Acts of service

The world is standing still as I sit on a green yoga mat facing the sun. Absorbing the miniscule warmth on my forehead and brown sweater. It will reach 57 degrees today in La Crosse Wisconsin and I’m going to enjoy it. Rain is in the forecast all week after so making the most out of the day. 2 kids on bicycles, a goldendoodle, and their mom passby so far. Neighbors are outside on their porches, I drink coffee while typing…people are doing errands through the bank across the street. Everything seems relatively normal. The birds chirp above my head in the large trees on the street, my current focus is on how I can see the sky for once. It’s a spring sky blue with Hawks far above the ground swirling in figure eights. I had the thought to do a blog about acts of service. Even though this seems like a tumultuous time the whole world is doing acts of service for one another. While doing these acts of service it is important to focus on the best case scenario. We would be doing ourselves a disservice if we were only enabling others with the worst possible outcome. Let’s take a financial and career perspective on this love language. Everywhere there are others saving people’s lives, giving food, running errands for someone or just staying away from them for the greater good.

“Make magic today! Use your emotions as a guidance system to ask, “are you acting from anxiety or passion?” Construct your reality consciously to give a different reflection if your acting out of anxiety”.

This is important to say because conversely a lot of people a high-strung nowadays

If you already took the leap into the spiritual work to do what you love for a living and get paid for it then the following paragraph isn’t for you. It’s for those who are still in fear and anxiety in regards to what they want to do for a living not fully supporting them.

I know it’s a slow and steady process but wouldn’t it be great if you did what you loved for a living? Acts of service that you love to perform that you also could make money from? I hope all the time that people have on their hands now will help them decide that their time is so precious and not worth risking to do things they do not want. Doing what you actually want helps the collective consciousness and vibration exponentially. Following your desires fills a hole, a gap in the universe that cannot be filled by anyone else at this current time. If you do not act now even the source of all there is doesn’t know what’s on the other side of that desire being filled. Let’s dive deep… for I can’t ask the global collective to release anxiety and fear in regards to a global pandemic without them having conversely changed their own lives first. There is another way to live, you have another choice to make after all this is done. What will you choose to FEEL each day you wake after this incubation period? The world is taking a respite, unless you are still working as needed by the global collective or just working for yourself and manifesting the highest outcomes. start today by asking some questions out loud. What do you need to do in order to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be? Start asking that question and letting the signs and coincidences appear spiritually. At the same time start taking action steps towards that desired goal and way of life with pure intention and positive focus.

Love & Light, AH

Quality Time

Quality time or “time spent” is one of the five love languages I am covering today. Most of us will be spending more time at home with the spread of the Covid-19 Virus, so how are we spending our time? And with whom if anyone? With all this activity going on I am just thankful the last two art shows went off with out a hitch! The Five love languages group exhibit had an amazing turn-out, it was a wish come true that A.E.H. Studio was packed full Feb 22nd 2020. I have been needing to cover this and to post pictures on the blog but man I was on cloud nine for a whole month that I forgot to post! Click here for artist/musician interviews.

I got to see a dream of mine come true right before my eyes. If translated into a Tarot card it would be a 6 of staves moment, a victory lap! I just want to thank all the artists and musicians I know for being a part of it and being you! A special thank you to all the patrons of the arts who bought local work especially who made an appearance.

Back to quality time….the point of the artshow was to bring the community OUT and TOGETHER. I really have been spending more time alone for the last two months to do my work but I also met TONS of new people thanks to the Art Exhibit I curated at the studio. Most of Lacrosse is working from home, I haven’t been quarantining myself from loved ones & friends, I think it is essential to see at least someone and hangout (and still be creating new things.) I just have to say when I spend quality time it is usually one-on-one. Its not my favorite love language for it really is hard for me to focus in group settings. In my intimate / close relationships I like to dive deep intellectually and spiritually to really see where that person is at. I also need others to want that of me. If that need isn’t there then that means the relationship wont deepen (which I need) then compatibility isn’t there. Everyone’s needs for time spent are different. Some people just need a friend to vent to. Some just need surface level happy relationships so they dont have to dive deep and truly show themselves. Unfortunately most people fall into the surface level relationship category. In order to deepen your relationship with someone I have a few nuggets of gold for you. ASK QUESTIONS –be curious about that persons likes and dislikes, what is on there mind predominately. HOW DO THEY SHOW THEIR LOVE- invest some time together and see how they communicate. BOUNDARIES- what are your boundaries that need to be in place and what are theirs? MEET IN THE MIDDLE- compromise in conversations. Step 2 steps forward and perhaps they will feel comfortable to do the same.

