Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thoughts On Balance

Pears, 2009.
My resolution for 2011 can be summed up in one big seemingly unattainable word: BALANCE. This comes after a few years of truly realizing what balance isn't: running and scrambling from project to project and trying to eek out every bit of work I could out of myself, leaving relaxation for another day which seemingly never comes.

As a teen, drawing in sketchbooks and riding horses, I knew that I would one day live in the country, gardening every morning and painting in the afternoons. Carebears would my muse (just kidding). As an adult, art is still a very big part of my life. Unable to take on the role of "starving" artist (though much respect for those who refuse to compromise their dream), I found a job and am currently an evening artist.

While I would absolutely love to be a full-time artist, living in the country with a large studio with (YAY) natural light, I'm pretty content where I am. I have the best family in the world, am able to do my part in supporting them and have a job that allows me to be pretty creative. I thank God daily for the blessings in my life. At the same time I feel that I need to continue to improve my technical abilities and life balance.

My solution: baby steps. First off, let's go bottom to top.

Lately I've been reflecting on the impact of food as fuel for my creative process. I'm not talking about the impact of food as subject matter, but actually making healthier and more meaningful choices about what I eat and where it comes from.

The more I read and learn about food the more I realize that this integral part of our health and being has a large impact on our outlook and the way we feel as a whole. Reasonably, we can assume that our creativity would pull from this spring. I've never felt "tortured". I have, however, felt the strain of trying to paint whilst completely and mentally drained. It doesn't happen.

I've been reading a bit and watching a bit and the correlation I've started to notice in my own process has me encouraged to try to create more balance in my life, starting with something as simple as a garden. I'm not going to list summarily what I've learned past the point of saying we are starting a garden, farmer's market-ing what I can't grow and a compost bin, things I should have done a long time ago (I try to do a garden every year but my lack of focus usually ends up with it withering and dying). I've been reading "In Defense of Food" and watching some good documentaries that bring forth some interesting ideas. For more on Michael Pollan and his book, check this out.

As an artist I'm working to get a good system in place for my work. More on that later...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Spin On Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Etsy recently set up the ability to use coupon codes in our shops, and I thought I'd put this to good use by setting one up for my readers!

Use coupon code BLGRDR2010 at checkout to receive 10% off your order. Offer expires Dec 31st 2010, or as close whereabouts I get online to close the code after that point.

So many talented etsians have been working to make shopping this season truly one of a kind, and I wanted to do my part. So go ahead, check it out...

Blip of An Update

The last few months have been hectic to say the least. I have moved my studio not once, but twice, deciding pretty quickly that the space in my basement would not do at all, no matter how many natural look lights I installed. I am now unpacking on the 2nd floor of my house (poor hubby), after repainting the room from it’s previous very yellow yellow (I like bright colors in real life, too) to a neutral off-white, so as to reflect the light coming in from the window.

One day I would love to have a studio to catch the morning light that has room for all my art supplies. For now I am instead putting energy into maximizing the space I have in this 10′ x 13′ room. I’ve put a metroshelving unit into the closet to hold supplies & blank canvas, I’ve carefully laid down rugs over the carpet to help me from ruining the carpet underneath, and have started packing away my unsold work (someone is going to get a deal). There isn’t room for much storage and it wouldn’t be good to have it too cramped, I get to feeling cramped myself.

I have two projects that have been ongoing for a while, an illustration project and the commission that my readers have been able to watch progress. I’m anxious to get back to work, and hopefully find time to update my online shop as well. Poor neglected online shop. My September grand event was derailed by my hissy fit over dull lighting.

Add into this a full-time job, a college class or two and being a mom and it equals one busy artist. I thought about setting my art aside for a while but I couldn’t do it… I think it’s the only thing keeping me centered. This momma needs her quiet time and creative outlet and besides, it is who I am.

Arabian ready to go on another journey...

In other news, about the time I realized I had actually forgotten to send a print of Arabian in Color to her new home (frazzled much?) another print sold to Colorado! By now I believe I have this print thing down. Saved the color settings, invested in some great archival quality sleeves and backing board (took a while to track these down) and started signing in the front bottom corner. The prints are a great hit and are fantastic for gifts. Received some wonderful feedback from the buyer as well. Made my week brighter!

At this point things are starting to return to normalcy a bit. I’m still unpacking and am taking advantage of this extended weekend to really dig into things. The website is a bit more streamlined and will continue to improve, and over all things are good. Feeling positive and actually managed to get some quick sketches done this weekend for some new ideas which spurred yet another idea… but more on that later.