Thursday, March 3, 2016

Slow Down, Listen, Rest, Reflect

Trying To Do Too Much

In the past two weeks, there have been expectations.  
Big ones.  I set these big expectations myself.  
In my impatience and frustration at not having the results that I want, I push harder.  In my multitasking frenzy, I crank up my pace and get more done.  It's not easy.  It's tiring.  I want to cross more off that mental list.  There are all the tips I've read online.  Managing social media can crowd out the creative flow and overshadow the art process.  I feel my attentions going in too many directions.  Something inside, like a warning signal, tells me if I continue like this, burnout is a possible result.  I'm running out of steam.  It's time to do things differently.

Advice we all need:
1.  Slow down.  Reconsider the priorities and the timeline.
2.  Listen.  What do we hear our bodies telling us?  Are we emotionally strained?  Is the body needing an easier pace?  Are we taking care of ourselves?
3.  Rest.  We can only keep up an unreasonable pace for so long.  When we drive ourselves to unreasonable limits, there will be a price to pay.
4.  Reflect.  Examine what's really of most importance.  What is urgent?  When we list our goals and rate the priority, can a few be dropped?  Paying attention, evaluating and reconsidering helps us to be better at what we don't want to give up.

This is the advice I've been trying to give myself.  Maybe you will see the same true for yourself in the past, now, or in the future.  Overworking myself, I'm taking a risk that I will lose the joy for the art.  The passion for the creativity is worth protecting.  The only time lines are the ones I've chosen.

My back and neck have been sore for the past two weeks.  I'm very tired even while trying to keep up this pace.  All because I want it when I want it.  Not too bright.

This week, I've felt sluggish and drained.  I know it's a result of all I accomplished last week.
I had so many ups and downs with the tasks I was determined to finish.  I learned the basics of Canva, Society6 and Photoshop Elements.  I used Canva to make a fantastic graphic for sharing on Facebook.  It was a photo collage for my daughter's 15th birthday.  It was easy to learn and fun to create with my own photos.  It's a great option for playing around with graphics.  I'll learn to use it here for giving the blog intro's more pop.  Photographing new artwork for two different purposes was a big task to complete.  Then, I applied with Etsy to sell prints...that took several hours to complete, still no answer there.  Scanning new and previous artwork spread over into my Saturday.  I've got such a desire to get so many balls rolling at once!

This week, I've chosen a couple of ways to stay active in the art studio while easing up on myself.

First, I have been planning my next color mixing chart for upcoming watercolor paintings.  As you can see, there's a ways to go yet.  I'll get to it in the next few days.  Updated photos to come at a later date.

Second, playful watercolor for no special reason.  Relaxing exploration.  Brushes in hand, pigment on the paper and unknown results.

Third, laying out potential designs for note cards.  Experimenting with different layouts is great fun!  I'm looking at options for building some really unique layers with a variety of elements.  The pen and ink was a fun diversion.  

Fourth, Artist's Network TV videos online are a great way to take a break!  I just needed to take it easier physically.  This is a subscription service but so valuable to me.  I was able to watch two videos while putting my feet up!

Joyce Faulkner and Guy Magallanes are very entertaining!  I learn so much from both of them.  They each have their own distinct style and methods.  I watched one about painting crabapple blossoms and another about painting poppies.  I'll link to the YouTube previews here: Crabapple Blossoms and Icelandic Poppies.  Each of these videos were about 100 minutes in length.  The videos show the process from beginning to completion.  I love seeing techniques and methods in action!

Here's a link to Artists Network TV watercolor preview videos available on YouTube.  The watercolor videos alone are 242 in total!

So, now I'm off to relax and let my back take a time out.  I was torn about whether a blog post is really necessary in light of how I'm feeling BUT I love having this continuity!

Can anyone relate?  
Do you see yourself pushing at a harder pace to get the results you haven't seen yet?  
Are you familiar with simplifying and regrouping before going forward?  
How do you keep it all in perspective?  How do you evaluate your goals on a regular basis?  
What's your go-to way to relax and take a break?

I'd love the input!


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