365 days


we are what we repeatedly do. excellence, then, is not an act but a habit

i've done it, folks.  one year ago, i set a goal, a lofty one at that, and today i reached it. sure, i've flubbed a few times, complained a lot, blurred the requisites, moaned and groaned, but in the end, i pretty much stuck to it, made it work: one painting a day, for one year.  it's not a new idea; i know it's been done before.  but as a result of this project, a revolution happened inside of me.  i showed myself what i am capable of.  i healed many old wounds.  i found my voice.  "practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know" said rembrandt.  through this journey of daily practice, i have learned some of the most valuable lessons life has to offer, lessons in self-discipline, motivation, communication, self-expression, creativity, humility, grief, healing, community, progress, persistence, accomplishment, and ambition.  today, one year later, i am a better version of me, and for that, i am so completely grateful.

looking back over this year, oh how it flew by... i realize: it took this magnitude of project to dig me out  from the sooty black ashes of my own grief over losing my mother.  today, looking back, i'm happier than i've ever been, and this project is to thank.  my daily practice brought me back...back to my mother, and back to life... to the legacy of a life lived through art, a life that endures, a life that extends far beyond our own mortal boundaries.

i have a lot of people to thank.  i'd like to thank my husband james, who has been a shining star throughout: his patience with my mood swings, his gentle encouragements holding me accountable, his pride in me that keeps me striving to be better, and his valiant rescue efforts whenever i'd fall.   i couldn't have done it without him.  and i'd like to thank you, my readers, my friends, my family, all of you out there: for your interest and support and love and investment in me.  because it takes a village....if people didn't care life wouldn't be worth living, art wouldn't be worth making.  but most of all, i have my mother to thank.  she's the one that badgered me to start it in the first place, years ago, you should do that jessie she said one day when we were sitting on the couch together snuggled under a blanket, looking through someone else's one-a-day on a little laptop screen.  because sometimes, it takes a push start to get the motor running.  and inspiration doesn't come out of thin air; it's the tree that grows tall and broad to shade us on a hot day, the flowers that bloom to feed the bees and produce fruit, its the fruit that feeds us, then falls to the ground to rot, the fruit that bears seed from which new life is born.  and creativity, it's the water of life, the ice that melts from the snow capped mountains, flows to the river that is breeding ground for the fishes, the river that winds through, finding the low spots, to feed the fields and water the coyotes, the water that flows to sea to become home for us all.  these are the things we must not keep for ourselves.  these are the things we must nurture, and share.  these are the things that keep us alive and well.  inspiration and creativity, our lifeblood, our sustenance.

you might wonder what's next for me.  as i've mentioned before, i have a long list.  it's a looooong list.  i plan to keep this blog going with regular posts on my creative endeavors...so as to keep me accountable.  and so we don't lose touch with one another.  it's a long road behind me.  it's a long road ahead.

thanks for everything.  i love you, i really do.


  1. I am so effing proud of you, Jessica. you boggle and inspire every time I turn my head.

  2. Good Job Jessie....you know mom is proud!

  3. Beautiful in all ways, and the cats look awesome!! Congratulations, you are an awe-inspiring lady.

  4. Great work Jessica, I'm proud to know you and inspired to do something awesome and challenging that I've been putting off! Salud!!!- Jordan Rain

  5. wow! that is something to cross of the "to do" list. i came in mid-year, but i have truly enjoyed your paintings & posts. well done! i talk about you & your blog often, and i have found it very inspiring. thank you.

  6. well, lady, it's been a great year. thanks so much for sharing so much with us, and for getting me in touch with how I feel about something that I didn't have words for before you said it. cheers.