Color Outside Your Lines

2009 is teaching us to be brave. We are finding we need to reinvent, and break out of any little boxes we may have put ourselves in.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I stretch and pull at my own business models (I have three of them going right now), and I realized something: For me to reinvent my models, I probably have to start with reinventing me first.

Don’t think. Just paint.

But do I have to reinvent, or do I just have to open up, and let some parts of me come out and play more than they have before? Isn’t that what Palena ‘ole teaches us? Palena ‘ole is one of the 9 key concepts of Managing with Aloha: It is the abundance mentality of unlimited capacity. As we learn Palena ‘ole practices, we learn to dabble in each of our four-fold capacities; physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.

As I’ve thought about this over the last few months, I’ve decided that one way I would love to ‘dabble’ and to see me change (yep, me) is within Le‘ale‘a, the spirit of playfulness. For most of my life I’ve been so darned serious. Playful businesses can be successful just as much as serious ones can, right? The prospect seems much more joyful to me.

You’ve been here as I’ve explored some of these thoughts. Remember A Whole New Mind? And Dwayne’s birthday… remember the image I had there?

Well, this past weekend I decided that I am going to learn something that is way outside the box for me. I am going to literally color outside the lines I’ve closed myself in, and learn watercolor painting. Found the perfect book to help me with my first playful swipes at this: Watercolor for the Artistically Undiscovered, one of those crafty books in the Klutz Press series. I love the approach by authors Thacher Hurd and John Cassidy:

Just one no.5 Brush

“Why You Can’t Not Paint”

WCBookJacket Relax for a moment while we probe into your mind and read your innermost thoughts. You’re looking at this book and reading these words because deep inside you, some little part of you would like to learn to paint or draw. But, at the same time, you’re confused, frustrated. Why? Because your artistic talent is in remission. It was last seen in a fingerpainted flower your mother stuck to the refrigerator. Since then, your genius has been in a deep sleep, perhaps even in a coma, buried somewhere inside you. You haven’t heard from it in years.

Allow us to make an obvious point.

Art is Personal Expression. You have YOUR talent. Nobody else has anything like it. They can’t. It’s biologically impossible. DaVinci splattered paint his way; you splatter paint your way” In this book, the only mistake you can make is to criticize yourself, get in your own way —or to start straining and stop having fun. Your talent is for being you and for expressing all that wonderful you-ness; you’re the world’s absolute undisputed champion at it.”

So far I’m only on splats, smudges, wiggles and twirls. Haven’t even got to any color mixing yet. The authors call it “no-thinking brush play.” Right up my alley. “Quick, no thinking strokes = clear colors. Too careful, slow strokes = muddy colors.”

And I’m having a ball.

A twirl I can handle!   Attention! You cannot mess this up!

I’ll be doing this again next weekend. Might not even wait that long!

What does this have to do with my business reinventions? Maybe nothing. Most probably everything.

What will you be doing in your Palena ‘ole exploration?

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  1. says

    Your Flickr pictures from this look so free and happy! Looks like a very enjoyable endeavor for you – – looking forward to seeing more!! What Fun!

  2. says

    Thank you ladies! The Klutz book will definitely be coming on my summer travels with me, starting with Arizona and Nevada in May, and I’m looking forward to the change it will shift in my travel routines too.

  3. says

    These are great pictures, and I’m only just here from flickr stream.
    You’ve got a great eye, two of them probably, and it shows in your photos and in these as well. Nicely done. I like the movement I see in them.

  4. says

    Janice, I am so buoyant with the joy of meeting you on Twitter this morning, thank you for your visit!
    As we get to know each other better, you will know that “sense of place” is a biggie in concept with me, and having you connect my first watercolor strokes of playfulness with a “laughing place” and a “place to renew” is very meaningful; thank you so much.
    Aloha Rich! You know how much I relish your visits and the mana‘o you always share with me so generously ”“ mahalo! Your encouragement is prepping me well for more experiments over the coming weekend. Color mixing next… can I get chocolate instead of mud?

  5. says

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