the art of letting go

fair warning: just a little bit of my heart here.

sometimes we have to “let go”. We can’t hold onto everything, we can’t control everything, we can’t make everything perfect and we for sure can’t be perfect ourselves. something i’ve found to be helpful is to work on “letting go” through art. Let me show you what i mean…

above is a pretty crappy/fake/amature-no really modern 🙂 looking painting of the Effle Tower. Most people would look at this and say-“um… you call yourself an artist? or an architect? did you learn nothing in your 5 years of schooling?”

i created this piece when i was working on my senior thesis for my Masters of Architecture. it was a stressful semester…year…everything. one day, i was so stressed that i just left school early. i know. i’m not that kind of girl! i skipped! what? basically I couldn’t take it anymore. I was getting no where with my thesis and i was stressed.

so i got home and pulled out a blank canvas. really i just needed to explode! so i exploded through paint. the process was healing. peace giving. theraputic.  in my mind, i went to Paris and was in a bed room with a beautiful wrought iron door & porch overlooking the Effle tower. i prayed through my painting.  i didn’t care that nothing was coming out perfect, i just put paint on a canvas. i just made lines and splotches work together to form what i was feeling in my heart. 

now, every time i look at that painting, all i can think of is peace. Am i embarrassed when some of my art friends come to my home and see my “amature” piece? sometimes. i mean- my friends are very good at art. i’m always impressed by them. I have never seen an amature piece in their homes. but then i think- what the heck? i’m an architect-i’m an artist too- sometimes i see things more abstractly. sometimes i just have to get things out, no matter how good they are, i shouldn’t hide them- i found peace through this piece of work.

anyway. a couple weeks ago i had that need to find peace again. to pray my way through a piece of art work.  i needed to let go.

i let go of the idea of perfection.

 i let go the stresses i was feeling from work.

 i let go hurt i was feeling from others.

 i was letting go of a hard and lonely week.

and i was letting go of the fact that i can not do it all.

so here is my story:

i made 2 of these! i was really feeling stressed. but through the imperfection the process was very theraputic 🙂

so then i had to figure out what to do with them. i remembed that i had a couple of old manuscripts that i had bought for husbuddy at an antique store but still hadn’t framed. so… i had backgrounds. yay!

here they are now framed and gorgeous above the computer over my husbuddy’s “theology corner” 🙂

and a couple close ups of the background which fades away because the manuscript is just that cool. i love the little images! and the writing. and the lines that they used to write in straight lines! eek! love it!

so, tell me. am i totally crazy? or have you had a similar experience through the art of letting go?

0 Responses to the art of letting go

  1. Keisen September 28, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Artists measure their own growth far more obsessively and judgementally than other observers. What you view as less than polished, others might not.

    I still recall walking into a friend’s home, looking a piece on her wall, and thinking I wish I could paint like that. As it happened, it was a piece I’d painted. But it’d been 3 years since I’d sent it to her and didn’t even remember it.

    If you’ve created a piece that gives you peace, share it. The world needs more peace.

  2. Janannie September 28, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Hi,

    You’re blog is simply superb.. I had a stressfull weekend and found your blog to be quite interesting and those painting are really beautiful. Trust me you are not crazy.. I sometimes let go through dancing.. 🙂

    Janu

  3. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife September 28, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Wow, your blog is really neat! Keep up the good work:)

  4. 79sparrows September 28, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    amazing work! I really enjoyed this. 🙂

  5. CrystalSpins September 28, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    From time to time a read a blog by a woman who has made it part of her life work to help people discover through art. Peace, joy, love, themselves — she’s in Canada and she does workshops to help people do the very thing you describe in this blog post. (http://www.soulartstudio.com/wordpress/)

    I do sort of the same thing, but I write instead of paint. I always have my journal with me in fact.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  6. necdeusintersit September 28, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    I really like your Paris painting – the colors and everything – I wish I could paint like that.

    thanks for telling this story, and im so thankful I found it now. I had tears on my eyes right before I found your entry. I’ve been trying to let go off one thing. I was very successful, until just now. I guess i’ll just do something like you did.

    And yes, it has happened to me before – I created a piece on a newspaper type paper with a black marker the night I was studying for an exam. It was hanging on my bedroom wall until i moved out.

