I made a lot of changes in 2018. Most ended up having a very positive impact on my personal outlook, health, and art. I didn’t find much time to work on my blogs, and even less time was put into my web page, but I’m hoping to become more committed to all three platforms this year.
I have been criticized in the past by people who think you aren’t a serious blogger if you don’t produce a certain amount of content, but I don’t believe in neglecting my family for someone else’s expectations.
It can be difficult to balance my passion and drive as an artist with personal relationships and responsibilities. I don’t always manage with grace or balance, but I don’t feel compelled to meet external demands or judgments either.
We’re all on our own journey, and I know that the people who see the value in what I do support me regardless of my productivity. To those of you who support and share my work – thank you. I am grateful.
Around the House
I am embarrassed at how long it has taken me to get started working on our current house. We moved to the country 6 years ago this spring and it still looks essentially the same as the day we moved in – dingy wall paint in a cheap flat white, 1970s brown paneling and trim, yellow formica countertops, etc.
Thankfully, we did replace the olive shag carpet with nice laminates over a couple of years early on, but that has been the extent of our completed projects. There are a slew of half started projects that have been languishing over the years, and I have finally set a deadline and made an effort to complete them.
To be fair, we have made a good bit of progress around the yard. My husband ripped out all of the dying foundation hedge within the first couple of years, we have laid out and mulched several areas where we will plant flower beds, we installed a small area of fencing for the dogs to go outside unsupervised, and I put up a small chicken house with a fenced yard that I am expanding this year.
We have also planted native and flowering plants for the pollinators in places where major underbrush and invasive species removal is not required. It was daunting and disappointing to have to start over after having spent 7 years working on the gardens at our previous house.
In the Studio
In 2017, I was able to expand the guest room and attic storage upstairs to create a more functional studio space. It took several months to move all of my furniture and supplies upstairs and most of 2018 to figure out how I would work in the space.
Increased storage space comes at a disadvantage sometimes. I found myself holding onto everything, even if it meant continuing to have piles that had to be moved around, or finding out of the way places to shove things. Consequently, some things I could have been using remained packed up and stacked in the space.
I spent most of 2018 reorganizing and cleaning out my studio, donating unused supplies, and recycling as much of the excess ‘stuff’ that I have accumulated over the last six years in this house. I purchased a couple of pieces of furniture for storage, and spent the end of summer and autumn culling out things that no longer served a purpose in my work. I am currently in the process of packing up and donating the remainder of unused supplies to other artists in my community. This is allowing me to make the space more aesthetically pleasing, more efficient, and less cluttered. The result has been more artwork being created in the space.
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Disconnect from distraction
As I become more focused on my art, I find myself yearning for a slower pace and simpler existence. These are the reasons, after all, for my push to move to a rural community, put down roots and make more personal connections.
I have partnered with two wonderful creative women over the last year, who are also great friends, to work on collaborative projects, lift one another up emotionally, and help grow our personal businesses. I started travelling with another friend this year as well, and we have had some lovely experiences at art fairs and explored new communities.
Lastly, I joined a new art group that is made up of some of the most supportive women I have ever met. I launched a workshop on Positivity Journaling and have scheduled two new venues for 2019.
2018 was a great year, and I look forward to even better things in 2019.
Where are you in your personal journey?
I hope you will share your accomplishments and feedback in the comments. I look froward to sharing in your journey as well.