Learning to Be an Artist

No Plan? No problem

Heading into my artistic sabbatical & renewal, I didn’t have a plan. If anything, I had an anti-plan – the plan was NOT to have a plan. I’ve sat in this creative space long enough to know that while I might have a vague idea of where I want to head, the final outcome usually looks like nothing I might have initially conceived.

Although I didn’t have a plan, I did have a mentor & coach who helped me discover that I needed to breathe life into my time as an artist, free from the constraints of commercial work. I had originally hired Terry Bateman as a business coach to help me pivot & focus my studio work this Spring – with a new lab, new products, new pricing. So when I pivoted, he met me where I was at and was able to serve as a life coach – a spiritual guide of sorts. Through our regular conversations, I figured out my Vision Board and some broad strokes around how to reorient myself to creating art for its own sake.

Vision Board

My Vision Board for my sabbatical itself was a learning experiment, as I created it digitally from images I took myself or found in the public domain. I took pictures of artwork given to me by a friend (the giraffes), and even included a picture of my 2021 Vision Board, which I had created in January using magazine cutouts and cardboard. I used some of the techniques I learned in Thom Rouse’s workshop – the beginning of my intense conceptual period, experimenting with digital art.

Vision Board

I’m a visual thinker (I’m learning), and so I literally created a life sized project board where I could brainstorm practices, people and projects to feed my inspiration and creative time. I studied industrial engineering, so I’ve always had a process-focus. The opportunity now is to expand that left-brain thinking, combining my superpowers with new creative energy.

My Project Board

The Rain in Maine

After my one-day class with Thom Rouse , I knew I needed more time & instruction. So, without almost thinking about it, I signed up for a week-long workshop he was co-leading in Bar Harbor, Maine with Al DaValle. Al is a landscape photographer, so it was a chance to learn many new skills. I haven’t done much landscape or travel photography since I got into photography. I had done some nature photography early in my explorations – my so called “bumblebee & butterfly” phase – with lots of macro work and flowers. I think one of my take aways is learn from it all, and carry forward the parts that I enjoy. So, I’m pulling back in some of my passion for landscape and architecture – city scapes are after all just urban landscapes!

The mixology of Al and Thom means I can break through my self-imposed constraints that I have to shoot what’s in front of me. Now I see each image as a starting point. From there, I create something totally new that has never existed before.

And I am having fun!

Here are some of my favorite images from my time in Maine – some more creative than others, but nothing like what I think will be coming… So hold on to your seats!

Abundance Continuance

Arts Live Here: Celebrating Joel Simon – Troop 276

Celebrating Joel: Arts Live Here

This is my world today. This is a sacred place within a sacred space within a community within a neighborhood within a city.

It’s a pretty cool place. Thanks to a Boy Scout named Joel Simon.

For my story, this place was completed on August 13th, 2021 – one day before the 18th birthday of the very man who created it.

It was completed on Friday the 13th. 13 is my lucky number.

Yes, Virginia. Great things are possible every day – even on Friday the 13th.

Thanks Joel for creating this place for us to enjoy!

Bloom where you are planted

Joel grew up in this community where we celebrate abundance, where we look for abundance, where we find abundance, where we shine a light on abundance.

I grew up in this community as well. Rather, I am growing up in this community.

So it made total sense for Joel to pick this spot for his final project in his journey to become an Eagle Scout. Because he quite literally grew up in this building. Well, at least one day a week. Sundays. A day of rest.

So Joel created a place to rest.

We bloom where we are planted.

Abundance Continuance Wide Shot
Our Community Fire Pit: A Place of Abundance

The Abundant Community: Broadway

This new community fire pit and art space is part of a magical space – The Abundant Community: Broadway. Inside, there are many rooms. And there is even a magical hallway called the Magical Arts Corridor! Come check it out sometime! It’s pretty rad, as my husband Brandon likes to say. I tend to agree.

There’s a lot more going on here DURING the week than there is on Sunday. Just saying.

Shining a Light on What is Already Here

When Joel Simon had to decide on a project for his Eagle Scout badge, he chose this place because he grew up in this church — in this community.

Because of that experience, he wanted to shine a light on what is already here today: abundance.

Seek and ye shall find.

Come, sit with me. Let the world be.

SRkian Haris

Thanks for listening.

Keep tellin’ the story.

Signed ever faithfully,

The Right Reverend Lord C. August Peacock III

Returning to The Rooms

Born Again. Again.

Yesterday was another milestone in my recovery journey.

I returned to The Rooms. And found God. Again.

If you know a little of my story, you know God has been in and out of my life. Lately, I’ve been a little angry with Her. But, I didn’t realize how deep that anger was until yesterday, sitting in another church basement with a bunch of recovering addicts.

Community Room - Broadway UMC
The Church Basement – Broadway UMC, December 2017.
The Community Room (its common name) is used today to host a weekly Queer NA meeting.

I didn’t realize how deep that anger was until I heard another addict talk about how angry he was at God for something in his life. That’s when I realized that I had been keeping score. And in my newly appointed position as The Right Reverend Lord C. August Peacock III, I felt like I had earned the right to be Divine.

Are we Divine?

In one sense, I’m right. I am Divine. As are you, As was Jesus. As was Buddha. As were all the great prophets and teachers and guides. That’s the Truth that I’ve come to believe in my journey of life. I am even working on a little ditty that tells that story!

I have decided to abandon Jesus.

He’s just a prophet like all the others.

His book’s just stories for livin’ life right

No turning back, no turning back.

Sung with Ukulele to the tune of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

It’s all about CONTROL!

But in accepting my Divinity, I also took back Control.

If I can change my thoughts, which change my feelings and emotions, then by God, I must be in Control. I believed for a moment that if I was good enough, kind enough, loving enough – that I could control the Outcomes! I could fix the past and stop hurting. I could fix the future and stop the anxiety.

And then I heard another addict share about Letting Go, and Letting God.

Pin drop.

At the end of the day, all of these things are true.

I am Divine.

I can change my emotions by more carefully changing my thought patterns.

And yet, as the story goes, I am NOT in control.

Now we can debate about the existence of God, of the Son of God and even the Blessed Mary, Mother of God.

Or we can accept our Divine Humanity, and accept that while we are wonderfully rich and complex human beings with souls, we are NOT in control of anything other than our thoughts, actions and beliefs.

And in that acceptance, comes great Peace. Or as they say, Serenity.


So just for today, God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

These little things matter.

These little things work.

These expressions are mantras.

Does God exist?

Yes, Virginia. God does exist. And yes, there is a Santa Claus. But that’s a different story for a different day.

Who is God? What is God?

GOD. Good Orderly Direction

GOD. The Doorknob.

GOD. The Universe

GOD. Energy

GOD. The Golden Rule

GOD. The Golden Ratio

GOD. You and Me and Jesus.

GOD. Love

GOD. Take your pick. Whatever works for you. But pick something!

Your peace depends on it.

And for God’s sake, give Her back the wheel! She knows what She’s doing.

Thanks for listening.

Keep tellin’ the story.

Signed ever faithfully,

The Right Reverend Lord C. August Peacock III