With just some paint and a canvas, I started what I thought was going to be a fun, creative painting activity, however, it turned out to be SO much more.

On day 1, my friend Shannon and I painted together via FaceTime. It was easy, the canvas was blank, anything was possible. I grabbed a favorite color and some modeling paste and began.

Day 2, I reached into the drawer for more paint & my hands brushed by some Gouache paints I had purchased years ago and had never used. I went with the urge and grabbed 3 tubes. With music playing, I got into a rhythm and waves of greens and blues joined the marks, circles and texture from the day before.

Day 3, while walking the dogs and listening to my favorite Pandora station, 
Yacht Rock, some lyrics caught my ear:

“Think about how many times I have fallen, spirits are using me, larger voices callin’…”

Wow, even though this song is about a breakup, the message for me was to get up, keep moving forward, and to tune in to the voices calling. 

Music and lyrics have played a BIG role in my life, so much so that before we carried 4,000 songs in our pockets, I carried a boom box. I took music with me where ever I went. It made such perfect sense to add some song lyrics to the painting: “Keep the fire..” “This is it!” “Celebrate me home” “Wait a little while..” “These are days” “Our love will light the world on its way”.

All songs which represent specific times in my life.

As the days passed, I really had to try hard not to plan or have a final idea in mind. I got quiet, tuned in, and listened to the little nudges.

On day 9, a shift occurred. Up to this point, the canvas had been horizontal. I sat before it and turned it, and turned it, and turned it, looking for moments, as my friend Kelli May Krenz calls them. This is when I saw the dream catcher, the vase turned into a bird, and a wise woman showed up. 

It was also at this point, while waiting at my chiropractor’s office, I was drawn to a purple book on the coffee table, Medicine Cards.I opened the book to see what it was about and the pages were filled with the faces of animals. I was intrigued. The book mentioned cards for the animal spirt guides and how to use the cards to find your guides and ask questions.

(I have to stop here and share, I have NEVER done anything like this before.)

I got a little anxious, hoping to find the deck since it wasn’t with the book. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor, shuffling and asking who wanted to be in my painting. 

This is when the Midnight Jaguar appeared. 

The challenge was to paint on the same canvas every day for 31 days and share on Instagram using the #31daysofpainting.  No rules, other than to make a mark each day. You could paint for one minute or several hours, up to you. We were granted 6 grace days, because you know, life happens. There was nowhere to get to, no suggested finished product. It was simply a journey.

Due to illness and some planned travel, I did not paint every day and I used more than the 6 grace days. For this “rule follower” that could have tripped me up & tapped into my need to “do it the right way,” however, the thought never occurred. What was important, was to move forward, keeping creating, and complete the project.

Day 30, I added some small details, thought about the journey and wrote a poem.

Midnight Jaguar

You came to share your courage with me
To fearlessly face the dark unknown.

 As you began to take shape on the canvas,
The lessons began to unfold.

 Don’t worry, you are not meant to “figure it out” at this time.

 Let go of your fears of being less than, allow yourself to simply be.
Embrace the unknown and flow with the mystery that is unfolding in your life.

 Bravely leap, arms open, and trust.
Look within to access the hidden light of truth.

31 days ago, I started a painting and found myself on a journey of self-discovery. 
Today I am braver, wiser and at peace knowing I’m on the right path, MY path.