My Inspirational Retreat

mtrainier My whole life I've wanted to live somewhere other than NY and Rhode Island. But it hasn't happened, yet. This summer I decided to just pack up my supplies and rent an Airbnb, get on a plane, stay for 3 weeks and see what happens. I'm still in the middle of it so I don't have perspective but so far I can say its been wonderful for the change of pace. I'm on Vashon Island which is a little island a ferry ride from Seattle. This is my view from the deck of my house and from the work table I set up in front of a big glass window. Different, yes!!!

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The first day I was nervous, I had a stomachache because of it but as I adjusted to the situation I felt myself relaxing. Sort of luckily a few jobs I have got delayed a little bit so I really had time to explore the island, see new things and play around with painting. I've been wandering the roads and the beach and collecting wildflowers and rocks and seeds, so many little bits that inspire me. My eyes are open wider.

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There are really nice houses here, cute cottages, gardens that are out of this world and amazing views. I take lots of pictures so I can refer to them later for reference. I also have done a lot of plein air painting which I don't get to do very often.

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I've done many loose, slightly abstracted  watercolors in a cheap sketchbook just to get going. for me, if I work in a very quick way, without regard for the final outcome I can find new ideas and directions. Even here I still have times where I have no idea what I want to paint, what is inspiring me. But I go take a walk along the beach, or a hike in the woods. Or go to a cute cafe and sit for tea. These small mindful things are so necessary to the creative process and sometimes in the business of everyday life I forget to take time for myself.

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And I've met the most wonderful warm, kind people. I've been invited over to so many incredible homes. With all the stuff going on in the world right now it's such a pleasure to turn off the news and just enjoy simple, beautiful, generous humanity.

 

 

End of the Year Sketchbook Thoughts

9.3_s I'm not quite at the end of a sketchbook but it is the end of the year. The time we all reevaluate the year, think about the positive and negative things that have passed and what goals we want to achieve in the New Year. I'm about to embark of year 3 of daily painting and drawing. I'm sort of in shock that I've done this for so long.

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There are days that I feel like I just can't do it.. I make a mess, I'm not satisfied, I'm unhappy and stressed. But every single day I get it done. Whatever happens, whatever it "looks" like is really ok with me. Sometimes just the process of putting aside any other work or commitment puts me in a happier place. Those 30 minutes become relaxing and rejuvenating. There are also times when I suffer through it. The brush isn't comfortable in my hand, I feel edgy and wrong... In a practice that is every single day there are bound to be good and bad days. You can't get around that. But as a whole, when I look back at 6 full sketchbooks and 2 in progress it's an amazing feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

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I'm thinking about what changes I want to make in my project for 2016. I'm not the type to keep doing the same thing for the rest of my life. What I do know is that I want to keep painting daily for the rest of my life or for as long as I can. I never could have imagined the positive things that have happened for me because of it. I'm not even talking about jobs, or collaborations, or number of followers. Its the personal joy of setting my mind to doing something and really doing it. I'm more confident, I'm happier, I'm busy in the way I want to be.

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In the next 2 weeks before January 1 I'm deciding if I want to keep on painting in a sketchbook or move onto flat paper. There are pros and cons. I love having a book I can hold with all my work in it. It feels like a diary, a tangible thing that starts and ends. On the other hand I'm not taking them apart so I can't have a exhibit which I'd like to have. I guess I could say I'd do another project where once a week I do a stand alone painting, I'd still have 52 by the end of the year. I'd like to be able to sell my originals, I'm going to run out of room for all of the sketchbooks at some point.. I'd also like the art to be in loving homes. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I should do... Whatever it is, I do say to myself, it's my project, I can do what I want, I can switch around. The main point is that I show up every day.

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Now to do the same in other areas of my life!!