I got to see and swim in the ocean this year prior to the travel bans. I spent some quality time alone on Miami Beach waiting for the day to unfold with a friend.

With love and light always,

Ashton

Words of affirmation

Words. This is how we all communicate. Texting more so than letters. Social media over a phone call. This particular “love language”, wasn’t the most popular amongst the art dropped off at my gallery this week. Re-Cap for those who don’t know: art is being dropped off for the group exhibit at A.E.H. studio gallery the five love languages I am currently curating. The reception is February 22nd 5:30pm-8:30pm. It will be a display of works based around the five love languages, a book by Gary Chapman. I thought it best to review words of affirmation after my last post about gifting.

Painted collage by Joan Gundersen

Words of affirmation is not my strong suit. I’ll be the first to admit that I will hide behind an embrace, a gift, supper… anything to get away from words that come from my heart! Even though it doesn’t hurt me to give compliments or tell someone how much I care about them it is definitely harder. I don’t like to make a spectacle of my emotional state, and rarely do I plaster my emotions on my face for the public to see. I guess this past week I’ve been more emotionally available and open to the people whom I love in my life and beyond. I’m realizing if I don’t say it they won’t hear it. If I don’t explain it, they won’t know. A healthy balance of all the love languages in a relationship is really key to a great one. Obviously as an introvert/INFJ I would choose more comfortable love languages over words of affirmation.

A little research I was doing on color combinations. I loved the color combinations in this book, “The Color Bible” especially the delicious words used for each.

I am starting to see that words, books, and articles are a mental form of communication that can connect people through all senses. They are stronger than I previously thought. Books from the past is how we all learn. Books in the now it’s how we learn about others/new things. It is perhaps the strongest love language. In old age what means most to the elderly? When we talk to the elderly what do we want to hear? We want to hear stories, words, their history. Then you can be instantly vacuumed out of reality into their past experiences. I remember my grandmother on the Hall side telling me what she used to wear in school for swimming lessons. I was astonished to hear that she wore a cap and these dress-things and shorts under it all. She said it was Soo heavy. She shown me pictures of herself in these. I couldn’t believe she used to wear so many articles of clothing just to swim. I remember her telling me what things were like in school for her. How much time has flown by I realized, as she spoke about her experiences.

There are so many things I would like to ask her about today. Like her heritage and what it was like growing up with her brothers and sisters. But she is gone. I realized words have an expiration date sometimes and you have to let people know how you feel in the moment for moments do pass. I used to sit in the sun room with my grandma when my dad was gone to work because he was her primary caregiver. I didn’t want her to feel alone, plus I would have someone next to me while I painted. I would tell her what colors I was using and what I was painting that day. I drove there and we just checked in with each other almost weekly if not bi-weekly. Grandma Hall’s seeing wasn’t great towards the end of her life but she could hear and her mind was very sharp. So I guess the love language I gave her was quality time / time spent. You can miss a crucial moment to tell someone how you feel or ask how they FEEL. So, that being said…. What do you need to tell somebody?

Figure 8

This year has brought so many GREAT career surprises and 1st accomplishments for me. I had felt since last fall a huge shift in my career was looming favorably. So I knew I had to write about all of the happenings as of late. I have been itching to share them with you and the world so here it goes! Recently I was featured on the front page of the LIVE!-section of my local paper, The La Crosse Tribune bearing headline Heider to display art with a powerful new palette. Read the full article : here

“From the ground up” 310.00 Oil pastel on board -Made for the Heider Center Exhibit 2020

