New Years, New Days

"Every day is the same...wiping down yesterday's work and beginning again..."

--Scott Smith, artist

 painting by  Scott Smith  (one of my favorite artists)

painting by Scott Smith (one of my favorite artists)

My friend Rachel gave me a book for Christmas: Art & Fear.  It's really good!  Here's a quotation:

"The hardest part of artmaking is living your life in such a way that your work gets done, over and over--and that means, among other things, finding a host of practices that are just plain useful.  A piece of art is the surface expression of a life lived within productive patterns."

So this is something I have been struggling with, trying to figure out what my productive patterns are, what works best for me (and my family as a whole.)  I have learned over the past few years that it's best for me work from 10 am-3 pm most weekdays, and then be totally present for my family when the kids get off the bus at 3:30.  It's ideal for me to have several days in a row: nice, steady blocks of time to allow for "art" to happen.  That's why I made this New Year's Resolution:

my New Year's Resolution:

Paint Four Hours a Day, Monday-Friday*

*or Five Hours a Day, four days a week, if one day gets compromised by Life

 a page from Scott's notebook

a page from Scott's notebook

Yesterday was my kids' first full day of school in weeks, and I thought I might finally be able to get into the studio.  However, after returning home from a long road trip on Monday, I realized there were just too many pressing household needs.  (For example, we needed food...)  Consequently... I've already failed my New Year's Resolution...

I was feeling bad about myself for failing on only the second day of 2018, but then I was scrolling around aimlessly on facebook (breaking yet another resolution to stop scrolling around aimlessly on facebook) and I read this encouraging message by Scott Smith:

"every day is the same...wiping down yesterday's work and beginning again, looking again....sometimes it's with hope, sometimes in anger, occasionally it's honest....new years, new days, all the same..."

 Sketch-in-progress by Scott Smith 

Sketch-in-progress by Scott Smith 

Scott's simple words made me relax.  I realized I needed to stop taking myself so seriously.  The important thing is to just do the work with quiet humility and a certain amount of grace when encountering Life's inevitable chaos.  It's not about perfection, or achieving a whole bunch of goals, or even creating finished paintings.  It's just about living life, and doing the work.  So, here I come New Year!   Here I come, my beautiful Studio!  A new day has begun!

New Years, new days, all the same...

 another sketch by Scott Smith

another sketch by Scott Smith

Thanks for reading my blog!  Happy New Year!  Happy New Day!

 My New Year's Eve Fortune cookie! 

My New Year's Eve Fortune cookie!