  7. Raven Guerrero September 28, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I feel you, Kimberly, I really, really do. I wish you will forever be grateful that you have been given the gift of art, and that you understand how beautiful it makes your life and other’s.
    Btw the Eiffel painting is beautiful. Never disparage your art. It’s always new for somebody else.

    might be off-topic, but a little piece I wrote on acceptance 🙂
    http://todayeverythingwillchange.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/on-acceptance/

    peacelove!

  8. kimberlyrenee September 28, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    thank you so much everyone for your very kind comments! 🙂

  9. Jimmy Ng September 28, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    This makes me feel like having a go at it! Great blog! Keep it up!

  10. pathaseltonart September 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Kimberley, love your blogs, and added you to my blogroll 🙂

  11. minervanmuse September 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Beautiful post!
    Do keep creating. 🙂
    Wishes, minerva*

  12. Circe September 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I found reading this blog very therapeutic. And I love the picture of the Eifel Tower, that’s what pulled me in

  13. gobstoppers September 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    pretty paintings, and what a nice blog! 🙂

  14. sayitinasong September 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I am completely challenged when it comes to creating any sort of art… but what I have found very soothing is painting by numbers… I just put on some music… and it really focuses the mind and I find it very relaxing… good alternative for someone like myself who has no artistic ability at all…lol..

  15. mythoughts76 September 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Are those real old antique illuminated manuscripts? I hope you didn’t glue them down with plain old glue. Or it will ruin them! Although I suppose they have acid free glues? Did you use acid free materials? I make illuminated artwork too, using the penciled lines to write with, which I erase after before water coloring. FRAKTUR style documents.

    • kimberlyrenee September 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

      don’t worry. i didn’t glue 🙂 those are really cool illuminated manuscripts that i found at a book store for a couple dollars each, so I’m not sure how old they really are. I just used a little bit of photo-safe stickers to keep them in place. That’s really neat that you do illuminated manuscripts!

  16. Soul Incites September 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I happened upon your blog and I’m so glad I did. That’s great that you got so much mileage from simply letting your heart sing through your canvas!

  17. anna.ua September 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    believe me, your eifel tower looks much nicer than my therapeutical master pieces!:)
    painting, drawing, embroidering does really help.

    also, spending time with babies and pets has the same effect on me. only the latter are harder to find when you need it unlike some gouache or clay:)

  18. lifeintheboomerlane September 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Creativity is a gift we give to ourselves, first, then to the world. We are the lucky ones, the ones who put our hearts out there. Never stop putting yours out there.

  19. Jessica Lipman September 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    That’s beautiful!! I love your step-by-step model of ‘letting go’ with paint 🙂 I should try it sometime.

    Thought you might be interested in my collaborative blog — http://dysfunctionalbeginnings.com/ — about growing up, and beginnings in general (Literary, nonfiction, poetry, photography, videos, etc.). We’ve survived it. Now let’s attest to it. Submissions go to dysfunctionalbeginnings@gmail.com.

  20. notesfromrumbleycottage September 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    My best art takes place in the kitchen. But I love your pieces and totally understand the therapuetic benefits of working with your medium of choice. Congrats on a good post and being freshly pressed.

  21. Adam Borovkoff September 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I love your release painting! If more people would take the time to just create and rid themselves of the junk and control of their daily lives, more people would be happy! Great blog. Consider me a fan!
    Adam

  22. saba September 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    wow i am really impressed you are totally right i experience the same whenever i engage myself in activities such as these when i am over saturated from studies

  23. kickupthearts September 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Reminds me of latest ‘hot’ artist Rose Wylie, 76 years old and just ‘discovered’. She is one of the ‘Women to Watch’ at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC.

    In a show in London right now – reviewed here: http://akickupthearts.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/in-dreams-at-timothy-taylor-exhibition-opening/

    Highly trained artist but just ‘lets go’ using classical references… good stuff!

    Akuta

    • kimberlyrenee September 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      Wow! thanks for the info! 🙂 And thank you for your comment!

  24. Abby September 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    That’s so beautiful! I’m thinking a lot about letting go recently – my way is to play the piano – that’s where I let it all go and give it to God. I’m so glad he gives us that creativity for the times we have no words. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  25. Cara September 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    I think worrying whether it will be any good is the biggest obstacle to making art. Go you for getting around it!

