The above mosaic is just some of the work that I created in 2012, which surprises me that I was able to create as much as I did. When I think of 2012, it all just seems like blur to me. Constant activity in my personal life/home front. As the year went on it became harder for me to get into the studio as I used to be able to. People would ask me, "how do you do it- create art, show, write, etc. plus have two children". And I would say, "oh, well, I just do it when they go to bed. I find a way". Well...about midyear I wasn't able to say that anymore. I did have help this year, which was new. I had a babysitter come once a week so I had a full day of uninterrupted work. I think of the women who have full/part time work plus family and still scramble to find time to paint and I salute them. Well, I salute anyone who makes time for creativity. It's important. But even with the extra help, I was finding it difficult to get everything done that I wanted to get done. My reserves of energy and motivation were runny on empty.
That's how I remember it.
But now, forcing myself to look at the year, I see that my memory is not quite right.
:: Created 38 paintings (!) -I'm still scratching my head on that number. That can't possibly be right.
:: One collaboration project with photographer Angie McMonigal
:: Created 2 artist books
:: Taught 4 workshops
::Participated in 8 group exhibitions
:: one 2-woman show
:: one of the featured artists in Seth Apter's book The Pulse
:: interview with Lesley Riley on Art and Soul blog talk radio
In less quantifiable terms:
:: Still proving to myself that "where there's a will, there's a way"
:: Still moving to painting larger paintings
:: Pushing myself in terms of exploring more of my own abstract language.
:: Continuing to explore the surface
My recap of 2011, sounds much like 2012:
I constantly felt like I was lagging behind or that I was always scrambling to meet deadlines. I put myself in new situations that were at times jarring, but in the end I came through and was grateful for the growth. I have a lot of questions popping up that still needs some answers to. I did a lot of wrestling with my inner critic, but again, it's a struggle that is necessary.
Although there is one difference. The Inner Critic voice is less shrill- I just don't care. ha! No, it's just I don't have time for the second-guessing and the comparing anymore. I just know that I need to make art, that I want to paint, and I could give a hoot what the IC has to say about it.
I also learned that just because I'm not in the studio, the creative process doesn't stop. It happens all day, in the quiet moments, in the chaotic moments of breakfast with two little ones, in the traffic jams, in my sleep. I just have to pay attention. It happens constantly and the key is remembering the ideas and getting to them when I get in the studio.
I also learned that sometimes I need to say "No, I can't". That is always so hard for me. Especially when big opportunities come up and I want so bad to jump in with a "Yes! Not sure how i"m going to do it, but I'll find a way!" but knowing that to do so would be really stressful for me and in turn for my family. My goal is to be professional with all my art dealings and even if an opportunity comes up that is amazing, if I can't complete it in a timely manner to the expectations that I place on myself and my work, then I have to say no. I had to do that a few times this year. I'm no superwoman/supermom. I do the best that I can in both spheres, imperfectly most of the time, but still, I always try to do my best.
Goodbye 2012, it's been tough and rough, but at the same time, good things are opening up. Lots of changes and transitions in 2012, so really wondering what 2013 will be bringing because of those changes.
one of my favorite paintings from this year
Happy New Year! Wishing you all who stop by here a happy, healthy, and inspired 2013! Thank you for being part of my year. Let's see what 2013 will bring to all of us...
me in front of two of my bowl paintings at the Norris exhibit currently on display in St. Charles, IL