artist blog

"Focus" - the word for 2019

It’s been over a year (yikes!) since my last blog post, but I’m vowing to try it again this year and be more consistent with my writing; so, my word for 2019 is “focus.” Every year I pick a word and try to live it; and this year’s word fits especially well, since sometimes my art is all over the place and I need to pinpoint my style and technique. But, after two plus years of experimenting with painting abstract art, I think I’ve finally landed on a style and technique that intrigues me (well, maybe a couple of styles, but this is actually an improvement for my sometimes erratic and non-behaving brain!)

Can anyone else relate? Do you find it difficult to accomplish a goal because that laser-like focus is all over the place? I can only say to be patient and enjoy the journey and discovery, that it WILL come if you work at it. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but I’m living proof that hard work goes hand-in-hand with finding your unique voice, and will eventually pay off. So, below is painting that I’ve recently completed, using the new skills that I want to implement and focus more on.

I’d love your thoughts and comments. Here’s to 2019!

“Dancing at the Edge of the Sea” - ©Terri Edwards 2019

dancingattheedgeofthesea.jpg

Dip or hamster wheel?

I'm currently reading one of those self-help books for entrepreneurs by Seth Godin, called "The Dip." The Dip is a stretch of time for creatives, business people, etc., that you go through in your career, but that sometimes makes you feel stuck, but that, even when it seems difficult to keep going, you do. You're experiencing The Dip, according to Godin, the time when you are learning and honing your skills and promoting yourself.  Going through The Dip can take years of hard work. The opposite of being in The Dip is being in a cul-de-sac, or, if you prefer another analogy, a hamster wheel, where you keep running in circles, or find yourself in a dead-end cul-de-sac going round and round with nowhere to really go. So, the premise of the book is do you work through The Dip, or realize that your're in a hamster wheel/cul-de-sac and go on to something more suited to your skills?  Once you get through The Dip, it's supposed to get easier, you just have to stick with it. I feel like I've been through a lot of dips in my art journey, but probably more hamster wheels, truth be told. It's probably why I sometimes go from style to style, trying to find the one that suits me and my personality best. So, think about your creative endeavors or business strategy, and ask yourself if you're Dipping, and working through The Dip, even though it might be tough at times, or ask yourself if you're in that wheel, spinning around and getting nowhere, and maybe it's time to change your focus. I'm sharing a small piece that I'm working on that has a "dip" in it, and I wonder if if I put in there subconsciously. Hmmmm... Comments always welcome! Tell me about your dips or cul-de-sacs.

That thing called luck

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, this post is about luck, and the debate on whether it exists or not.  I've seen some fellow artists who have made a lot of sales, like several pieces on any given day, and I've been quick to say "they're so lucky!" Hmmm, I wonder. Is it possible that maybe they're just working incredibly hard?  Sure, maybe they got lucky by making a connection with the right person at the right time, like unknowingly chatting with a gallery owner in the checkout lane at Walmart, or running into an interior designer at the gym or hair salon, but I believe you have to work hard and PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE first. I've been thinking about branding lately: what's my story, or what's a piece of my art's story? I've really gone out on a limb recently by ramping up my social media presence, telling stories, and taking chances, like calling a local community center, which resulted in my first upcoming exhibition. I've been trying to comment and connect more with fellow artists on Twitter and Facebook, and slowly, slowly, I think it's starting to pay off, not to mention I'm meeting and getting to know some great people out there. And, obviously, a benefit of lots of hard work is that your skills will get better and better. So, here's wishing all of you the best of luck, with maybe a lot of hard work thrown in, no matter what you're doing. Please share your experiences below in the comments and connect!

"Green Dance," 2015, Alcohol ink on artist panel

"Green Dance," 2015, Alcohol ink on artist panel

Raising a ruckus

I thought I'd share my progress so far of a new, colorful abstract piece that I'm working on, "Raising A Ruckus." We've probably all heard that phrase (or maybe it's mostly a southern thing), but it's mostly used to convey calamity or chaos, and goodness knows we've got a lot of that going on in the world today. But I'm thinking of it differently; couldn't raising a ruckus be done in a good way, for good? Like getting active and participating in a cause you're passionate about. So, in that context, this painting has happy energy and colors, I hope. At least that's what I'm trying to do. No darkness or dark colors allowed!

I'd be interested in your thoughts on things you've gotten stirred up about; please feel free to comment below. Now go out there and raise a ruckus.

raisingaruckus.JPG