As you can imagine I was very excited and even though I was interviewed I had no clue it was going to be in the Tribune. A first for my art really. I have been a headliner in the paper for previous acting performances and featured in other cities local papers as a visiting artist but never my OWN town. I am going strong with the series that was covered…just adding more to it up until today. It is titled, “Pink, Purple, and Periwinkle: A love affair.” Read the article to find out more behind the subject, if you do then you will see that my life is completing a complete figure-8 it seems. After turning 30 I have been experiencing many synchronicities in relation to where I grew up. The show I mentioned which was created for Marie W. Heider Center for the Arts in West Salem IS about my upbringing. West Salem is not far from Bangor where I grew up until age 17. Whenever we had to go to La Crosse (which seemed like civilization compared to Bangor) we would have to pass through West Salem first. I remember as a young girl always drawing, checking out books on art, and painting. Bangor was very small, and similar to a box. It has 4 walls and its relatively safe but BORING. It’s where I would day dream about being a professional artist, and art was an escape and Godsend for me then. Now It seems I have fully circled back to the other side of the figure 8.

I am teaching a class in the same library I walked to as a child and teen! The local Art in the Library program asked me to be a presenter and teach a Oil Pastel Landscapes class from 6-8pm March 18th 2020. For 2-hours I will teach techniques I use and ways a famous artist; Richard Diebenkorn may have used his crayons, oils, and pencil on paper. The Art class takes place in the John Bossard Memorial Library in Bangor Wisconsin down the street from Andrew street..the street I grew-up on. Another synchronicity, the location of my current gallery is on Saint Andrew Street. My father is named Andrew and he had a large impact on my art creation as a child. Starting to see the coincidences?

I am very excited to see what February brings and I will keep up with this blog whilst away. I am traveling for some rest and rejuvenation. I will be out of town Jan 24 – Feb 1st so open studio hours resume Feb 6th per usual. I hope you are staying warm and inspired. BUT most of all challenging yourself and pushing for growth OUTSIDE of your comfort zone in your life. -Peace & love always- Ashton

In Due time

EVERYTHING IN DUE TIME

“Everything happens in due time “

We all know the saying. I do not like waiting though. Naturally I want to reach out to the world, take action by getting what I need then scampering off.

If I follow this train of thought I instantly feel like a bee sizing me up in summertime. There I am …hardened like a rock while a bee buzzes at my face, chest, and butt. I am waiting…holding my breath with eyes widened internally screaming please DON’T STING ME.

My cat Ms. Piggy found the one clean spot on my art desk closest to me

I am referring to how the universe makes me feel while I wait for fruits of my labor to ripen and drop . If you know me personally I take suggestions from the universe like synchronicity seriously. I’ve been waiting to see a happy coincidence lately before making great shifts in my life. Really I should have never waited for my ship to reach shore. Cycles, phases, emotional pitfalls can be used to fuel the creation of art. So have faith and feel everything can work out. Waiting is about timing which is important mental work. It is the work of having faith as well as weighing the risks you take. Many artists have a hard time building up enough emotional reserves to weather the downtime phases in their careers. It is the phase when commissions seem to grind to a halt and you stand there wondering, “what’s next – who’s next – wheres the next opportunity” I will tell you that time catches up with us, ultimately surpassing us if we haven’t paid enough attention to it. My advice to artists is take your time defining what you want to convey. FIND THOSE healthy environments to do so and if you do not get chosen and have tried, well…keep trying. This rant is brought to you by a feeling of hopeless I had today whilst sitting waiting for news about an artist residency application (in which I wasn’t chosen for.) At first I was sad but then I reminded myself that my own personal experiences are the teachers in my life. I decided to make the feeling of hopelessness mean something.

I made it mean:

  • better times I have the power to create are ahead
  • my best work is yet to be done
  • I am okay with having enough time for me to be tranquil in the now

I suggest if you get stuck in a rut and cannot climb out then try making a list of positive aspects of your current experience like the one above. You know the negatives and are probably stewing on them right now like a witch celebrating the winter solstice. So here is a reminder: NO ONE is YOU. The art you make is important so get it out into the world. Keep constantly creating your highest excitement and ideals willingly. Have gratitude for opportunities even if they pass by because you can decide to create some new ones of your very own. On that note I recently asked 2 other women to do a female group show with me. I am very excited to see what art comes out of this new collaboration we all MAKE happen!
Stay tuned and Stay strong.