I believe there are no happy accidents in life and that there are signs for everything. You just need to pay attention.
I met Linda and Erin at a book-signing event in Carmel a couple months ago with my sister, Susannah. It was dinner first, then the book signing by Sheri Salata for her newly published The Beautiful No. We struck up a conversation with Linda and Erin who were seated across while we ate dinner. The four of us clicked in many different ways, but one thing that stood out for me was the positive, joyful energy radiating from our new friends.
Not everyone in Linda’s shoes would be that happy - she is a bright light and has an incredible "can do" attitude. Two years ago Linda suffered a horrific stroke in the middle of the night and became paralyzed from the waist down. During our conversation at dinner I found out Linda is an artist and loves to paint, however since her accident she hasn’t picked up a brush or created any art. Well that just broke my heart and I decided right then and there I needed to figure out a way to get Linda to paint.
At the end of the evening we exchanged hugs and cell numbers. Soon Erin and I were making plans, and she and Linda drove up to Santa Cruz to come to my Open Studios. They came in and took my tour and Linda looked right up at my Bird of Humanity painting and asked if it was for sale. (It was the only painting not for sale, but something told me that Linda was the perfect person to have this piece.) So of course I changed my mind and said yes.
A week later I drove down to Carmel with the painting to see how it would fit (it’s very horizontal and would need the perfect spot). Well, it was like walking into a colorful, vibrant, happy world. Art was everywhere! It was a truly magical home and I was overjoyed that this painting was going to be here for Linda and Erin to see every day.
Erin gave me a tour of the home and I was able to see Linda’s beautiful paintings all hanging together in one room. Stunning. She is quite the artist! And it made me sad to think that Linda hasn’t picked up a brush in over 2 years. Erin and I quickly came up with a plan to get Linda painting again. I would come back in 2 weeks, hang up her "Bird of Humanity" painting and we’d all have an art date together as well.
Our art date was simple and fun. I made 3 handmade journals from Fabriano hot press 140lb paper stitched together, brought some watercolors, micron pens and watercolor pencils. And without thinking about it too much we just started painting and drawing. Erin, Linda and I were just chatting away, brushing color on paper and marking with pens. A perfect art date.
Linda painted again! And my heart is full. I can't wait to see what she added to her journal over the next couple weeks. We decided to have a little "art play time" in our journals whenever I go down to visit. It doesn't have to be a big event, even if it's 10 minutes and you draw a few lines just to get the creative juices flowing.
P.S. It turns out that Erin and I have many things in common; same age, our love of podcasts and inspirational books, we are like-minded in our business ideas and have quickly become fast friends. I am so grateful that on a night in Carmel my sister and I happened to sit across from these amazing women. Thank you Universe!
If you are interested in creating your own art journal - it's super easy and fun. I took a class from Teesha Moore years ago and follow along to her how-to tutorial YouTube lesson every time when I want to make these.