Work in progress, started this morning, 12×12″ oil on canvas
I have always been a procrastinator. I’ve always blamed perfectionism. In truth, it’s fear. Fear of failure? Fear of success? I wish I knew, probably a bit of both. I have overcome a lot of fear in the 26 years I’ve been working as an artist. It’s still there. Clinging on for dear life. I’m aware of it, it’s always been there. Mocking me, telling me I’m not good enough to overcome it. Some days, I feel really brave. It’s easy to feel brave sitting here in my studio. I have WORK to do! I NEED to paint, right? I NEED to write another blog post, right? I NEED to work on updating my Etsy shop or my website, right? Of course I do, but I use these excuses as reasons not to get out in the world and share my art. I use these excuses to save myself from rejection. Nobody likes rejection. It’s not easy to hear NO when you are putting your heart and soul out there.
That all said, I have come to the point in my life where I have to either overcome my fear or give up trying. I’m starting to see why there are fewer and fewer artist peers as I get older. It’s not easy to keep getting back up after a rejection or a perceived failure. Truth is, it’s the ONLY way to succeed. Keep getting back up, dusting myself off and try again, and again. I have to talk myself into it some days. Today has been one of those days. I came into the studio this morning excited and ready to GO! As the day wears on, the energy wanes. I have a whole list of excuses by now. I have so many other things I COULD be doing right now.
I once read a book called “Art and Fear”. I highly recommend it. In fact, I think it’s time for a re-read. Time to get motivated and get out there!
Posted in abstract, art, artist self promotion, artists, blogging, canvas, creativity, galleries, goals, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, marketing, my story, new work in progress, oils, original, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, progress, random things about me, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio
Tagged abstract, art, art and fear, artist funk, artist insecurity, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, being an artist, blogging, canvas, creativity, facing fears, faith, fear, galleries, goals, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, lessons learned, marketing, my story, new work in progress, oils, original, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, procrastination, progress, random things about me, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, studio time, the artist's path
Sandia Mountains with cloud cover
I’ve been struggling with my life as an artist lately. Having been an artist professionally for over 25 years now, some days are just hard. I had this vision where I would be as an artist by this point in my life. It doesn’t really match up with my reality at the moment. Being an artist is a constant struggle interwoven with moments of inspiration and good days.
Yesterday was a cloudy day in New Mexico, today, more of the same. I’m a desert rat, meaning I love the sun! Cloudy days are great, at first, but then the grey emotions set in and I’m a wreck. It’s the reason I paint bright, happy, joy filled paintings. I NEED the sun in my life.
Most often, my inspiration comes from my morning meditation. I start every day with meditation, it helps me stay in a positive frame of mind, helps me keep my inner peace. Before I meditate, I usually read something inspirational. Currently, I’m reading the book
Simple Abundance, A Day Book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It has a different entry for every day of the year. It was a gift from a dear family friend. I highly recommend it!
Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa
On days like today, when my emotions are raw, I need more than a sitting meditation in my studio. I need to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Earth. My husband, Aaron, was sweet enough to notice what I needed and we took a drive out to the West Mesa for a short walk at the volcanoes. It was a bit chilly and windy, but it was so nice to be under the great expanse of New Mexico sky with the rain clouds looming overhead. The clouds are so much more beautiful when you are outside than when you are sitting in your office with grey light filtering in from the grey sky.
As we were walking back to the car, Aaron and I were talking about our art and music careers and what’s next. It’s the theme of the day. It was the question I meditated on this morning in my studio. Joyfully, the answer came to me on that short walk with the cool New Mexico breeze blowing through my hair.
It’s time to start over. Wipe the slate clean, heck, throw the slate away and start with a new slate! I am going to go silent online for a while. I have a plan, or at least the inspiration for the start of a plan. Being online, with my blog/website, facebook page, twitter profile, Etsy shop, etc etc, puts so much pressure on me to always produce something new. Blog everyday. Post to my feeds. Sell my art. Create more art. Repeat. I am going to take some time off from my online life. I’m going to reinvent myself as an artist. I’m going to make a plan. I’m going to execute that plan. In my studio. With no online presence. I’m going to take a class. Paint new paintings. Build a new website.
When it’s all done, and I have an idea of where I’m going next. When all the work is done, the new website is up, etc. I will be back. I will make a huge splash all at once! I will know exactly where I’m headed, or at least have a much better idea of my plan to get there. I won’t stress myself out getting there. It’s time for the caterpillar to go into it’s cocoon. The Butterfly will see you on the other side!
Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes
Posted in albuquerque, art, art story, artists, creativity, dreams, goals, gratitude, hiking, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, my story, New Mexico, new work in progress, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, People Who Inspire Me, photography, photos, progress, random things about me, Sandias, studio
Tagged albuquerque, art, art story, artist website, artist's life, artists, blog posts, butterfly, cactus, caterpillar, clouds, creativity, desert rat, dreams, facebook fan page, goals, gratitude, hiking, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inner peace, inspiration, landscape photography, life, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, meditation, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico artist, new work in progress, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, People Who Inspire Me, photography, photos, progress, rain clouds, reality, Sandias, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance, struggles, struggles of an artist, studio, studio time, sun, Sunlight, twitter, volcanoes, west mesa
I’m working on finding some balance in life right now. Now that we have the gallery/studios/performance space, a 15 year dream, it’s as if I’ve gone back to having a full time job again! I’ve been finding it difficult to make time for my art again. So, this week I’ve worked on getting my studio clean, doing more organizing, in hopes of having some motivation to get back to painting! I have done a bit of painting over the past month, but it’s sporadic at best. It’s been very difficult to carve out dedicated time to spend in the studio, I’m really trying to get the gallery going strong, taking lots of time out helping other artists, etc. But I find myself feeling somewhat resentful towards all the people taking up my time. I don’t like that feeling. I love the feeling of helping others achieve their dreams, but not at the expense of shelving my own. What to do?
Luckily, my kids are taking up less and less of my time. My youngest son turns 17 in November and he hates it when I baby him too much. The older two are out on their own, going to college, I see them mainly when they need to do their laundry or if they are out of food and money! Next month I turn 40! I’ve actually always looked forward to my 40s, kids all grown up, empty nest time(hopefully!) and now, all my life dreams have come true! We got rid of the cable TV at home, so we are watching Netflix exclusively now. More time for my art right? Should be. I guess I need to just put my foot down and lock myself up in my studio, turn off my phone and computer and get back to it! OK, fine! That’s what I’ll do, NOW! Bye, thanks for reading this all the way through and being my sounding board.