Time with Mindy Lacefield

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This painting is inspired by my daughter. It’s still a work in progress, as I’d like to turn her shirt into a Star Wars t-shirt. Otherwise, I think this one is finished.

This past weekend was glorious! I went down to Colorado Springs with some of my arty friends (Lisa, Susan and Karen) so that we could learn from the extremely talented and whimsical Mindy Lacefield. The class was called Inner Radiant Child and boy, did we do some child-like and wonderful work.

WIP: This is also my daughter, wearing her Elsa dress and Ariel tiara. This one needs a lot more work than the first, but I love where it's going.
WIP: This is also my daughter, wearing her Elsa dress and Ariel tiara. This one needs a lot more work than the first, but I love where it’s going.

Mindy taught us her style of painting and it always amazes me that even though we were all doing the same thing as the teacher (little girls with eyes set wide apart in a primitive style), with the same tools and methods, we all created our own work. I love that about these workshops. I was also impressed that I really liked all of the women in the workshop. Sometimes there are one or two people who might rub you the wrong way, but I was happy to spend time and share with these ladies.

The most amazing part of the workshop was on the second day, when Mindy had us do a writing exercise in which we wrote a note to our younger selves. I wrote to my 7-year-old self, and it went like this:

Hey Tracey — you are such a lovely young lady, always taking care of everyone around you. But please remember that you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you’ll have less to give (and I know how you like to give.) Also, everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Have no fear. You are building up such strength and it will serve you well in the future. Don’t be too bogged down in the shoulds as much as the things you want to do. What’s the worst that can happen?

After we wrote, we all shared and it was the most moving hour I’ve spent in a long, long time. It shocked me how much we all had in common and I wondered if all women have an inner child who is so bruised and battered. I feel as if what I wrote to myself is something I need to read daily as a reminder.

So, here’s the WIP that arose from that meditation — this is me, playing with a dollhouse my grampa had made for me. It was basically a bunch of wooden crates, nailed together and painted with fluorescent orange paint, with little scraps of carpet on the “floors”.

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I’m so happy with the work I did. It was good to have permission to play and to just be myself, both in person and on the canvas.

The suite I shared with Lisa, Susan and Karen was very cool. It was great to hang out in the evenings and make art and listen to music and just be silly together. I also loved the one-on-one time in the car with Lisa, who I’ve met before, but hadn’t spent much time with. I love making new friends!

Next up: Kelly Kilmer is in town and teaching the 26th through the 28th. I can’t wait to get into a classroom setting again and work my journals.

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