"There is no such thing as motivation in my world. I am not motivated to do what I do. As an artist, I am compelled. I am thrust forward by a force so rooted inside me, so convincing, that it seems futile to try to explain it. Although it has a name: passion." - Philippe Petit
I'm sitting here on my couch watching the rain come down outside. Again. It started raining last week and hasn't stopped. Bad plein air painting weather but good painting planning weather. I am also taking care of some computer tasks that I have been putting off. Do you like the new blog header above? A fresh new one to start the new year!
The 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge starts on Friday. Panels have been ordered and stained and stacked up ready to go. I am painting plein air for the challenge so I am hoping this rain is leaving soon!!
Busywork aside, I am doing lots of reflecting on this past year and planning for the one ahead. The beginning of a new year always makes me a little nervous. I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff looking out into nothing. Wondering what's ahead of me and how my life will be different next year this time. Every year as I grow older, it seems as though the years are filled with more changes. The changes seem bigger. Everything moves much faster. I know I can't always count on the same people being in my life year to year like I could when I was younger. Somehow all of this makes life much sweeter, more meaningful and so much more fragile.
I've always used art as a way of capturing moments. Sometimes these moments are real and sometimes they are dreams of how I would like life to be. It gives me a tangible way to hold on to memories and places. It's like once I have recorded them in this way, I can move on to something else. I captured lots of "moments" this past year. I wish I had time to capture them all but that is impossible. You have to pick and choose in this life....Even in painting.
My biggest goal for 2016 is the same one I had for 2015. To become a better painter. To see and understand more and translate that understanding onto the canvas. It seems I can never learn enough. And that keeps me hungry for more. I feel like a sponge most of the time, trying so hard to soak it all up. It is inspiring, overwhelming and humbling..... all at the same time.
As 2015 winds down and I gear up for all the opportunities that 2016 has to offer, I am so grateful that I am walking down this path. There is nothing that I love more, than to paint. Even on the days when I suck at it. I still love it. It is my greatest joy. Thanks for following me this year on this journey of mine. I hope we cross paths in the coming year, in a class or outside painting or maybe just on Facebook. I'm glad we are connected. You make my year sweeter.
Happy New Year!
Speaking of gearing up.... I will be teaching a plein air workshop in Edisto Island, SC in March. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just paint better, come join me! We will paint, learn, laugh and have fun. Click Here for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop