New Year, Same Me (Mostly)

First of all, Happy New Year to you, and welcome to my first post of 2021! I feel like I’m still decompressing from all the activity of the holidays, still letting the dust settle before I move on to the next thing. Although truthfully the next things are coming pretty quickly; Writing with the Moon starts Thursday (!), ballet class starts up again today, and wedding planning is kicking into high gear, among other things.

I didn’t make any real resolutions per se, but I have made a commitment to myself to spend this month and this new beginning in sort of a fallow period — no pressure to produce, to sell, or to even paint, if I don’t feel like it. The thing with running an art business, at least for me, is that if I don’t check in with myself every so often, I start to drift foo far from things I want to make, into things I think might be commercially viable. I think of it as a spectrum or a Venn diagram, and there’s certainly some overlap between the two, though it’s a balancing act to stay in that space. Also, it’s probably obvious to all of you, but it’s okay (and even necessary) to stay in the “what I want to do” side of the spectrum/diagram sometimes.

I’m attempting to start some new daily practices, too, just to get better at checking in with myself and looking at my “bigger picture” instead of getting caught up in the day-to-day. I asked for (and got) a morning gratitude journal for Christmas called The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, by Tanya J. Peterson. It’s mostly made up of single-page journal forms where you answer prompts about what’s on your mind in a sentence or two, though there are exercises for deeper reflection spaced throughout. It’s not necessarily meant to be done every day (because honestly, there’s no way I would keep that up anyway) but I plan to use it on mornings where I don’t have to rush to be anywhere. I did one for today, and I feel like it did help me set a tone for the day (though I also wrote down some intentions and action items for 2021 in another journal that helped too).

Anyway, just because I’m not painting doesn’t mean I’m not doing other things. I got it in my head that I might want to make a bunch of handmade books as table decor/party favors for our wedding (for real this time) so I started cutting and folding paper for that, which is particularly meditative for me right now (probably because my brain can pretty much totally check out and wander off where it will). I also finally got out and played with my alcohol inks, which I only sort of know how to use but find myself delighted with the results anyway. I feel like I don’t usually “get” abstract art (I like pattern and structure and meaning, it turns out) but with alcohol ink, the colors are fun and bright enough that I just don’t care if there’s anything else to “get.”

Here’s a couple of the pieces I made:

Alcohol ink on 5″ x 7″ yupo paper

I shared a couple more over on Instagram if you want to see the rest. And there will definitely be more to come; I asked for more paper and blending solution for my birthday later this month, and I’m already thinking about other color combinations I want to try.

What resolutions or commitments are you making to yourself this year? Or are you winging it (like I usually do)? Anything new you’re planning or hoping to try?

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