In the Studio, Inspiration

Ripples of Yes

I’m a little late with my blog this week because it has been a very interesting time around the studio. Opportunity coming over the transom, as they say.

The Challenge

I’ve been listening to Shonda Rhimes book “Year of Yes” on Audible while I’ve been painting. She shares what a big commitment it is to say yes to whatever comes along. There are always unexpected ripples and definitely growth.

I even did a blog post earlier about saying yes and I’m honoured that Helen Davidson of Ageless Possibility not only linked to my post but quoted me. You can read her post here. That is a Yes ripple.

Then last week, I received an invitation to do a solo show. It’s something I wanted but was afraid to pursue and then boom – it landed in my lap. Would I say yes?

Reasoning it away

I’m not embarassed to admit I panicked in that moment. I have a lot of paintings done but they’re going out to two galleries for the summer and inventory was almost zero here at the studio.

I sent an email apologizing, saying I couldn’t do it but I’d be happy to do a presentation which was the other option they offered me. And then…

Getting my head straight

I got thinking about it and wanted to whack myself up the side of the head as gramma would say.

I mean, this is what I’d been wanting and here it was and I said NO???

If this was one of my friends, I’d sit them down for a pep talk that old imposter syndrome, nerves, and anxiety. All of that stuff every creative person experiences and came rolling over me in that moment. My first reaction was a quavery little no.

After giving that pep talk to myself, I knew I needed to say yes. But was it too late? Had I blown it?

I immediately sent an email because the office was closed and I couldn’t call. I didn’t want to give my brain time to find more reasons not to do this.

Happily, the space was still available.

So here I am, preparing for a show in 3 weeks and painting my little heart out. I cleared my calendar and got busy. I can do this.

Some possibilites for Flow

What I learned

Here’s how I am “eating the elephant.”

  1.  Choose a theme. (They want one for the promotion so that was easy.)
  2.  Go through all my photos and everything that fits with my theme went into an album on my phone to be reviewed.
  3.  Then I made a list of the ones that I will paint. I wrote that list on the whiteboard by my easel so I can see it.
  4. Checked my inventory of paints, canvases, etc to be sure I had what I need. I don’t want to go shopping in the middle of this because, well…you understand…
  5. Start painting. I’m working on at least three at a time getting the base layer down. Then I go to complete the details. This lets me move from one to the next without having to make too many decisions. It’s too easy to start dithering.
  6.  Finish my time in the studio each day by setting up for the next day. I make sure everything’s in place, brushes are clean and paints are lined up so that I just walk in the door and get started again.

And that’s about it. I’ll write more as things progress. My show opens June 18th at ArtsPlace in Annapolis Royal and it will be called “Flow”. The theme is water because water fascinates and inspires me.

And of course, I’ll be in creative flow over these next few weeks.

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