The Wisdom of Mrs. Lee

Have you ever gotten to a point in a project where you feel like you’ve made a bigger mess than you started out with or that it’s going to be a complete and utter failure? I can’t tell you how many times I’ll start an organizing/decluttering project and when I see everything everywhere, I start to panic and get mad because this is NOT what I wanted to do and I should have just left it alone to begin with.

But then you work through it, and it gets better. Piles form, they get put away, and the space is cleaner and even if it’s not quite perfect, it feels like a breath of fresh air whenever you look at it.

Working on any of my art pieces feels like that. There is ALWAYS a point in the piece where it looks HORRIBLE. I feel like there is no way in the world that this is going to look anything like I imagined and that I’m the worst artist ever. If you’re an artist, you can probably relate to this.

But then the wise words of Mrs. Lee enter my brain:

“It has to get worse before it can get better.”

I may change it up to “It has to look worse before it can look better,” but the idea is still the same!

Who’s Mrs. Lee you may ask? Oh, just my high school math teacher! I’m almost positive that we were working through the quadratic formula or some calculus problem of doom whenever she’d mention this, usually prompted by the look of panic in our eyes. Little did she know that someday, one of her math students would become an artist, repeating this mantra as she created in her basement studio.

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I was working on a brand new painting this morning and I got to this point. I wanted to throw the canvas out the window, wipe the paint off of it, burn it, whatever I could do to get rid of it. But I said those words and pushed through…

It had to get worse before it got better.

And guys, it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait until it’s dry so I can share it with you!

 

Are there any phrases or words of wisdom that you repeat to yourself?

Middlebury Sky

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve revealed a new piece on the blog, and even longer since I’ve revealed a painting! I thought we needed to resolve that problem, so I present to you Middlebury Sky!

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Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: Spring/Summer 2016

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My New Monday Nights

I’m going to get a little personal on the blog today. I know a few of you have been wondering where I am, why I’m not posting, if I’m doing okay.

I’m here, thank you for checking….but I have been under a lot of stress lately.

My schedule has been dictated by outside forces for the past month or so, and I have barely gotten any work done:

Boathouse 2 is sitting on my table, far behind the timeline I had laid out for myself.

Products are waiting to be photographed and listed in my Etsy shop.

Canvases are begging to be painted, varnished, framed.

And I just can’t seem to get these projects started, let alone finished with all this chaos in my crazy beautiful life.

But I have to give myself grace during this time. Things aren’t always going to get done on my schedule or in the time I want them to be done in, and I just have to learn to roll with the punches…I’m not very good at that 😉

I’ve decided that I can’t always do what I HAVE to get done. There has to be some time for fun and what I want to do! It helps ward off my crankies, too!

Monday nights will now be my time to do whatever art project I want, whether it be working on new jewelry, painting in my studio…things that I’m not taking time for during the rest of the week. It works out well as my hubby is usually gone on Monday nights, so I’m at home with the kiddos. As soon as they’re in bed, it’s art time!

Here’s a preview of last night’s studio time:

I spent some time doing a major reworking on this painting, and it finally clicked why it hadn’t worked out so well before!

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Apparently it didn’t want to be the sky over a sand dune, but sky over the ocean instead! Once I listened, it worked out beautifully.

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It’s now hanging in my living room so I can live with it for awhile before deciding if it needs further tweaking or if it’s ready to be finished. Once it’s finished, off to art festivals and Etsy it will go!

Do you have trouble balancing the “want to do” with the “have to do,” or is it just me? Do you have any tips for me?

Recharging the Batteries

January has been a very busy month, and it’s not even half over yet. I’m finding it hard to find my balance after the holidays; I can’t seem to juggle my wife and mom duties with the house keeping, and then trying to run a full time business at the same time?

I’m getting burned out.

Don’t get me wrong, I loooove having so many projects to work on! Boathouse Book 2 is making fantastic progress, I’m working on two drawings, and trying to stay on top of the Etsy store, paperwork and new products….it’s just hard.

In order to try and stay on track and feel like I’m managing it all, I’ve planned out what I’ll be focusing on each day (one day is Boathouse, the next day is photographing and editing product pictures, then the following day is commissions, etc), and then taking each day and scheduling my time into one or two hour sections for each item on my list in hopes that it will all get done.

Well, somehow my Facebook memories app knew what I was going through. A year ago earlier this week, my sister-in-law Jen sent me a post about recharging your batteries. The author talks about sometimes it’s best to just put the to-do list aside and just do what you’re in the mood to do in order to get yourself back and ready to tackle that list.

After thinking about that article, I reworked my schedule to incorporate what I wanted: a morning in my studio to paint.

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