Tools & Talismans #16 Liz Lamoreux

This whole painting felt like its own meditation — from the symbols on the tingshas to the grain in the wooden heart. I've been learning that stillness and motion are of equal parts important when working with these watercolors — move too quickly and there's mud, move too slowly and the pigment dries — and if I move just so, with the flow of the paint and the movement of my thoughts and gently ask that critical voice inside my head to shush for now, then the action of painting becomes a meditation too.

These tools and talismans represent my inner and outer daily world. Looking at them is to look at my reflection in a way. I ring the tingshas to begin my own meditation practice and to gather women together at my retreats. The sound grounds me as it connects me to my teacher and those who came before me while inviting me into the present moment. And as I use them at my retreats and gatherings, I feel like they're also infused with so much love and connection.

The shell has moved with me from my favorite childhood home to a shelf in my first apartment and now sits on my studio altar. A family friend gave it to me when I was very young. In that moment when he handed it to me, I felt so seen. The sea glass connects me to the sea and moments with my daughter. The pliers bend wire into jewelry that women will wear to remind themselves that they are enough, that they are finding their way, that they have a story worth sharing.

The hearts remind me that I can choose love (even when it feels impossible). The word "whole" has become a mantra I hold very close. And I wear the well-loved mala beads daily; they connect me to my practice and remind me to breathe in the midst that all the day brings. In other words, when I get swept up in the crazy, beautiful, hard, awesome stuff of life, these are the pieces that bring me back to me.

Liz Lamoreux • Writer. Guide. Ambassador of Worthiness.

Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

I create commissioned illustrations for people just like you - contact me and we can talk about what you need.