In my last blog I hinted about news that has given me new pep for painting, a focus for my folly, excuse for my exuberance. 😉
Quartet Gallery in Lunenburg Nova Scotia has invited me to join them!
This past Easter weekend, Colleen Galloway, Jane Rowberry, Laurel Haslett, Pat McKenzie and I opened the doors of Quartet Gallery for it’s twelfth season! It is a welcoming space filled with the original art of these talented women who paint their vision of the world around them with passion.
If you are in the Lunenburg area I invite you to stop in for a visit. You can find our current hours and links to the artists’ websites by going to http://www.quartetgallery.com
I look forward to the journey that will unfold with this new community of artists!
I’ve been absent. Wanting to write, paint, create. The longer I stay away…, the harder it gets…. Do I really have something worthwhile to contribute? Does the world (or my house) really need another blog, painting, or clay pot? Can I make space in my day? My head comes up with a plethora of reasons that keep me from exploring my creative side. You know the list! And yet, my heart isn’t quite ready to let go. The creative urges are part of my core, and thankfully they don’t give up easily.
One of the pieces of advice that I’ve been hearing often lately is to “Just Do It! The hardest thing is getting started, so try not to over think it. Get to your workspace and put pen to paper, brush to paint, hands in clay and Play! Take it in small bits, don’t be concerned about the finished product, or creating a master piece, but take delight in the process. Give yourself permission to have a little time to play.”
Of course this is easier said than done, but this last year I have realized it IS becoming easier for me. The urge to create has been winning over the negative voices in my head more often, and I am showing up more regularly. It’s still hard to let go of the outcome, but I have made progress here too, and I think that is making is easier to stick to it. I also have a few cheerleaders to encourage me along the way which helps immensely. I have a few tangible goals that are giving me a sense of purpose… also very helpful.
The pics at the top of the page are examples of the process that helped me to get my brush back into the paint. I gifted myself 15 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning (after letting the dogs out) to PLAY with paint on a 12″ X 12″ canvas. Stream of conscious scribbles with no plan! I painted over the previous days effort each day, which helped me to learn not be too concerned about the outcome. (I did take a pic so I can look back at my progress.) This was my time to Play. It worked! I started to look forward to my painting time again! Now I am painting at least 3 hours most days.
This is my first attempt at writing in long time. Here again, I am trying to just “Do It” and not worry if I have passed on some beautiful prose or words of wisdom. I’m just telling my story and giving myself permission to play!
This weekend we change our clocks to Daylight Savings Time! Many are anxious to embrace this change in time as a sign that spring is soon and finally around the corner. We hopefully, even desperately look to spring for a reprise from the cold and stormy winter. We are eager to experience the sensory overload that spring ushers in. The warming earth, the smell of spring rain and the first flowers, bursts of colour in every hue, the bluster of breezes through the opening leaves, and the delight in the taste of fresh maple syrup or the first lettuce from the garden. Our spirits blossom with renewed energy, and we are quick to shed winters barren landscape.
Oddly, I am happy to hold on to my snowy blanket just a little longer. In a strange way I have enjoyed the storms this winter that have kept us safely burrowed in our homes waiting for the roads to be safe to travel again. We have been forced into a slower pace that allows us the opportunity to take a deep breath, catch up on sleep, focus on ourselves and family, or reflect a bit more. It can be an unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable place, but if we linger long enough it can be a time of great healing and renewal.
Spring will be here soon enough with its quickened pace and urgency to soak in all the pleasures of this short, transitional season. I encourage you to join me in relishing a little longer this slower time of hibernation. Take stock, prepare and cleanse your soul, pamper your spirit and indulge just a little longer in this reflective, introspective time. We’ll be squeezing in spring cleaning, soccer practice, planting, and hiking in the glorious spring forest soon enough.
I love the saying, it takes a village to raise a child, but I am growing into the realization that this rings true for artists as well. We all can rhyme off the names of those who have encouraged, mentored, challenged and supported us along the way.
I am currently working on a body of work for a show in September that is stretching me into the unfamiliar. I am needing to rely heavily on my village/community to see me to the finish line. I have been tapping into the accumulated wisdom of past teachers, and seeking out ideas from colleagues to learn about new materials and solve problems. The work and experience of other artists challenge me to strive higher and deeper. I often ring up or e-mail family and friends that are eager to cheer me on when I get frustrated with the failure of a process, feel a lack of confidence, or am obsessing about a looming deadline.
For this show I have also received a grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. This will assist with the expense of materials, and also expands my experience of community. This is another layer of support that affirms me in my artistic vocation and helps me to focus on the creative process.
For all the ways in which these varied communities support me, I am very grateful!