It’s early morning, and with a scalding cup of coffee, I step into my studio.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

I should’ve cleaned up the palette last night. My first thought is fleeting; almost instantaneously I smile at the scattered tools, and my hands itch to get over there in that mess.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

I should hurry up and shoot the studio/office so I can share it on the blog.  Why though? Who says so? It’s not quite finished and I don’t want to rush the process so this room can possibly get featured here or there.

Too many people talking about what to do and where to go. Must listen to myself. The studio will get finished in my own time.

The space is white and bright, with soft white walls and natural oak floors, the only stark moments in the room the black trim surrounding the two windows. There is one single 60×60 canvas I painted on the opposite wall of the doors.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

My dizziness is somewhat better today, although when I sit in the chair for ten plus minutes, it is back and I feel the rocking and swaying begin. I’ve been dealing with it now for over a month. The days are filled with doctor visits and therapy to try to ward off a rather scary surgery.

What if I have to have surgery? How long would I have to walk past this room without picking up a paintbrush or placing my fingers on the keys? It scares me. The thought scares me. What if something breaks? What if they fix my spine but ruin my painting? My writing? 

I look away from the computer and my story.

The answer comes to me.

Then you will find another way. You will write a new way. You will paint a new way. Keep writing.

This decision can’t be made out of fear, but rather the promise of more, better, healthier. I am still afraid.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

So I do what I do.

I open the computer and I write. The music pumps loudly in through my AirPods, and the coffee becomes cold on my desk.

Look at that unicorn. My husband bought me this mug to remind me of all my little girl longings. A logical, science-loving analyst, he buys me unicorns.

I wish I could go back and tell her what all would come to be. How much loss there would be. To brace herself. To tell her to expect wild living and losing and deep pain and endless waves of joy.

I smile and the same thought that follows me around everyday comes back. I would tell her. Build your life on your own. Invite people you trust to speak into it. Don’t stop writing. Don’t overdo social media or PTO’s or anything else that doesn’t serve the waves of joy. Search for your waves, as they come and go. Release them when they fall back into the surf. They will come back.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

I turn the music up in my ears, immersed in my own moment. In this wave of joy. I am here. I glance back over at the messy studio corner. Has the paint dried out? Will I need to start from scratch today?

I already have, as I do everyday.

Studio Scenes | Artist's Studio | Shaunna Parker | Painter & Writer

I look over at the piles, and I know I will paint today. I will paint before this new round of dizziness sets in. Before I turn on my phone and the world tells me I am too busy.

I will listen to myself, I think, as I finish the chapter and close my computer.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

Whatever comes, whatever goes, those things I know to be true.