I officially ended my Advent Art on Solstice. During the holidays, I wanted to take a few days off of creating, but I have kept on selecting Advent words each day. When I picked the word Re-Member on Solstice, it felt like the perfect transitional time. Remembering what this year held for me creatively and letting that chapter come to a close. Knowing how it has prepared me for my next. Solstice always feels like the pause before turning to face a fresh new direction.
I really enjoyed creating Advent Art, especially playing with watercolors. I received a really nice set of gouache paints for Christmas, and want to explore the possibilities.
I'm thrilled that I will get to create art regularly for my Let's Be Artists themed Secret Message Society zines, but since these are limited to certain art mediums, I realized I won't get to intentionally practice painting as much as I'd like. So, I've decided to create a small piece of art every morning, largely inspired by Ann Wood and Keri Smith.
Here are my perimeters:
- 15-ish minutes
- 4.5"x4.5." 80# sulphite paper
- Watermedia including Gouache, Tempra cakes and/or watercolors.
On the day I was cutting paper to size (enough for the month of January) I felt a slight panic.
Who am I kidding? I thought. I don't have time to paint every morning. I have classes to prepare for and teach. I have the morning school routine - helping 4 kids get out the door on time, not to mention me. AND I have some semblance of physical exercise I am committed to in the mornings. Am I really going to try and paint too? And besides, what is the point? What's the use?
It was at that moment I realized I hadn't picked my Advent word for the day, so I paused from my cutting and walked into my bedroom and drew a slip of paper from a bag Deb sewed for me. The word I drew was TRY.
I smiled softly. This is my magic. Words chosen complimenting my exact anxieties that need calmed. Of course I would pull the word TRY.
I am enjoying painting. I want to paint. All I can do is try.
I am enjoying art. I want to be creating. All I can do is try.
I am doing it. I am putting my art into practice. Developing systems to grow within. The zine, the daily painting, it is moving me in the direction I want to be going. It is keeping me moving forward.
10,000 hours starts with 15 minutes. And sure, I hate beginnings, because I hate feeling like someone is already on year 10, and I am just getting started, but I HAVE to start. It feels so good when the brush and pencil are moving across the paper. It feels so good knowing I have art to show for my day. Art for me.
What I've done with words, I too want to do with art. Build a sustainable practice. Develop a discipline. Set goals. See growth. Celebrate milestones. BE ACTIVEly making. It is a perfectly good year to be an artist, wouldn't you agree?
*Let's be artists!