The Sultry Days of Summer
When everything is so hot and oppressive, I find myself trying to stay cool and relaxed, which means slowing down and lingering in the shade when outside. Such hot days always inspire me to become more reflective of my life as well. In not wanting to exert any physical energy, all my attention shifts inwards and I find myself asking questions about how things are going and where I could make improvements.
This summer in particular, I have become more reflective than usual. Questioning all of my art career goals and trying to figure out how to incorporate more down time into my schedule, while also feeding my creative desire to paint. For me, this is a very hard line to establish, because I love being an artist so much that often I feel anytime spent away from the studio is a lost opportunity.
A few things I have come to realize this summer is that I must relax more and know that my art career will continue to move forward even if I am spending more time away from the studio. So I am going to be cutting back on some things... in fact I already have...
The online classes I began teaching this year is the first time commitment I am scaling back on. As much as I enjoyed teaching them, I realize they require more time than I currently have available.
The second time commitment I am also stepping back from is my copyist work at the NGA. I have not completed the Worthington Whittridge copy of Second Beach, Newport, but I have learned a lot from the amount of what I have completed, specifically how to create the layered and atmospheric effects of the sky, the thing that drew me to this painting. I am okay with not finishing this painting and feel a sense of relief knowing that I narrowing my focus on specific activities that bring the greatest joy into my life.
So for the rest of the summer, I am going to maximize my time, carving out time to work on special projects in the studio and spending lots of quality time with my family. And probably pick up the pace once the school year starts again...