Tag Archives: the artist’s path

Getting started on Mural Projects!

I recently posted on facebook that I would like to start doing more mural projects. In response, I have two murals lined up!

mural sketches

The mural process begins with sketches…

The first one will be on the back patio wall of a personal residence. Today, I started working on sketching some ideas. I’m thrilled that I have free reign with the designs, because I really want to work on my own style in mural form. I have more freedom with the first mural. The woman I am painting it for is a collector of art in general and my art in particular. I was excited when I made my first site visit to see her tastes are colorful and eclectic. We have very similar taste!

The second mural is at a local high school. My sketches will have to be approved by the Principal. The high school art teacher (a friend of mine) has a general idea that I will be working with. This mural will be a project to create a sanctuary spot on campus for the large population of immigrant and refugee students to feel safe and welcome. The basic idea there is a spiral with different colored hands around it. I am thinking I will turn the spiral into a giant sunflower with the hands in the middle section around the spiral.

Last week, I visited both sites, made some measurements and spoke with the clients about what they wanted. This week I will make several sketches so there are choices to pick from. Once I have approval, I will gather my supplies and get started! I’m unsure if the High School mural will happen this school year or even in the Summer. It may have to wait until school starts back up in the Fall. We are going to include kids in the process which will be fun! I will have a group of young artists to help with the painting once the design has been drawn.

Would you like me to paint a mural for you? Contact me and let’s talk!

The Down Side

"In Anticipation of Spring", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, available for $215

“In Anticipation of Spring”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, available for $215. Completed last week!

I never got around to posting my second blog last week. Turns out I have an eye infection that has now spread to both eyes. Other than our show on Friday night, I’ve been at home in bed, resting. What a weekend it was! We had a GREAT Sunlight show on Friday night in Rio Rancho! Lots of email addresses collected, lots of compliments, lots of friends showed up, lots of tips and happy listeners and then the down side.

An email on Monday morning telling us we had significant complaints from regular customers. We never received a straight answer on what the complaints were, just something about the “type of music” expected being something other than what we played. Too many original songs? They didn’t like that one folk song we altered to include our LGBT friends? They didn’t like the song “Wonder” about Democrats and the GOP finding peace?

We may never know exactly. That is the life of an artist. If you don’t have a very thick skin, you may as well pack up and go home now. I must admit, it gets hard to keep on going when a “GREAT” show gets you fired from a regular paying gig.

I’m taken back to the Four Agreements, 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, 4) Always do your best. 1) We kept our word and played 3 hours of music and acted professionally, 2) I can’t take it personally that a couple of their regulars didn’t like our song selection, 3) I shouldn’t assume anything without having all the information, ie actual complaints made, 4) I KNOW we did our best and played our hearts out! Lesson learned; always listen to your gut! We had once decided we wouldn’t play late night gigs in bars. Not doing that again.

Hoping my eyes will heal soon so I can paint! It is getting better, slowly but surely, but still sensitive to light and hard to focus on anything without tears.  So much gratitude for my eyesight, you never really miss something until it’s not working right. Sickness is nothing but a reminder to be grateful for all the blessings in life.

Procrastination, my biggest fear

Work in progress, started this morning, 12x12" oil on canvas

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!

My Musical Journey

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I won’t be here to blog. However, I did post a blog on my Sunlight website today about my musical journey! Check it out here:

http://www.nmsunlight.com/blog/blog/paula-s-musical-journey-gratitude

May all of my American friends and followers have a blessed Thanksgiving. My prayers are with the Native Americans currently protecting our water at Standing Rock. They are in my thoughts this day and everyday. ❤

It’s all about making a decision….and sticking to it!

I am pretty wishy washy, I’ll admit it. I have always had a difficult time making decisions and sticking to them. Not big decisions, no problems there. I have always known, since around the age of 15, that I would be an artist. Come hell or high water, there was no deviating from that decision.

Where I get wishy washy is in the how. I usually start out each year by evaluating what worked in the past year and what didn’t. Looking over past goals, deciding which ones worked or which ones I am still working towards.

Being creative can sometimes be a curse. Seriously. I have so many ideas and projects I would like to try out. It can be difficult to stay focused and follow through. A new “better” idea will come around and then I move on without finishing what I was working on.

Or procrastination will rear it’s ugly head and I will stop my focus all together. This is not always a bad thing, because what usually happens at that point is that I give up and spend all of my time painting. It can become a bad thing when I give up completely and start working on something totally unrelated to my art.

I spent a couple of years as a substitute teacher and then went back to college for a semester thinking I would become a teacher. It wasn’t until half way through the semester that I realized I had totally derailed my art career and had no desire whatsoever to be a teacher! I usually get derailed by people telling me “you should do this or that”. Then there was the two years I spent as a gallery owner. At first I told myself it would be great to have my own gallery, a permanent place to show my work with my studio in the back and help other artists while I’m at it. Then it turned into resentment because I never had time to create my own art.

I am starting to understand why most successful artists are in their 40s and older. Because it takes that long to finally settle into being an artist and not struggling to figure out your path as an artist. I have spent the majority of this year working on sharpening my focus and figuring out exactly what I need to do and how.

This morning I have finally come to what I think (hope) will be a final decision. I am an ARTIST! Not just a capital A, but ALL CAPS! This has always been my deepest desire! Creating art! I am an ARTIST before everything else…..NOW. This is what I must focus on. My sons are all grown now, I have time to myself, no more excuses, alibis or procrastination! I am an ARTIST! 🙂 Stay tuned…………..