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A New Year, A Blank Canvas

December 31, 2008


Gentle Wind, Acrylic on Canvas – 48 x 36″

The days and weeks right after the holidays are my favorite time of the year. Things magically start to quiet down and there’s more time to think and plan. I feel as excited about a brand new year ahead, with all of its possibilities and opportunities, as I do a big blank canvas. It’s a chance to make new beginnings.

I don’t make resolutions. It’s simply a case of having a seasonal break from business, family and social demands to allow for a little breathing room. I like to begin this process from the inside out. It usually goes something like this:

  • Evaluating my physical and mental well-being and acknowledging the improvements that are needed. The two are inseparable, so they must be addressed together.
  • Surveying my surroundings and asking myself if they are a help or a hindrance to my creativity.
  • Assessing whether or not my art career is going in the direction I want it to go, what marketing efforts are working and what changes are needed.
  • Reviewing my body of work and the directions it has taken, what to keep and what to abandon.

Every one of these things requires that I do something concrete. This is not just a thinking exercise. But If I treat these as something to get stressed out over, I’ll negate my ability to create.

So what are your thoughts when things get quiet and you see a whole new year of opportunity in front of you?

Note:  This painting is not a blank canvas. But it represents a series that I want to continue in the coming months. It’s not a new direction, and not even a new painting. It’s just one that makes me happy. And isn’t that the best motivation of all?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2009 11:59 am

    Happy New Year Martha!

    A very beautiful post and painting! I’m not good at making resolutions. I found out early on that by the end of Jan 1st I have broken half!

    I don’t do this every year, but when I do- I sometimes call it “my to do list” and most things on the list is from within. I feel if peace, happiness and contentment come from within most of the time things fall into place outwardly.

    My dear friend- I wish you many blessings in the New Year! Continue to bring life and color alive with your art!! xoxo

  2. January 1, 2009 2:16 pm

    Health and Happiness to you and yours in the New Year, Martha. Inspiring post (and painting) – good process to ponder

  3. January 1, 2009 4:44 pm

    Happy New Year!
    I liked this painting from the start and wish you well with the new series.
    2009 will be the year i graduate and so this is a time of Transformation which has been going on for the past couple of years..
    Which reminds me I must get on with the dissertation as it has been a bit stuck and has to be finished this month!

  4. January 1, 2009 7:15 pm

    Chris, happy new year to you! I wish you all the best with your dissertation, as well as your year of transformation!

  5. Sandra permalink
    January 11, 2009 5:34 pm

    A truly stunning painting – I just love the composition, sense of movement, and the wonderful wonderful colours. I hope that you read this as it’s a bit late but have only just come back from holiday and catching up on my emails.

    • January 11, 2009 8:39 pm

      Sandra, I’m so glad you like this painting. It’s one of my favorites. Thank you for visiting.

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