Thursday, April 7, 2016

More (my) Perspective Matters: Where to Start

river, stream, rocks, sunlight dancing on water, shoes of photographer

In my previous post, (my) Perspective Matters, I shared that I struggle with what attracts my attention.  My focus can change quickly and I need to protect my positive mindset for better results in the art studio...and in every area of life.  I have been able to list ten tips for making this happen.  How do I go about being in a great frame of mind for creating art?  It's not easy.  I fight myself with great avoidance tactics.  So remember, I'm not saying I've got it all under control.  Further down in the post, I've had a little fun with cropping my artworks for an unusual perspective.  You can compare with the larger view of the same artwork.  I hope you'll find a new idea or rethink how you can adjust methods that are already familiar.  Please, give me suggestions of your own by commenting; we can all use more ideas to make this work better.

1.  Limit exposure to the news.
It's important to be aware of what's going on in the world around us.  It's too easy to be pulled in deeper and get depressed over events out of my control.  News can quickly bring me down...

2.  Screen my feed on Facebook.
...and other social media.  Filter out who is just one negative share after another.  The food we eat is important; what we allow in through our other senses is the just as important.

3.  Spend time in the Bible.
Take it or leave it, based on your own decision.  How do you take time to refocus?  How are you able to regroup and refresh your mind?  This is my own discipline; I try to stick to it on a regular basis.  For me, it forms a better framework for sifting through the rest of the day.  Ten minutes can change the day for the better!

4.  Choose music playlists carefully.
What am I listening to throughout my day?  Music influences are a biggie for me!  Maybe you prefer quiet.  Stick with what works best for you.  Be aware of it so you can make it your routine.  I am moved and inspired by music.  I switch styles and stations often but I still need them to affect me in a positive way.  George Winston is a great instrumental/piano choice.  Brian Crain is another great choice for instrumental/piano.  Pandora has plenty to choose from with nature sounds incorporated as well.  The type of music is chosen by how seriously I am times I just need something instrumental so I'm not distracted by lyrics.

5.  Be reasonable with To-Do Lists.
I'm a multi-tasking fool!  That's great now and then, but getting a long to-do list going makes me feel defeated at the end of the day.  What if I quit expecting way too much of myself?  The longer list doesn't help if I'm not better for it.  Toughie, huh?

cropped view of canoe on mountain lake, watercolor painting, Christy Sheeler Artist,

canoes and motorboats at the Apgar Village Dock, Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana watercolor landscape by Christy Sheeler

6.  Take a break!
Remember to take breaks and step away for a few minutes.  A change of view, atmosphere, perspective matters.  My mind becomes bogged down while focusing so intently on a project.  Set a timer and go relax with a cup of tea!

7.  Know your support team.
Keep in your mind those who are cheering you on and take the help they offer.  Let them know you.  The encouragement is vital to keep going when actively pursuing a dream.  Discouragement knocks often and visits when I need it least.  Positive words give the courage to keep going.

8.  Eat right and drink your water.
I'm so guilty of putting off lunch and that puts me at a disadvantage.  No wonder I struggle to stick with the brushes and pigment at the art table!  I'm running on empty?!  Artists and creatives struggled for their craft.  What more could be possible if we were at our best?  I'm not perfect with my nutrition.  I've got a sweet tooth, to put it mildly.

9.  Watch out for the negativity traps.
Set your boundaries.  We ought to be careful of how we are influenced by the engery around us.  We have limited control and many of those difficult people may need us.  When we are totally empty and frayed, we cannot do anyone any good.

10.  Remember what you enjoy doing.
Make time, even a small bit, to enjoy that activity again.  There are many different ways to do this.  Start challenging yourself!  Make a list and break it down into specifics.  Open your mind to explore possible ways to feed your joy.  I know what it's like to feel deprived of the interests near to my heart.  Creative outlets matters and are not so far out of reach.  Take small steps and be excited you're moving closer to that activity you love.

close up view of Lapis Lazuli In The Rain by Christy Sheeler Artist

Watercolor painting titled Lapiz Lazuli In The Rain, colorful bird on wire of garden lights, transparent light bulb, Christy Sheeler Artist

That's all for this week!  Thanks for joining me and I'll be back to share more soon.


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