Stretch – Evolve – Rest, My words for 2015

20150130 slim-on-quilt
{Resting is easy for our kitty, Slim}

Every year I try to select a few words that will be my overarching mantra for the year. These “words of the year” help me stay focused on the main values I want to promote, and as always each word has a special meaning to me and all I hope to accomplish in 2015.

Stretch

In that when I am working, I want to spend a lot of my time in unfamiliar territory, I want to stretch my skills through applied deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is a special type of work that is designed for the sole purpose to effectively improve specific aspects of an individual’s performance. This is a concept I learned about last year while reading Cal Newport’s book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. In this book, I came to realize that if I want to grow as an artist, I cannot continue to repeat my painting practices but instead I must become more dedicated to pushing myself and aiming to dedicate more of my time to going outside of my comfort zone.

This is one of the reasons I accepted the Principle Gallery’s invitation to participate in the 2014 FaceOff portrait painting demonstration. In the past, I focused a lot of my art time to figurative and portraiture, but in the past 3+ years I had gotten away from it. Preparing for the FaceOff and then painting alongside Mia Bergeron and Cindy Procious was a BIG step outside my comfort zone. However in looking back at it, it was a wonderful experience and I now feel a lot more comfortable with returning to figurative subjects.

My goal in 2015 is to spend several hours a week in stretch mode, and hopefully it will lead to new opportunities. (You can read more about deliberate practice here and here, and of course in Cal Newport’s book).

Evolve

Is included this year to help remind me that nothing in life stays the same, that change is the natural path of life and I want to be open to change and all it brings in 2015.

Rest

In that I need to be more mindful of the need for REST and recharge time in my schedule in order to maintain a consistent level of creative output. This year I really want to foster a healthier attitude towards my physical limitations. In 2013 and 2014, I suffered from a few severe bouts of fatigue and illness that would sometimes sidetrack my plans for a month or more, so in 2015 I am going to break this cycle of over committing myself and burning the candle at both ends.

Sleep and down time will have equal priority with regards to my more active art career and mothering responsibilities.

And I plan to keep these three words in mind as the year goes by…

Stretch – Evolve – Rest

My dedication to resting and getting better after being sick for all of December and the first half of this month is one of the reasons this blog post is only being posted now, on the last week of January. So I know I have been applying the ideas with a level of intention I hope to maintain through the year. ;) ;)

Along with getting some much needed rest time, I have also started a new painting… something more involved than my recent work. It is 36 x 24 inches and the quilt in the background is one I pieced together and hand quilted in 2014.

20150130-WIP-Amaryllis-created-with-love

Here’s to a great 2015,

Thank you for stopping by,

Liz

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Pansies in a Brown Bottle, 6 x 4 inches

Pansies in Amber Bottle

Pansies in a Brown Bottle

This was a painting that was included in the Principle Gallery’s Small Works Exhibition this past December. It went home to a collector right away.

Being that we are in the middle of winter storm here in the mid-Atlantic I think it is fitting to share one of my favorite flowers to paint. Especially because they are some of the last to fade in the fall and typically rebound quickly in the spring if they were properly protected from the harsher elements during the winter. This winter, I am keeping a rather deep layer of leaves around them in hopes of giving them some extra insulation.

Pansies are also fun to paint because they come is so many different colors and sizes. Some are rather large while others are tiny. This year several of them were planted in my garden, so even on this snowy and beautiful winter day I am looking forward to spring arriving and having flowers to paint.

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Framed Painting: SOLD
{6″ x 4″ – oil on canvas panel}

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Happy New Year!

20150108 saying-hello

We had our first snow on Tuesday, Naomi was over the moon to say the least.  It is a great way to start a new year, a light snow, some extra fun time with delayed pre-school and a child wanting to explore and play.

I am glad for the new year and excited to see what may happen in the coming months.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz

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Merry Christmas!

xmas-2014

Wishing you and yours the very best on this holiday.

And thank you for being a part of my life, Liz

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Wild Persimmons II, 6 x 10 inches

20141018-058 wild-persimmons-2

Wild Persimmons II

The second painting I created of these beautiful persimmons.

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Framed Painting: SOLD
{6″ x 10″ – oil on canvas panel}

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