Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for October, 2010

48 days

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

48 days.

Okay, so maybe I can carve a pumpkin.

Or maybe with the right light anything looks good. :)

Beginning to find words for last week.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Last week, I joined 35 other amazing women at Squam by the Sea. I’ve tried to describe this experience since then, but it’s really one of those times that words are inadequate.

my idea of good dinner conversation.

Dinner Conversation--photo by Arabella Crawford

Hopefully next week when I’m showing you the paintings from the beach, I’ll have better words for it. Meanwhile, I’ll attempt to stumble through here.

First, I have to tell you that I was worried about going. I’ve wanted to go to Squam for ages, but I was honestly afraid. I was so intimidated by the possibility of encountering 150 people at once. I was worried about overwhelm, plus flashbacks to jr. high kept keeping from sending that registration in. Plus, New Hampshire in the fall is lovely, but cold.

So when Elizabeth announced Squam by the Sea (the ocean! Only 35 people!) I filled out my registration immediately. And carried it in my purse for at least three weeks until registration opened, and I could mail it off. I knew it was for me.

Then all year I worried that I would be inadequate. Yes, I know, you think I’d learn, but it was still a worry. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to move out of my normal style of painting, that I wouldn’t be able to handle three hours of yoga at once, and that I would be the awkward outcast that I had been in Jr. High.


Me, painting on the beach-- photo by Arabella Crawford

Instead… well… obviously that didn’t happen. Instead, I got paint all over my hands, and created a book that’s completely different from anything else I’ve ever done– and I love it.

Instead, I pushed through in the yoga class even when I felt like I couldn’t do one more sun salutation and I stayed on the mat.

And instead, I connected and hugged and giggled with lovely, incredible, marvelous women that liked me too. I was still awkward, but they liked me anyway. At least, that’s what they said. :)

I’m so glad I stopped being afraid long enough to stick that envelope in the mailbox.

Next week, paintings from the Sea– with even more stories from my time there.

More photos of the weekend here.

49 days

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

49 days.

Hey! We’re half-way through with this countdown! How exciting!

And I’m half-way through with this pumpkin’s face.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final result!

50 days

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

50 days.

So all my Googling has determined that the first step is to open the top of this pumpkin.

I’ve been thinking a lot about opening things up anyway. I just wrote about it over here, actually. So I think it’s kind of fits that I’m painting this process this week. Opening a pumpkin is messy.

So is opening your soul. But the final result is worth it, I think.

51 days

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

51 days.

I’ve goofed up so many times with pumpkin carving, that I don’t even buy one anymore. But a couple of weeks ago, a friend arrived at our house bearing this giant pumpkin. I can’t really get my arms around it, it’s that big.

I stared at it for a few days, and decided I was up for the challenge. So I found a big spoon for scraping the seeds. Here goes.

52 days

Monday, October 25th, 2010

52 days.

I very firmly believe that anyone can draw. Anyone. If you can write your own name, you have the muscles in your fingers to move a pencil. It’s just a matter of learning what to look for. I really believe this. I’m even teaching a class about this very thing right now.

So last week I felt pretty sheepish when one of my students (and friends) reminded me of this because I told her I wasn’t capable of carving a pumpkin. She thinks anyone can do it. Even me.

Hopefully she’s right. We’ll find out this week.

Quiet. Learning. Creating Space.

Monday, October 25th, 2010

I’ve been kind of quiet here for the past few weeks. I’m still sending out the daily paintings to my newsletter, but I’ve been rethinking what this space is. I don’t want my blog to just be about the paintings. I love my paintings, and my daily practice, but I’m much more than that. And I’ve missed having a space to write. So I’m contemplating a new plan here. I’ll keep you posted on what it’s going to look like.

Just Be True.

I spent a few days with some very wise women at the sea last week. It was magic. That’s the word I keep using and it seems inadequate, but it’s the best I can do. And I realized that the quiet here has been making space for something new.

I often hold back with my writing because I’m afraid of hurting someone. I’m not always fully honest in this space. Hell, I’m not always fully honest with myself. And these days at the sea shifted that.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to become one of those creepy over-sharing bloggers. But I’m going to be myself a little more. I’m peeling a few filters away and allowing my story to grow a little more here.

55 days

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

55 days.

I’ve learned a bit this week with these paintings. Using this handy dandy key, I’ve been able to figure out most of these leaves pretty easily.  But this one stumps me. I was pretty sure it was a maple, but the key seems to think it’s a sycamore.

What do you think?

56 days

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

56 days.

This is a leaf from the cherry tree near my building. I’ve actually painted it a few times before, so it seemed entirely appropriate to paint one of its leaves, too.

I really liked the way it was curled on the sidewalk.

57 days

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

57 days.

It’s an elm leaf (I think). Suddenly I feel like I’m in sixth grade working on a project to identify leaves.