Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust

I have been re-reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. These, she says, are the essential ingredients for creativity. Living a creative life is possible-not easy, but possible if:

  • you can find the courage to make art and share it,

  • the enchantment to use your imagination and find child-like wonder in the beauty of your surroundings,

  • the permission you give yourself to not be perfect and to do whatever it takes for you to express your creativity,

  • the persistence to keep going, even when you are facing rejection or feeling less than positive about your art, and

  • the trust in the process and your ability to overcome whatever obstacles you face in your efforts to find that creative life.

It’s a new year and a new decade. My life has totally changed since 2010. As I sit at my computer pondering what to write in this week’s Thursday blog post, I am struck by how fortunate and grateful I am to have the time and resources to finally make art in a place of peace and comfort (a messy place, but that goes with the job, right?) I have some wonderful new opportunities to show my work in local galleries for January and February (more on that soon.) I feel very fortunate to have a supportive community of friends, family and other artists to cheer me on and keep me going.

Still, there are always doubts and it’s hard to find all of these ingredients all the time. It took lots of courage for me to put this website out there. It’s taking persistence to keep going with this blog when I have no idea whether anyone ever sees it (if you write a blog and nobody reads it, does it even exist?) I have given myself permission to relax into the idea that even if nobody ever reads this, it’s my journal that chronicles another phase in my life that is now focused on art as a full-time occupation. I have to trust that everything will come in time if I keep learning, making new connections with other artists, and consistently making the best art I can make. That leaves enchantment. This is the easiest ingredient for me to find. I feel it every time I look out my kitchen window and see a glowing sunrise or watch the light shine in the window of a room at night with a beautiful warm glow, just touching on the edges of the furniture in the room, making everything seem mysterious. I see beauty everywhere I look and feel the wonder of watching children discover the world with so much delight that I can’t help but feel encouraged and enchanted.

This is a time to begin setting goals (notice I didn’t say the “R” word) for the next year. I want to continue improving my art and, as my young friend Sophie painted on a sweet card for me that is still in my studio, “make beautiful things out of dust.”

So my goals are to make more art from life and do more plein air painting to take advantage of the amazing landscape that surrounds us here in our little valley and beyond. I want to continue to learn the secrets of creating light, shadow, color and atmosphere that give me joy and make me take a deep breath and say “Ahh, that’s it!” It’s a rare pleasure to discover when you step away from the canvas that you’ve accomplished whatever feeling you wanted to convey with the addition of a single brush stroke or small shadow tucked somewhere behind a tree or beside a piece of furniture.

And just to keep me honest, I'm going to post photos of what's on my easel each week. Here is this week's little cozy space-2nd of a series (right). I added the first of the series (left) as well. Now to figure out the next cozy space. I may have it right here in my living room!

Thank you for coming along on the ride with me. I can’t wait to see where it goes! Happy New Year!


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