In the making of “Betsey in the Sun” by Artist Lynn Garwood

Emmy 3 days old

Emmy 3 days old

The inspiration for the word “Joy” I chose for this painting, was my cat Jagger was still missing.  He left our house in August of 2014 one day and didn’t show back up. My heart was broken!  Two months later, I get a phone call saying that a mother had abandoned her day old kittens and would I mind taking one off  of their hands.  I gladly said “YES!”  In an instant, I went from sadness to joy.  We nursed the kitten, whom we named  Emmy because of the “M” on her forehead, and took care of her as you would a newborn baby.

Emmy 1 week old

Emmy 1 week old

I still missed Jagger terribly, yet Emmy  brought me great joy, and I wanted to continue to feel that. She grew up watching me paint, and is still mesmerized by it.  She will sit on my lap watching for hours.

The scene I chose for this painting is of my truck “Betsey Brown Clementine”, a 1937 Chevy Pickup that is in our front yard.  I load Betsey up every spring and summer with flowers, making her  the prettiest flower pot you ever did see.   Everyday I pull in and see her there, that brings me great joy and happiness.

Emmy 4 weeks old

Emmy 4 weeks old

Well…..through a bizarre series of circumstances, Jagger did find his way  home.  He was on the opposite side of town, being fed by a friend of mine, who didn’t know it was my  cat. So the painting was prophetic to me in a sense, and I am extremely grateful all is well and Joy lives on.

Jagger is back!

Jagger is back!

“Old Ford Flatbed”, in the works, by artist Lynn Garwood

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Peace is the word in the underpainting

 

My name is Lynn Garwood, an artist living in Burlington, WI. In the summer of 2014, I painted “Old Ford Flatbed”, (36”x48” acrylic painting). In all of my paintings, I paint a favorite word or quote that has meaning for me. I believe words have a powerful influence in our lives, so I generally will choose a word that I would like to feel more of. The underneath word in “Old Ford Flatbed” is “Peace”.

At this time, our family cat went missing, my family was heartbroken and I too wanted to feel more peace in my life. The scene is staged in my backyard farm field in Southern Wisconsin. A friend of mine brought this truck over, because he loved it and he thought it would be a great subject matter for me. I love vintage trucks!!! This one is a 1937 Ford Flatbed. He left it with me for 2 weeks, and both night & day, rain or shine, I went out and photographed it in different settings. This sunset scene was my favorite and it felt the most peaceful. It took me about 3 months to finish this painting. I first paint my canvas many colors, so that I don’t have to work on a white backround. I then add my word of choice, and then eventually paint over it. My hope is, whoever views it will subliminally feel peace. My thought is, it could not hurt! 🙂 The good news is that our beloved cat “Jagger” did find his way home, yet not before the painting was finished. The truck was sold off right after my friend picked it back up.

http://www.lynngarwood.comme painting Old ford flatbed

"Old Ford Flatbed" 36x48" acrylic painting, 2014

“Old Ford Flatbed” 36×48″ acrylic painting, 2014

Watch what you say……to yourself!!

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Doodling at Caribou, Lake Geneva, WI

The Huffington Post claims that we have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day.  Years back, this number was about 20,000 thoughts per day.  Either way, that’s a lot of thoughts!  Most thoughts come in the form of questions,

~“How do I feel about that?”

~“Why doesn’t anyone pick up after themselves?”

~“Do I look fat?”

~“Did anyone just notice that I did that?”

Most of these thoughts can fall just below the radar of noticing them;  a mind chatter, or as some lovingly refer to it as the “committee in my head”.

After the birth of my 4th child, I had postpartum depression that went on and on for years.  Medications took the edge off at times, yet I constantly felt that pervasive “LOW” feeling, all of the time.  I decided to take a closer look at my thought life and just observed what I was saying to myself.

Well….. they weren’t pretty.  It was a constant stream of critique, discontent, tiredness, irritation, coupled with low self worth.  Where did that free spirited, positive thinking, independent high school girl go?  Who knows.

What I do know is I was hypnotizing myself with my mind chatter.  I decided it was time to take better control of my thinking, as best as I could.  I began to implant new thoughts ~Gratitude, Peace, Love.  I decided if my mind was chattering with negativity, I would make it chatter with positivity.  It was an action I could take to steer my thoughts back on the road, instead of going on pointless detours, bringing me further away from fulfillment as a person.  It wasn’t easy, it was work, uphill, against the wind, in the rain work.  Yet it worked.

Today, I watch what I hypnotize myself with.  If I’m driving, and I don’t remember going from Point A to Point B, because I’m lost in my thoughts.  I’m hypnotizedIf it is with feelings of gratitude, joy, peace and love, well that’s lovely.  Yet, I’ve found more often, that I need to work at cultivating those feelings by action.  Most of my automatic thoughts don’t serve me well.  Positive feelings don’t come as easily as judgement, irritation, overwhelm, strife & ____________(you name it!).

Today, take notice of what you are hypnotizing yourself with.  If it serves you, great!  If it’s a disservice to yourself, as a person and the world in general, you can choose to weed that thought by planting a better one instead.

Make it a GREAT day!!!!

Life Can Be Sobering!!

Before the year 2006, I would attempt a painting or a sketch here and there.  My schedule was jam-packed already with raising four young children and trying to keep up with my demanding sign business.  My evening ritual after getting everybody else situated was to drink wine to unwind from my day.  I would pour a glass & occasionally sit down at my easel and make a painting attempt.  I remember feeling frustrated at times, the creative process for me can be filled with angst, doubt and struggle.  My wine, I thought, would dull those feelings and help me loosen up.  It did, to the point of just giving up with whatever endeavor I was trying to accomplish.  I created very little in those years, aside from working for other people making signs.

Everything changed in 2006 when I decided to give up my wine drinking for good.  I was waking up in the a.m. too many times feelings awful from a hangover.  It was not easy in the beginning to do this & I had no patience to try creating anything at this time.  However, as time went on, it became easier to stay sober and my creative juices began to flow back in abundance.  I began painting at night when the kids went to bed and was pleasantly surprised by a few things.  One, was that it wasn’t as filled with tension and angst that it had been in the past.  Second, I was painting really well.  My details became more clear, my colors became more vibrant, the execution process went amazingly well.

I didn’t realize at the time, yet alcohol was actually stunting my growth as an artist, and more importantly as a person.  Being sober has allowed me to deal with life so much better and paint in a capacity I didn’t have the patience for while drinking my wine.

Lainie & Old Bike, acrylic 30×40 2009

If you’re questioning alcohol’s place in your life, I seriously prompt you to take a closer look, there is a reason your questioning it to begin with.  There are many support groups these days to help you accomplish living a clean, sober, healthy life.  I’m grateful for the help I received from like-minded people in those early years and continue too to this day.  Now I am able to pass on the help to people who are trying to get alcohol out of their life, by sharing with them my story and expressing my gratitude for living a clean sober life.