Actors need to draw from a wide range of feelings to bring a character to life. They have to know how to access these feelings even if they want the character to repress them as a choice point. Still, those feelings must lurk beneath the mask the character is wearing. The same is true for human actors living and painting their own life. What is your emotional palette? What is allowed and what is forbidden?

Is your palette expansive or limited? Do you categorize good feelings from bad feelings, negative ones from positive ones?

And what happens to those feelings which are just organically human when you do disown them? My sense is that they always find their way out sooner or later in one form or another. When we press them down, they will gain momentum and take us over or they will be projected onto other people to be held for us.

Picasso had a blue period where he basically painted in blues and greens for four years. And then he moved on. His portfolio was also full of colors. And he had periods of using only black and white, allowing form and structure to dominate his work. He explored all these possibilities, and his creative expression changed as he changed.

How do you want to paint your life?

How do your preferences hold you hostage and impact the depth of your human experience?

Today is the anniversary of my mom’s passing. Phyllis, (we called her Leelee) lived a vibrant life- full of colorful emotions and she was loved by all. She lived exuberantly, fiercely. Yes she was angry, and hilarious and sexy and loving. The only feelings she had a difficult time with were vulnerability or the shame around trying to apologize, though we all could see what she was trying to hide. And we could call her on it and she would laugh in admission. Mom, thank you for living full out and allowing me to do the same. You are in me forever.