"Among Friends"

Well, everyone, here I go. This is my first blog on my brand new, not-completely-loaded website, and I’m nervous. Excited. A little appalled at what I’m attempting. And unwilling to procrastinate any longer. So here goes:

 

After yet another missed competition deadline, I stepped back a few weeks ago and said, “Hey. What’s going on? What am I doing wrong?” I was unsatisfied with my life because I’d barely been painting, yet I still had marketing/bookkeeping chores out the yingyang, my husband needed more attention, the yard needed more work, the puppy needed surgery, and…. Well, it’s a really long list. The important thing is that I stopped and asked myself what was wrong. It took me a while to figure it out, but I did.

 

Life in uproar for two years has had a negative effect on my art making process. I was so unsettled that I went into Get It Done Overdrive. Everything focused into getting through whatever was going on and getting it over with. All vacations had a specific Get It Done Purpose. In fact, every minute had a GIDP. It made for days, then weeks, then months of long hours, constant work, and a feeling of getting nowhere. Painting became just another thing to be prioritized and done in tightly scheduled bits. So, of course, paintings did not get done. Nor did much of anything else.

 

So I stopped. Everything. My husband and I piled in the car with Piper and went on a much needed Fun Trip to Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. No family visits, no pressurized house-hunting, no moving hysteria, no timelines, no work. Just the two (and a half) of us doing something together that we’ve always wanted to do. A blast was had. Fun facts were learned. We laughed together like loons and got to know each other again.

 

The work was still there when we got back, lots of it. The difference is that the days are not too short anymore. David and I laugh together more, Piper has had his surgery (removal of torn cartilage in one shoulder; he’s healing nicely, for you Piper enthusiasts), the work backlog is being reduced one item at a time, and I Am Painting Again. Thank God.

 

And the moral of the story is: Take time for yourself. Art doesn’t march to the beat of slave drums on one of those old Roman ships. Go on those artist’s dates. Do those Morning Pages (“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron). Visit with old friends. Sit on an evening hillside and watch the sun go down. Your artist self will thank you every day.

 

Hugs and good Christmas shopping wishes,

Kate

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