  26. blackwatertown September 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    This is such a good idea. Very therapeutic.
    And you’re not left with a blinding hangover after it.
    http://www.blackwatertown.wordpress.com

  27. teapotchronicles September 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I don’t find peace through letting the lines waiver. I’m not much of an artist, but I’ve found I find more peace on focusing in on the smallest details. Much like your background, when I focus in on small details, the rest of the outside noise seems to calm and collect. *shrug* But then, who cares how we find it… as long as we find it, right?

    • kimberlyrenee September 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      totally! all the matters is that we find peace in our life 🙂 that’s great that you are detail oriented. I’m totally not (which often hurts me in my job:-p)

  28. Delia September 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    It’s very beautiful what you do on your blog. I enjoy it a lot.

  29. atharmon September 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I think art is a great way to relax. Generally, speaking the are no rules or guidelines for what can be considered art. In fact I think art with emotion behind it often displays more meaning

  30. becomingparis September 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Kimberly, I thoroughly enjoyed your post on the art of letting go!
    Thank you for sharing! I love acrylics also! I also enjoyed browsing your site! If you have a blog button (i couldn’t find one) I would be happy to add you to my sidebar on my page. blessings to you and keep up the wonderful heart/art flow. It is perfect as it is – therapeutic! hugs, Jenn

  31. Christy aka Mamarazzi September 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    I have a deep desire to paint. I don’t even know if I can, I never have, but I want to. I think I’m afraid I won’t be any good either but you’ve helped to inspire me to just do it. Thanks for that!

  32. Jeremy September 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Neat. That’s the one word I would describe what you do. Another would obviously be creative or original. It’s cool how you make mundane things come a little more alive through “amateur” art. I feel so many people (oftentimes including myself) feel rather tentative about letting their artistic side go. Very encouraging post and congrats on making Freshly Pressed!

  33. capnstephel September 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    This is fantastic! I don’t think you’re crazy either. You’re basically taking the bad stress (which you could say is a figurative rock) and turning it into something good (a cool statue, if you go with the rock thing). Who wouldn’t feel better after that? 😀

  34. Nikole Hahn September 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I like that background. At first, I was thinking I wouldn’t hang that up because I’m more a traditionalist when it comes to art. I like fine art. But, I do like the idea of using that as a background. It really brought out the old pages of that book and it catches your eye.

    I can see why you kept that eiffle tower. I would, too. It’s not just paint and canvas, but a memory of how you got through a stressful time in your life. It’s a good memory that paints over the bad year.

  35. Mohit September 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    yEAH I love those beautiful paintings 🙂
    YOUr work is simply awesome

  36. Sunflowerdiva September 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    This is a great post. I really like your paintings, too. Keep it up! 😀

  37. monica September 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Your paintings are beautiful. They remind me of Van Gogh’s 🙂

    (pls go with this one instead :))

  38. The Daily Pudding September 28, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I for one definitely get way too perfectionist for my own good. Great work – great post- Just what I needed!

    <a href="http://www.TheDailyPudding.com.

  39. evilcyber September 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Maybe it would help if you knew how to spell what you are painting 😉

  40. marcuslee41 September 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    im impressed…i still havent found my way to let go and i feel like if i used art it would just be a lot of black and red. Hopefully ill get there someday but i respect and appreciate your artwork a lot, keep it up!

  41. mmonika September 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    hi there Kimberly!
    Very interesting piece you have here which I can totally relate to. When I did my Masters thesis, I did or had the same experience! Because of busy schedules, classes, thesis & work, I had to find some other channel to “let go”. I created some what I call “collage impressions” along the way. http://thefinethings.wordpress.com/arts-crafts-2/arts-crafts/

    Love your paintings and creations!

