Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well…

January. And what a tedious month was January. It felt like we were living the same day every day like in the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. At first I thought this feeling was coming off of the holidays and the usual doldrums that accompany packing up decorations, uncluttering and reorganizing. Or perhaps it was weather: cold and dreary. Or the continued political drama and the Pandemic. Then I came to realize that it was all the above and I wasn’t alone.

So if it weren’t for Valentine’s Day, I would have curled up in a blanket left undisturbed until Spring, regardless what the groundhog said.

A little rusty, I headed into my studio and warmed up with doodles, sketches and watercolors with the quiet question, “what will you create for your Valentine’s Day card? Soon, the doodling became an obsession. I was getting stressed that I wouldn’t land on something in time to get cards out to my friends and family.

Obsessing Over A Valentine Image

And in case you wonder, obsession and stress demotivate the creative process.

Realizing this, I pushed aside my tendencies and relaxed into one image that floated to the top of the pile and ignited my usual glee and Valentine silliness. And what was born was a Valentine Fairy (named by a patron).

I wanted more for her. I wanted to embellish. I used metallic pinks – homemade watercolor paints from London – a Christmas gift from my son’s girlfriend. Because Tulle was so much fun to work with for my Butterfly series, I attached pink sparkly Tulle to her skirt. (I have so much glitter throughout the house from this exercise.)

And finally, I created and added handmade hearts.

She is so sweet. She makes February, well… not January. As I finished writing each personalized note to a friend or family member, my spirits were lifting. I was no longer obsessed but rather fulfilled and feeling pretty peaceful.

Bill Murray’s character, “Phil”, in Groundhog Day had a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you the rest of your life. He did however move from this dark and despairing character to one who seized each day to learn new things, give back and build relationships. If everyday were Groundhog Day, we get to learn from our mistakes and be better the next day. So how can we all take advantage of each day to keep our spirits lifted?

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Published by Helena

After a diverse career in Corporate America, I am freeing myself of a ton of ego traps; chief among them is "perfectionism." Watercolor, when left to its own devices and imperfections seems to create something more beautiful than intended. I am still a student and love the learning journey. Sharing that with friends and family in the form of greeting cards, has been a surprise filled with joy.

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