I am thrilled to have my painting “All THe Pretty Girls” selected for inclusion in the AFCA Medal Show. with the Federation of Canadian Artists.
I’ve finally settled on my guiding word for 2017.
Pay particular attention to and concentrate.
I will be focusing in particular on a few things in my art business.
- Developing my online workshops
- Making better art
- Teaching lots of people both in my studio, as a guest instructor and online
- Getting more gallery representation
- Increasing my marketing efforts – more videos and blog posts in particular
That is the art business plan.
Now for my harp business.
- Continue teaching my 5 students
- Work on developing new repertoire
- Plan a harp concert
- Start a harp ensemble
- Play for more weddings
In my Interior Design Business
- Upgrading my computer drafting skills
- Niche market to seniors overwhelmed with renos and downsizing
In my personal life I have some things to focus on too.
- Plan more days off and mini getaways
- Finish some nagging projects
- Planning home improvement renos
- Spend more time in the garden?
- Spend more time in the sauna
My next step is to make a visual reminder of it.
Have you picked your word for ?
Would you like to make it into a visual reminder?
I have a workshop coming up just for that.
You can find out about it here.
I always find this time of year to be one of reflection. To look back over the past year and review what worked, what didn’t, what I want to do less of, what I want to do more of, how I stacked up to my goals and the list of questions goes on!
Take some time to answer these questions:
- What are 3 things you will stop doing? Do you have commitments you are resentful of? Do you have habits that are not serving you? Are there time wasters that are keeping you from doing what you love.
- What are 3 things you will start doing? How will you stretch out of your comfort zone? What new practices will you implement?
- What are 3 things you will continue doing? What is working well and you want to keep doing?
In order to move forward it is necessary to look back.
In order to move forward we need to analyze, question and tweak.
If we are in business as an artist (or otherwise) we need to take a step back and look from the outside in.
We need to work on our business not in our business. The last week of the year is my planning time. Where I look at the big picture! Where I map out the year.
This isn’t written in stone but is a guideline. The plan gets tweaked many times along the way.
The most important thing is to have a plan. Without a plan closer to our dreams or goals.
Taking action on our plan is the next step.
While preparing for my recent abstract landscape workshops I decided to do a bunch of small paintings on paper to show my students various techniques and compositional styles. I really discovered the benefits of painting several studies in succession.
- Safe – not a big commitment
- It allows us to explore composition
- The freedom to try new and different colour palettes
- Try different techniques and tools
- Improves painting skills by working quickly
- Can be done when we don’t have a lot of time to paint
- Ideas for future paintings
- Discovering new techniques
Here is a sampling of some of them.
This is a painting I did with cold wax and oil paint. For some reason the words “If life is a game Play Big” came up. It got me thinking about what play big means.
Play Big is going to mean something different for everyone. The next step of your journey, something you are facing that is fearful, a big dream you want to take.
For me playing big means getting my art work and my music out there more.
It also means inspiring and helping other people to aspire to their dreams. That could come through teaching harp or art, decorating houses or coaching people to find their big.
When you do decide on what your big is it is amazing how stuff starts to show up and opportunities align with your “big”
So, where are you playing big right now?
If you are not playing big what is holding you back?
If you feel stuck with your creativity and want to break through the barriers book a free thirty minute Empowerment Call. You will be able to ask questions about the process about coaching and about what to expect if we work together. The goal of this call is to see if we are a good coach/client match, and whether or not you might want to work with me to break through the barriers and “Play Big”
If we decide that we are not a good fit, no harm done – we will both have learned something in the process.
Click here to request your free call.
This week I had the opportunity to give a one on one mentoring session. It is a very efficient way to learn. In a one on one session you get undivided attention. For some people it is a preferred method of learning rather than in a classroom setting. This was the case for G. (who wants to remain anonymous).
We spent three and a half hours together and he went home with a painting ready to hang.
He had an idea of what he wanted to do and needed help achieving it.
Here was the process.
Fist he blocked in some colour using a catalyst straight edge blade. Raw umber, yellow oxide, nickle azo and red iron oxide.
Blow drying speeds up the process-even though acrylic dries fast G did not want to watch paint dry!
Next he added some umber to the foreground to tie it to unify it more with the top and give it a more rock like feel. Notice he is holding his brush at the end so he does not have so much control. This makes for more interesting lines.
He got ahead of my picture taking! He added another mountain shape in the background. For the tree he used a veil coat of watered down titanium white. This was misted with water so it would leave some texture and bring some of the umber to the top. The last step was to glaze over it with Nickle Azo gold. I love how the tree looks back lit. It makes it the focal point. The edges where finished with raw umber before putting hanging hardware on the back.
G. went home with a painting he created ready to hang in his new home.
Do you want to fast track your learning?
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned painter I am available to help you. Contact me to discuss the possibilities!
