does NOT feel so good.

I spent three years running a retail store in a small town. Had I been willing to work harder and work longer, it probably could have been profitable one day. But at what cost?

Five years ago it would have seemed worth ANY cost. Today I look back and can see that my choices “to do what was reasonable” were right for me, and right for my family.

A new month.

Tomorrow begins a new month. Why not try taking a Sabbath Rest each week during November? If you choose to make Sunday your “Day of Rest,” you actually get a bonus as there are FIVE Sundays this month!

Why not give it a try? 

A new calendar.

Whether or not you are a Sabbath-taker like me, here is a free computer desktop calendar for you to have for your computer these next 30 days.

FISHING PIER • 30 inch x 40 inch Oil painting • ©2015 Marie Scott Studios [enjoy this free desktop calendar for the month of November. click on the image to download.]

FISHING PIER • 30 inch x 40 inch Oil painting • ©2015 Marie Scott Studios [enjoy this free desktop calendar for the month of November. click on the image to download.]

May this painting called “Fishing Pier” bring you Peace and REST, as you go about your days and weeks during the month of November. (And hoping you will choose not to see it at all during the 5 possible Sabbath days of rest this month!)

Happy to be 5 years wiser this month,
Marie Scott

To see the entire collection of my colorful, peace-filled paintings of water landscapes, sunflowers, and other beautiful things, visit my online gallery at http://www.mariescottstudios.com

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A peaceful, plan-free place. Calendar #60.

LAKE MICHIGAN 8 • ©2006 Marie Scott

LAKE MICHIGAN 8 • 24 inch x 36 inch oil painting • ©2006 Marie Scott

I like TO plan.

In most areas of my life, I like things to be figured out well ahead of time. Then I like to stick with that plan. Carpool plans. High School plans. Retirement plans. ‘What to order at the restaurant two days from now’ plans. ‘What to do with the rest of my life’ plans.

I like A plan.

Sometimes my plans don’t work out.

But that is OK. At least on a good day. On a good day, I can be OK with plans changing.  (If only every day were a good day.)

My new plan-free life.

This month’s calendar was a small step of progress for me. Progress in being OK with a minor plan not working out.

Calendar PLAN A 
I had planned that the October 2015 calendar would feature the current painting I have been working on since August. (Yes, August. I do not know why it is taking so long, other than it is a very hard painting. This was definitely NOT part of my plan. )

The new painting is so very close to being done. I could have rushed to finish it.

But instead of bowing to The Plan, I decided it was more important to let the painting stew for a few more days. In a moment of sanity, it occurred to me that meeting my self-imposed deadline was not worth the sacrifice of what might develop into a powerful painting if given the time to come to life on its own terms.

Calendar PLAN B
Last month I had realized that there was still one remaining painting from my South Carolina series that has not yet made the calendar circuit. So “Fishing Pier” was going to be The Backup Plan for the October calendar.

However, when I went to create this Plan B calendar, I realized it was much too close in composition to the September calendar. Even though it was a “new” painting created several years later, there are some striking similarities I had not noticed before.

I wanted more of a change for my own calendar-viewing-enjoyment, so this time I made the choice to say no to THE PLAN.

Where did that leave me? NO PLAN.

When it came to the calendar that would be on my computer desktop for the next 30 days I now had NO PLAN, but instead of being terrifying it felt nice. I was free. The sky was wide open. It could be ANY painting I felt like. Any one at all.

Without a plan, I was free to ask “what did I feel like looking at?”

My mom is a proud, born and raised, die-hard resident of Wisconsin. When talking with her the other day, it occurred to me that she might possibly be getting tired of seeing only paintings inspired by South Carolina this past year. If my own mother is getting tired of looking at South Carolina month after month, maybe other people who are NOT from — or currently living in — South Carolina may be feeling the same way too.

As I started to think about it, I realized that maybe I too would like a break from South Carolina scenery this month. So with a collection several hundred paintings to choose from at my fingertips, I decide to choose an old painting that is near and dear to my heart.

I choose a painting that brings me peace.

The October calendar features a painting I created back in 2006. It is one of several pieces inspired by the shores of Lake Michigan (thus the clever name “Lake Michigan 8.”)

This is a painting that was created nine years ago, but still gives my troubled mind a feeling of rest when I watch the water lap against the shore.

This is the painting that I look at every night before I fall asleep. It was just the right size for this bedroom. It has just the right feel. A feeling of peace for a more troubled time in my life.

Nine years have passed. A lot has happened in those nine years. A lot has stayed the same.

What else brings me peace in my new plan-free life?

What stayed the same, brings me peace.

Rock-Solid things have not changed. My Faith. The love of my parents. The love of the good man I am married to. The love of friends who know the real me.

These are the things I need to remember more often. These things are more important than a Plan.

When my plan-free place starts to wear me down, there are a few random things that also bring me peace. Brushing my teeth. Vacuuming. Laughing with/at our dog who knows me as “grandma.” These are merely are symptom-maskers, but useful nonetheless. 

Enjoy this peaceful, plan-free place.

A place where the Rock-Solid things in life help you weather whatever unexpected wrench may be thrown into your plans this month. A place where you remember the things in your life that are most important. More important that a Plan.

LAKE MICHIGAN 8 • ©2006 Marie Scott • Download this free calendar and use it on your desktop during the month of October!

LAKE MICHIGAN 8 • ©2006 Marie Scott • Download this free calendar and use it on your desktop during the month of October!

The best thing about this new desktop calendar for October?

No place to write down any Plans! 

Wishing you a peaceful, plan-free month of 31 days..
Marie Scott

To view the entire collection of my colorful oil paintings of peaceful places,
visit my online gallery at www.mariescottstudios.com.