A Loose List

Happy New Year! For the first time probably ever, I spent my morning on this new day of the year at the yoga studio, working hard physically and mentally through the powerful practice of ashtanga. Then, I came home and polished off half a tin of delicious homemade pastries with some milk. How's that for balance?

My thoughts around this beginning, like with most people, is to think about what's been, and what to do next. After reading my journal entries over the years, I did ok most times. Sometimes, it was too much wishful thinking. I didn't quite make it. I have decided my goals tend to get too flowery, too lofty. That said, my list making propensity still comes out as I organize my thoughts here, and they will probably come across as too lofty yet again....but I hope you get what I mean. So, here they come as bullet points. Without the bullets.

I am officially opting to not envision a concrete goal, but to simply remain engaged Right Now. To not make excuses, but to be gentler in what I hope to accomplish, with wiggle room for change built in.

Workwise, many of my pieces will get quieter. Smaller. I am not taking on projects that require an obligation of any kind for awhile. I need to feel unencumbered, in order to truly understand where this work is taking me and why I feel so compelled to make it as I do.

The balance to this silent time is teaching out in the world. For the first time, I will be traveling to a few far flung locations to share my process a bit. I am most looking forward to meeting many of you, and sharing our experiences together, as a collective. We artists often work alone, facing our insecurities stoically, hoping at least one person 'out there' can relate to what we do, and even better, to pay for it. It gets edgey, in our minds. Connecting to others in the same boat eases this.

I need to work on not checking out, especially in the studio. I need to be in focused zone. This is the most valuable tool I am learning to use through ashtanga yoga. This yoga practice is so intensive that you simply can't space out. Paying attention to what is working through my breathing, my postures, is the key to remaining steady, and moving safely for 90 minutes. (yes, one can get hurt practicing yoga mindlessly) Having boundaries in art making works the same way. It is humbling, these boundaries. And wholly valuable.

I will try to not trip my own self up with doubts and insecurities. It happens so often, especially as I travel this newish road of losing some realism, which has been my default mode for so many years. Every piece I've ever made has felt (and looked) like crap at one point. It's ok, it's just paint on canvas. It will change, or I will start again.

I will only paint what interests me in the manner that intrigues me. Period.

I will leave my worries at the door, of my car, before I am even close to the studio door.

I will accept my limitations and know there is always room for something different, something bigger, than my mind can ever picture in paint. I will give myself time to get there.

I will rest. A lot more often.

I will let all this lead the way. And if it doesn't, I will try again, for as long as it needs to take.

May your 2015 be filled with fresh starts and endless inspiration to keep going. Cheers!