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...

1 comment:

Betsy Grant said...

Boy, you hit the nail on the head. Balance is very important in life - without which it is hard to stay consistently creative.