  42. Rick Daddario September 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    aloha Kimberly Renee – yes. we are all crazy. this world is too ridiculous for sanity. it’s also too beautiful, amazing and stunning – as in awe.

    i havnt read the other 10,000 comments here. so it’s likely i’m just saying the same things others have said – cool on that.

    yes, i’ve let go of rough times that way, the way you have described, altho not the identical process. however, all letting go is not about letting go of rough times – or at least it doesnt have to be…

    learning and understanding are important – letting go of that and simply creating is important too. i think if we have really learned and understand it shows up in our creating when we let go of it. in fact i think it shows up in better ways than when we try too hard to hold on to it.

    what intrigues me is that the approach of letting go when approaching art – is often what makes art beautiful (imo) – beautiful and fun and worthwhile. it’s when i try to hold on and be careful and do it right that it becomes stressful, and blah, and sometimes just plain wrong.

    i’m not always able to let go of course. letting go is when we become our self (imo again) or as close to it as we can get at that time. i want that in my art. the more my art becomes me, the better i like doing it and the more unique it becomes. i think that’s good. i want that.

    letting go is beautiful. cool on that. fun on you for letting go.

    aloha – Wrick

  43. mschinhing September 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    I like this lot… It makes me want to get back in touch with my artsy side that I’ve let fall by the wayside for a long while.
    my name is kimberley renee too btw =)

  44. Random Ntrygg September 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    I like the Eiffel Tower painting – it’s not amateurish – it’s clear what it is and there’s sense of interpretation that’s appealing

    your tower seems more solid, stable, sturdier – things that you were seeking to create

    Personally, I am bored with art snobs who think spatters of paint on a canvas is art.

    I would hang your tower painting on my wall.

  45. x1123581321x September 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    You have a beautiful spirit. It comes right out.

  46. beinglizbreen September 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    This is just a beautiful, beautiful entry. I am currently studying to be a screenwriter and escaping into the worlds I create is so cathartic for me. Reading about and seeing other artists’ personal retreats is so wonderful. You are creating art the way it should be created. Keep up the good work!

  47. jenaec September 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Your artwork is so good. So many people can relate to the aspect of letting go. I love your paintings, whether they were really thought out, or just helped you let go of bad emotion. Art is about expressing yourself, and you did an amazing job at that. Your entire post was just very inspiring.

  48. evilleed September 28, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    i think im the crazy one coz i actually let go of my biggest desire… i found your blog very inspiring!=)

  49. The Mental Secretary September 29, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    Nah, girl. You’re perfectly sane. I find beauty in imperfections. And letting go is definitely a good tension reliever. Good for you! 🙂

  50. Jule1 September 29, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I had a friend recommend I do exactly what you describe. My picture was a full length, naked drawing of me, and it had a flaming pussy. I used magic markers. It was a crummy picture (technically), but I needed to make a picture of the power of me the way I want to be every day. I put it up on my bulletin board. Thought my husband would think it was weird, but he told me he liked it. I didn’t bother to explain the symbology because I thought it would weird him out, but that he liked it and that I liked it made me like the picture a lot. And boy, did I feel better after I made it! Glad that works for so many people. In fact, it’s time I did something like that again. Thanks for the reminder.

  51. Najeema September 29, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    I really appreciated this process. Thank you for sharing.

  52. itsahappyblog September 29, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    Nice! I appreciate your ‘letting go’ technique. I am new to blogging and letting go is a huge part of my theme. This was encouraging and a bit empowering as well. Thanks for sharing your art with us!!

  53. girlgeum September 29, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    The “art” of letting go.

    It sounds easy when you hear others say just let go, and you want to ask them how?

    Or perhaps you did let go, took a “lap” but then came back around and picked up what you thought you had left behind.

    I guess it’s not only how we do it, but why?

  54. Alessandro September 29, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    bel post, e bei disegni!complimenti!

  55. ririe September 29, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    wow .. this is a work of creative sanggat
    thank you for your advice

  56. lozenga September 29, 2010 at 4:39 am #

    Lovely post 😀 I am similar, when I’m stressed I either sketch or work on my quilt! Or failing that, I cook. I’m no art student but I loved the Eiffel painting 🙂

    • lozenga September 29, 2010 at 4:41 am #

      And besides, art that means something personally to you is FAR richer and much more attractive than something you bought elsewhere!

  57. iveryday September 29, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    I’m fond of your paintings~~
    I made a childish painting on one day I felt very depressed, and after that, the feelings became so fresh~ 🙂
    “painting” is a way to swap pains! ^^

  58. mypurplehoneyjar September 29, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Wow! I think you have really captured the essence of art! And you’ve done it beautifully, congratulations on your two new beautiful pieces! This post is super inspiring!

