‘A Day at the Spa’
12″x12″ Unframed Oil on canvas
by Cheryl Peddie – $225 –
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I will be donating 50% of this painting’s sale price to the Parkinson Alberta Society!
After the couple street scenes I painting this week, I was ready for something a little lighter and more frivolous. I couldn’t resist painting my jewel colored nail polishes. Never used to paint my nails, or fuss too much about my appearance really. I remember way back in high school a fellow student once commented to me that for all the time I spent making myself look beautiful, I could just be ugly. Well, at least that’s how my memory is serving me. I knew her though, and she was a kind, well-meaning person. So I still wonder if she really meant it so harshly. I know that time can scramble our memories and our own self-judgements can invade them and make them worse. I suspect that’s what happened here. But nevertheless that phrase has always stuck in my head. As an adult I kind of stopped fussing so much about my appearance. With two absolutely stunning older sisters, I kind of felt like the odd duck out. I figured I’d never become that pretty, so why bother even trying?
The last few years those old beliefs have shifted somewhat though. I got a new haircut and switched to ash blonde highlights – it turned out gorgeous. Invested in some appropriate makeup rather than scrounging the bargain bin. Finally figured out how to use eyeliner. Updated my wardrobe. Began having bubble baths. Even adorable new glasses are actually on their way. And yes, I bought a slew of nail polish and began painting my toes. I don’t bother with the fingers – the turps I use for painting just ends up ruining a manicure. But my green, blue, and purple glittery toenails – I treasure them!
So maybe this little piece is not so frivolous as I thought. These little kindnesses that we do for ourselves do matter, because our feelings matter. And hey, how can glittery nail polish not make a girl feel terrific! Thanks for reading – you all are yet another reason why I love to paint. Best, Cheryl.
From Sun Feb 24 through Sat Mar 23, I will be creating one painting per day
and donating 50% of my sales to Parkinson Alberta Society.
Please note that this piece will require approx 3-4 weeks prior to shipping,
to allow paint to dry and cure. Thank you!
9″x9″ Unframed Oil on Canvas
by Cheryl Peddie
‘Simple Comforts’ is the second painting of my new ‘In the Bath’ series. While creating this piece I was reflecting on challenges. I’ve noticed in my life, that just the way I’ve thought about some problems, has often caused me even more problems. I think folks often respond to problems in a few classic ways.
I’ve been a ‘judger’. I told myself that I ‘shouldn’t’ feel bad about this problem because ‘other people had it worse’. (You can also tell you’re judging yourself when you think that the problem happened because you were too lazy/uninspired/dull-witted – you name it – to prevent it from happening in the first place.) And therefore… as the often-unconscious reasoning went… I ‘deserved’ the problem. So again, I told myself ‘shouldn’t’ feel badly about it. I’ve also been a ‘blamer’ – with knee-jerk reactions that this must have been someone’s ‘fault’. Now, I’m a ‘self-blamer’ so usually my target was ‘me’. But blame can also be directed outwards – at people, at situations. And I’ll fess up… I’ve been guilty of that too. The thing is, approaching my challenges in those ways not only make me feel worse, it never actually helped me solve the problem.
But I also noticed what has happened when I redirected my focus. Rather than looking directly at the problem and wracking my brain for ‘why’ it happened (which never ended well), I instead looked at myself and thought about how I felt because the problem simply existed. No judgement about how I should have felt. Or why the situation arose in the first place.
And it was that ever-so-subtle shift in consciousness that radically changed my response. I could finally feel compassion for myself. When I was in that safe place, I could then do kind things for myself – like enjoy a lovely bath, pretty lotions and candles – to soothe the hurt and the stress. What was key here, was that although the problem still existed, I felt better.
Then, what also intrigued me, was that once I was feeling more comforted, I could then access a richer variety of creative ways to solve my problem. I had a direction. I had options. I wasn’t ‘stuck’ anymore. Not only was it freeing, it also made me feel proud of myself and more self-confident.
I think this is why it’s so important to have things in our lives that brings us comfort. Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – even some nice lotion and a pretty candle will do. Hopefully as with my experience, it might put you in touch with that soothing place of self-compassion; and then into the richness of your own creativity and problem-solving abilities. Thanks so much for reading.
‘Gems & Jewels’
12″x16″ Oil on canvas
by Cheryl Peddie
Fresh off my easel yesterday afternoon. Lately I’ve been venturing out of the kitchen for subject matter, and this week it seems my bathroom decor has taken top spot. These great old ‘Jewel’ and ‘Gem’ canning jars were left over from a batch of my mom-in-law’s preserves. Now, they hold my collection of seashells, and sit on my bathroom shelf. I’ve always found the colors to be harmonious and soothing to look at.
Now for the challenge. Often my paintings turn out in vivid colour. Which I find interesting, because I’m naturally a more introspective, reserved person. So with this painting, as with the china cups I painted last month, I wanted to celebrate the softer side of who I am. Allow some of the more delicate tones to take centre stage for a change, and see what would happen.
It’s always challenging working outside our comfort zones, but I think it’s there that we learn the most about ourselves and the true extent of what we’re able to accomplish. We also have the opportunity to learn self-compassion, as it’s in this place of newness that our self-confidence is most likely to wobble.
I still love to paint more quirky subjects though, as I’ve been pursuing with my kitchen series. And I’ll continue to follow that theme here as I begin exploring other nooks and crannies in our house. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance, for sharing any of your thoughts.