I just spent two days at the TOSH10 Gallery in The Old School House In Qualicum Beach. It is my commitment to being in a co-operative gallery. I treat my shift as a self imposed residency. If I go with a strong focus I find I can get a lot of work done. So for the past two days I worked on Abstract Landscape paintings – just small studies.
I started by making several thumbnail sketches of a variety of composition styles – high horizon, low horizon, framed, path, aerial view etc.
I then started working on several paintings – 11 to be exact! I used scrapers and palette knife as well as some brush work.
There is great value in working on several paintings at one time- you never get caught up on any thing becoming to precious and you have no down time waiting for things to dry.
Most of them are not finished but close.
Here is where I got to so far. I will post them as I complete them – always the hardest part!
I have been thinking a lot about what it means to me and how I am going to achieve it.
I have used two tools to help me
– writing down all of my thoughts at the end of the day to discover what I enjoyed and what I didn’t enjoy/
Life Balance Wheel:
A tool I use with my coaching clients to help people visually scale areas in their life.
What I have discovered so far
I feel out of balance when
- I work too much – and yes this means paint too!
- I haven’t had meaningful conversations with anyone other than my husband
- When I have not spent enough time making music
- When I have enjoyed live performance in a while
- When my house is out of order
- When I feel rushed and pressured
- When I don’t take time to meditate
- When I spend too much time on the computer
- When I don’t spend time in nature
- When I don’g create
I have never embraced a 9.00 to 5.00 working philosophy so that is not going to happen now. I have never known the difference between a weekday and a weekend. I have been self employed for over 30 years. I work ANYTIME. Sometimes I work ALL THE TIME!
I for the most part have always loved my work. It does not seem like work. It is hard to stop.
For me it requires great discipline not to work! It really is just a lifestyle for me but I know it is not healthy.
So what to do!
Five Things I am Implementing
- Get out into nature once a week or more. ( A walk in the neighbourhood does not count!)
- Balance my Chakras daily
- Connect with a friend for a conversation every week
- Schedule time to play music – by myself or with others
- Enjoy an evening sauna to relax and catch up on reading or journaling
What do you do to stay in balance? Is it something you struggle with or could use some help with. I am offering a complimentary thirty minute coaching call to help you find your BALANCE.
Skype, google hangout, phone or in person. Just contact me to set up a time.
Cheers – here is to a balanced week ahead!
This is the second painting of 2016. A remnant from a class demo on landscape painting that took a few twists and turns today.
I find myself doing a lot of reflecting at this time of year and this painting takes me back to my roots.
Growing up on a farm on the prairies seemed like a simpler time. A time with less stimuli and more time to ponder. Long snowy days and days filled with sunshine.
A time when neighbours dropped by and had time for a visit.
Simpler in terms of stuff! We lived simple – a small house only 400 sq. feet with 2 bedrooms in the eaves. By today’s standards that would be crowded for 6 people. It was the way it was, we did not know any different. I have already experienced the small house movement that is becoming all the rage.
The larger house in this photo belonged to my grandfather. When I was around 14 we built a new house. I got my own bedroom!
We lived outside a lot. We did not have many toys but invented toys and games. I learned to skate at the neighbours house on the outdoor rink using skates two sizes too big stuffed with tissue.
In grade one I went to the one room school a mile away and we walked to and from most days. It had to be extremely cold to get a ride.
I learned to play softball in grade one on a mixed team, There where only 16 of us in the school up to grade eight.
I drooled over the art of a grade four boy.
Although I can never go back could I just recreate some of that simpler living in our now complex world? I think that lines up with my guiding word for 2016 -BALANCE
Slow down, take time to ponder and reflect.
What are you pondering?
Leave a comment – I would love to hear your thoughts.
Every year I select one word as a focus word to guide me through the year. I have decided on “BALANCE” as my word for 2016.
Balance is having the right amount — not too much or too little — of any quality, which leads to harmony or evenness.
In 2015 I found I was out of balance and spent too much time in my art business. It is hard not to when you love what you do! My studio is like a magnet. But at the same time I felt that I did not stay fresh and I felt burnt out at times.
What does that mean for 2016?
It means I am going to reduce the hours I spend on art and art related work.
I am going to spend more time in nature. Walking, canoeing, and camping. This is where I connect with my inner self and become refreshed and renewed.
In turn this leads to better work.
I am going to spend more time on music – both making it myself and listening to it live. This is another activity that feeds my soul.
I am going to spend time doing projects that have been put on hold. Unfinished projects take lots of energy!
I am going to explore some new activities – like belly fit, zumba and Qi Gong.
I am going to meditate more.
I am going to connect with friends more regularly. Being an artist is an insular life and it is easy to spend too much time in your own thoughts!
How am I going to do this?
I am going to rely on a schedule. I know that sounds linear for a creative person but it is the only way I will be able to replace some of my studio time an achieve my goal of balance.
What is your guiding word for 2016?