  59. abbottk September 29, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed the meander through the creation of this piece of art: love what you created.
    Kind thoughts
    Kate

  60. Katherine Osgood September 29, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I love it!

  61. miang14 September 29, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    I am a new blogger and I’ve found your blog. It is so fascinating. No, you’re not crazy. We have different ways of releasing tension. I do that too. I write poems and essays of what I fell. It’s just really good to know that there are people who bothers to share what they feel. In return, those who read their posts feel better. I’ll make sure I could follow your blogs.. Thanks for sharing!

  62. madtante September 29, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I like to draw furry animals, best if doing something silly but sometimes it’s just the furry animal. I do have an art degree (Film/ Photography) and studied all the fine arts pre-reqs.

    Sometimes I do watercolors and they’re horrible, too — meaning, definitely look unfinished and amateurish. Well…I rarely work on them, so that’s pretty much “why.” It’s still my vision, even if it doesn’t match what I’d envisioned in my head when starting. I have a lot of respect for anybody who pukes out their happy or sad or whatever. I think this post is awesome and the finished product is amazing.

  63. Anna and Her Biro September 29, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Ah this is fantastic! We have so much in common in the way we view life. Have a read of my ‘tie me up in a bow why don’t you’ post. I think you will identify!
    Thanks for this. It’s so great to challenge our perfectionism.
    http://www.meandmybiro.wordpress.com

  64. Pumpkinhead September 29, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Very beautiful, indeed! “Start just playing with what your heart is telling you” — I completely fall in love to that sentence!

  65. kimberlyrenee September 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    THANK YOU!!

  66. Edi September 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Recently I broke my foot, and I had to let go of a lot of things because of that.
    I had to let go of going to work, which dignifies a human being.
    I had to let go of walking fast to the other side of the room I was in, in fact, for the first weeks I had to let go of walking at all.
    I had to let go of cleaning my house for more than a month.
    I had to let go of many other things that I was also engaged in, and had exact time to do them.
    I had to let go of my routine, and I did.
    I let go of it and then got a lot of space in my life, and I decided to do something with it.
    I decided to be creative, as my routine was forced into second plan and I am a girl on the move I created a whole new routine, but this time a fun one and with no deadlines.
    And it did bring me peace, and it really felt good to let go of something!
    Finally.
    http://www.mrsfrills.wordpress.com

  67. lbwong September 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    We all have different ways of letting go of stress and relaxing. Yours is creative–way to go! I’m not an artist but your title hit home b/c think we all could learn productive ways of dealing with our everyday stresses. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  68. cocktailsattiffanys September 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m horrible at letting go.

  69. earthymind October 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    wow…kudos to you for this post…im so low on confidence when it comes to letting go….and never share my sketches or paintings with anyone…but just yesterday dared to put up a few sketches on my post…and now, taking inspiration from you will continue to do so…cheers!!!

  70. Modern Funk October 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Great read…thanks for sharing!

  71. liontamar October 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    this is great and a great example on the process of art. too many folk are worried that they can’t draw so refuse to attempt any art!! well done.

  72. laurabarbosa October 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    I really love your art and really love the post so I am going to re-post it to my “Heart Of Art Blog” Thanks!

  73. Kellie Elmore October 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Your stuff is absolutely amazing! I adore the colors! 🙂 I would LOVE for u to check out my “Creative Playground” tab on my blog and click on my site “Social Muze”! It’s a little site I put together for my blog and AllPoetry dot com friends to talk about art, photography, poetry etc… 🙂 I would love for you to be a part of it! At least take a peak 🙂 I will def be back!!! 🙂
    Kellie

  74. dream8land October 12, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    You’re so so true! Thanks for posting this!

  75. ro11it October 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    This blog is brilliant and something i feel i can relate to very well 😀 and your work being “amateur-ish” no way! the emotion, feelings and relevance behind it makes it a very accomplished piece of expressionism, i love art and over time have ended up doing more abstract art than anything else. The feeling of letting go is the best and youre a legend for doing so in such a way.

  76. cptextileart October 22, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Thank you for posting that! I may have to try that today….

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