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Simplify — Back To Basics Again

January 2, 2009
rising“Rising” – Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 5″ – SOLD

In response to other art blogs I’m reading, I feel moved again to have a mantra for the coming year. Last year my mantra was focus, though I didn’t write about it. But it helped me tremendously on many occasions, when I needed to get back on track.

In that spirit, I have chosen the word simplify as my mantra for 2009. It’s an ongoing struggle in my work and personal life, and sometimes I just need to be reminded again.

Simplify –verb (used with object), -fied, -fy⋅ing. to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Life really is not as complicated as we try to make it.

In my work and in my personal life I can simplify and avoid distractions and time traps that can take my energy from my art and my family, and which do not contribute to my goals and objectives.

Keeping this mantra, I will be able to better focus on the things that serve my needs as a person and as an artist and will be better at everything I do.

To everyone and everything that presents me with a decision, I can simplify the situation by asking the question “Does this move me in the direction of my goals?”

It is also a return to the simple things that bring joy on a daily basis.

On a personal level I want to:

  • Bake my own bread more often
  • Tend to my herb garden
  • Shop at the local organic farmers’ market
  • Make soup often
  • Eat lower on the food chain
  • Walk the dogs more often
  • Have friends over for coffee or a glass of wine more often
  • Sing with friends

With my art, I want to:

  • Paint outside
  • Draw daily
  • Think about each work of art in terms of what I can eliminate from it and still have a pleasing result
  • Find out what medium and process I love the most and do more of that thing

In my business I will:

  • Keep a good schedule to avoid deadline crunches, which means I will need to . . .
  • Keep a manageable mix of galleries and other sales outlets
  • Streamline my time spent online
  • Find areas where I can outsource some tasks

Thanks to blogger and Twitter friends Lisa CallSharon Burton and Dale Anne Potter for inspiring me to think about my mantra for 2009.

If you’ve chosen a word or mantra of the year please feel free to share yours by putting your link in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. smlacyart permalink
    January 2, 2009 10:14 am

    Ooooh, I like simplify 🙂
    I chose that as a focus a couple years ago, and most of the drama in my life just melted away, leaving me with all of the things I loved and cared about.
    I hope you have a wonderfully simplistic 2009!

  2. January 2, 2009 10:51 am

    GOSH Martha! Just 1/2 hour ago, I was thinking the very same thing. In fact, I thought I should write a blog post titled K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). The reason it was on my mind this morning is because I have been going through this ridiculous burst of energy this past month. I go in cycles like this. Knowing myself well, I see how these cycles are so repetitive and predictable. I get all worked up, find myself stressing out because I am involved in too many things, and then, I burn out for a while.
    It is time for me to watch myself and try to keep everything on a more even level. Your goals are very sensible. Good luck in 2009! Let’s both simplify! 🙂

  3. January 2, 2009 11:18 am

    Sheree, maybe we can pinky swear! 🙂

    Well smlacyart we’ll see how well it works for me this year! If I can “focus” on it (word from last year!)

  4. January 2, 2009 11:21 am

    We are somewhat on the same page! I wrote about ‘focus’ being my theme for this year – to focus on simplicity in my art and life. I have felt that I was all over the place with my art and other daily activities as well so this year I feel the need to focus on the essentials. So good to read your goals. Wish we were closer, I’d love to share that glass of wine and chat!

  5. January 2, 2009 11:39 am

    well i also want to make soup.

  6. January 2, 2009 1:29 pm

    Simplicity seems to be the concensus front runner, as this is one that I’m also committed to.

    I’m planning on arranging my time around things that are important but not urgent – these 2 qualities create an interesting matrix of where we spend our time. The others are, urgent and important (ok, sometimes this happens), urgent and not important (sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how much of this there is) and not urgent and not important (watching tv, for example).

    I like your categories of what’s important to you…

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