Mixed Media Artist

Bliss And The Polka Dot Dressing Gown

This is a 12″x16″ mixed media painting on paper covered canvas. The sides are 2″ deep and are painted coral.
This painting is $300 and is SOLD

Wikipedia say that “Bliss can be a state of profound satisfaction, happiness and joy, a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.”

Bliss is blissful but honestly, how many of us can say we feel bliss often, or at least, as often as we should. Have any of your read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach? I read it about 15 years ago and it, along with The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, changed my life. Over this last year I have been reading Romancing The Ordinary by Ban Breathnach, it is not a new book, I have had it for a while but last fall I picked it up and started reading it. It is a day book of inspirational essays and it is where I first read the poem “To Call Myself Beloved” (the name of my 2009-210 series) by Raymond Carver, it spoke to me on such a deep level and still does. I could see that THIS is where I was in my life at this time and my paintings were such a reflection of that. I was feeling really strong and confident and my ability to be able to love myself and my work without worrying about people’s opinions was rather surprising to me. It was blissful which is not a place I had ever been before. Being able to call myself beloved is still a struggle, caring what people think is a struggle, taking my iron pills so I can breathe is a struggle, exercising is BEYOND a struggle BUT being blissful, is something that is so completely foreign to me that I don’t even strive for it. Being in bliss is not something that is concrete, it really is a state of mind. Can we simply turn on the bliss switch by just choosing to do so? I wish this were true but we CAN actively choose to do things that make us feel blissful instead of denying or ignoring those desires. Ban Breathnach lists two pages of bliss blockers and sadly, I could have checked off more than half of them! So how do we slowly introduce bliss into our life? Really, when it comes right down to it, bliss IS calling yourself beloved because if you were truly calling yourself beloved, you would be doing all those things for yourself that you do daily for your family ( your beloveds).

For me, BLISS is also painting whatever I want without any restrictions or rules and I do experience THIS bliss often.
Which brings me to …

When I was younger I use to love my dressing gown. I loved to wear it. I loved to lounge around in it on a Sunday morning. I can honestly say I really don’t enjoy that anymore but is that because I really don’t enjoy it or because I don’t allow myself to enjoy it. I don’t even go down to the kitchen in the morning without being showered and dressed, even on the weekends. I have convinced myself it is because I don’t like it but really, I think it is because I feel like it would be wasting the day and THAT makes me feel guilty. What if I had a free day? What if I gave myself permission to do nothing but lounge around in my dressing gown all day and lie on my couch with a huge quilt and pillows from my bed reading a big fat novel, watching old movies on TV, eating homemade waffles and drinking a really good latte. All at once!
BUT I’m not convinced.
Perhaps I could start with an hour and work my way up to half a day.
Or I could wear my dressing gown over my clothes.
Does that count?
I think I need to keep reading Romancing The Ordinary, it is obvious that I need to continue to work on this bliss thing but at least I am thinking about it.


3 responses

  1. Aida.

    love this!

    November 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  2. Deidre Bruhn

    Hi Maria,Another lovely painting. I have an attachment to my dressing gown…it is 23 years old. I bought it to go into hospital with the birth of my first child and am still wearing it!Not trendy or sexy but comfy!Cant bear to throw it away! Who cares!
    It sounds to me like you are not really at peace at the moment. We all have so much “stuff” going on. I know of another book called”Dont Sweat the small Stuff” which someone gave to me.It is so true.Focus on what does make you happy, your family, your art and to hell with the rest!Who cares if the dishes arent done! Relax and chill!I have just worked that out… and dont deal with people you dont want to.
    Your art is amazing and you should be very proud of yourself and what you have achieved so far.
    Hope you spend the weekend in your dressing gown and your hair in curlers! Cheers

    November 20, 2010 at 1:40 am

  3. Thank so much Aida.
    Deidre, that does sound like a robe that you’d want to hold on to.
    You are right, I am working at being ‘at peace’ but that is not really unusual for me. I read ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ years ago, I just have trouble applying the things I read, no matter how much sense they make! Ahhh well, I guess I am a work in progress!
    All the best to you both!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:12 am

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