Still on my mission of painting a mandala in a new place every day, I landed at Pinedale Arts & Crafts.
When I previously visited, I saw some coffee mugs that were ready to paint in the store, and idea popped into my mind; paint a mandala mug.
With Christmas right around the corner (scary!), I have seen several people bring this idea to life and sell them on Pinterest and Instagram. Why not me too?
After getting off from work early out in the oil field, I eagerly headed for Pinedale Arts & Crafts, excited to do something a little different than my norm. The lovely shopkeeper explained to me how it all works (because I am a complete noob to anything pottery related) and I picked out a mug the shape of something that I would enjoy a sip of tea from.
As I settled in with glazes the colors of Chirstmas, I began to paint my mandala mug. Just 10 minutes into my peaceful, blissful time, I received a text message from my ex-roommate.
We had only lived together for nearly a month before I accused her of eating my food and stealing my stuff. She said she didn’t appreciate me calling her a thief, and since she didn’t allow me to sign my name on the lease, she kicked me out. (I realize that my email, where I told a 60 year old woman, “I feel like I am living with a toddler and I need to keep things hidden and locked up…” could have been nicer, but I was very upset and felt very violated at the time I wrote it.)
By they way, creating these mandalas has definitely helped with my anger management problems.
Moving in together definitely complicated things. Last winter she had commissioned me to illustrate a children’s book for her, and I gladly accepted because it seemed like an exciting opportunity for me as an artist, plus I loved the subject matter: cowboys.
She had given me a large deposit down and I went to work. Since I had never done anything like this before, and neither had she, we spent a lot of our time revising and editing the wording in the book. Creating clear concepts, and researching similar books to gain a grasp of understanding for our targeted age-appropriate audience.
Once we felt confident in the writing, I started collecting reference photos and drafting ideas that would reflect the story on each page. I continued to correspond with her and bounce ideas back and forth. Then I began experimenting with different mediums and techniques to see which would be the most efficient for me to work in and would be child friendly on the pages. Totally just over 30 hours worth of work.
Soon came Spring and Summer, and life happened. I moved from Jackson, WY to Cody, WY. I picked up my horse for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ft. Worth, TX and began taming and training. Soon after, I moved from Cody, WY to Pinedale, WY. Then I cracked a couple of my ribs and tore a few muscles in my back, encountering the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. Even three months later, I still have three more months before a before a full recovery is a possibility.
I was in so much pain, I couldn’t breathe, let alone pick up a paint brush. By the time Kristen had asked me to move in with her, I had only painted once in the two months since my wreck. She said she would pay my half of the rental deposit as an addition to what she had previously paid to keep me working on the illustrations for her book, and I agreed. So ultimately, when we were living together, I owed her more hours.
Well, when she kicked me out, she only gave me two days to move everything out, and kept the deposit. During that same time the Roosevelt Fire which was in our back yard, had grown to the #1 wildfire concern in the nation. Just miles away from cutting off the escape route for mine, and my significant other’s horses that were at Darwin Ranch up in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. Concerned about the growing fire, Oliver and I decided to evacuate our 16 horses to safety. By the time we had gotten them out, I only had one day left to move.
During that time, I hadn’t calculated to see where I was at in my hours and what was left of the original deposit on the illustration work. She said that I had owed her and was still retaining a balance. I was in a rush and my mind frazzled about everything that was taking place in such a short period of time, so I left behind a painting, hoping to smooth things over and as a peace offering. Also hoping that I could forget her and just move on with my life.
Now, this woman who stole from me and kicked me out of my home, is threatening to take me to court. Yesterday, in a calmer time, and with no threat of evacuation, I sat down, and looked at my time records and the work that I had accomplished. And guess what? I had exceeded her original deposit.
Here I was, giving her a painting that is worth more than her original deposit, and it turns out that she owes me money. I am more than happy to go to court and present my work and documentation to a judge because I am not in the wrong here.
Yesterday, when I received her text, I originally felt hurt. Then I felt anger. So much anger. And it was all targeted towards myself. I was even shaking so bad from my anger that I messed up several times on my mandala mug; turning dots into lines and running into other dots.
So many people had told me that she was poison, and I had tried to see the good in her and help her. I should have listened to my good friends and wise peers.
After coming to terms with my emotions, I am again looking forward to finishing the mandala that I started yesterday. Because now I need to heal from the pain of this experience, and creating mandala artwork is the best healing therapy around. It allows me to take my pain, anger, and frustration and turn it into something beautiful.
I am grateful for:
All of you who read this, thank you for allowing me to rant and heal
Oliver, for showing me your genuine love in the moments when I need it most
Mae, owner of Pinedale Arts & Crafts, you provide more than just art supplies
My horses, they always know how to bring a smile to my face, no matter the circumstances
My understanding and patient clients, for sticking with me through this long healing process and allowing me to slowly catch back up with life
What is something that you do to heal? How do you handle you emotions of anger? I would love to hear what you have to say. Please shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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