Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 recollections / 2017 resolutions

Recollections from 2016:
I would say 2016 was a very creative year.  The beginning of the year, I spent a lot of time in the studio creating using oil pastels and acrylic paint.  I ended up liking a few pieces but mainly felt rusty and had many days full of frustration and tears.  It happens.  Hoping to find happy days when I start painting again in January. 

My year almost always consists of painting and baking during the winter months, and then as soon as it warms up, I'm outside with camera in hand or in my backyard gardening.

This past year, I thrifted a lot.  I guess if you've followed me anytime at all, that's a given;). I'm still having fun photographing food, using vintage kitchen accessories.  I happily added a few photos to this collection;)

I've overcome a lot of fears in 2016.  Fears that used to stay in the back of my mind, but as I get older, they have started rearing their ugly heads, and quite often.  The last few years, I had taken a break from my creative life, other than just occasionally posting on Instagram.  I was doing my best to wrap my head around living with interstitial cystitis, trying to focus on being as well as possible.  As I started easing back into my creative life, I noticed that putting myself out there as an artist was super uncomfortable, something that I had never struggled with much before.  Should I post this photograph?  Is this painting good enough to show others?  What if no one likes it?  Am I too old to start this?  What do I have to offer, anyway?  I'm not good enough.  On and on and on!  Social media is a great tool to connect with others, but it can also shred any ounce of security you have as an artist.  I tend to compare myself to others in the creative world, something I know I shouldn't do.  I eventually got to a point where I just started posting those pics anyway and tried not to worry if people liked it or not.  You gotta start somewhere.  So, I did!  And, much to my surprise, people were very encouraging and supportive of my work.  I guess it's kind of funny that this art educator, who thrives on encouraging others to create, was afraid of creating because of silly, nagging, all-consuming, inescapable fears.

I think, too, I'm in a place as a mom where my kids are now very independent, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my free time.  Being a full time mom for 18+ years and then all of a sudden not carpooling everyday or making meals in the kitchen constantly is unfamiliar territory!  So, I guess I'm trying to find myself again, a new identity other than a full time mama. I've filled those extra hours this year by painting, cooking, gardening, and lots of photography.  Even though I had done art shows in the past, it felt like a huge leap of faith for me to participate in the Breezeway art show in November.  I also participated in that fun pop up shop at Sweet Pea in December.  Had a blast on both occasions! Another biggie for me was making this blog public again.  I've had this little space for 8 years but the last few years I kept it private (enter fear again, and all those what if questions). This year, I also opened an online photography shop.  Cheers to just doing what you love and putting yourself out there!  If you are thinking about starting something, take it from me and just do it.  I have huge regrets of staying quiet and not sharing my work these past few years.  Here's to hoping that is finally changing.  One of my favorite quotes that I keep one my desk is the following by John C Maxwell:
"The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one."
That sums up my life the last few years.  Completely.

Things I want to accomplish in 2017:
I want to paint a lot more and sell some of my art again.  Trying to figure out the best way to do this.  Pretty sure I'll participate in another local show.  I'd also love to have a sale in my home studio.
I want to continue taking photographs and keep adding new pics to my shop.
I have never been really good at meal planning but I want to plan meals and post pics for you.  Hopefully you'll join along with me.  I'd love your ideas and encouragement.
I really want to repaint a few rooms and organize better in my kitchen and studio.
Maybe I will post pics of that, too.
Lastly, I want to try to show myself grace when it comes to living with interstitial cystitis.  This past year was one of my better years physically and I'm so very grateful for that!  I have learned through the years to listen to my body and rest, to eat healthy,  and to say no to things that I just can't do when my body is screaming at me.  I am very thankful for being able to slow down when I need to.  I do know this for sure and I've written about it on this blog before.  If I can make myself get up and try to be creative on those yucky days, I usually feel a little better.  Somehow that pain eases a tiny bit with the process of making things.

That's it!  Here's to a another year of being brave, creating art and new photos, and trying to be the best I can be!  Wishing you all a wonderful and healthy 2017!  Thanks to all of you who have supported me in all my new endeavors this year.  It has been scary, but I'm so grateful for your sweet, encouraging comments and your generosity.  You'll never know how much you mean to me!
Now, I'm off to make a yummy New Year's dinner.  
Love and Hugs!