Rejection – For What It’s Worth

Rejection Acceptance ArtistsRejection.

It happens to everybody.


That happens, too.

I have a friend who entered an art competition claiming, “I won’t get accepted.” The law of distraction heard her loud and clear and promptly fulfilled her “dreams.” She forwarded me the rejection letter with the words, “See?”

I replied to her with a rejection note of my own. I had received it minutes before, from a completely different project. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it feels mostly like “lose some.” So, what?

This time last year I was on a winning roll…or is that “role?” Either. I Rejection Acceptance Artistshad placed in a prestigious and highly competitive art competition…and it was an honor just to be accepted. I’d sold several pieces to an ideal collector, one of my images was selected for a magazine cover and I had an opportunity to show in a museum. Sweet!

I remember what the juror of the competition told me. “Just because you got in, it doesn’t mean anything. It means that juror likes your work. If you don’t get in, it doesn’t mean anything either. Lots of good artists don’t get in.” Continue reading “Rejection – For What It’s Worth”

Fresh Start

Fresh StartWhen I hear the term “Fresh Start” I think of Paul Blanco’s Fresh Start program. It’s for people who have bad credit and need a car. But, today, I’m cashing in on a Fresh Start of another kind. The kind for people who are relationally bereft, those who’ve found themselves light on emotional currency, perhaps due to misunderstandings – which are the cause of so many of our ills.

I make a real effort to keep my relationships clean. I don’t like to have misunderstandings floating about or passive-aggressive dogs at the door. I tend to address those things as soon as possible, though most easily with people I trust.

Sometimes things get out of hand. For me, it’s often a tough call to identify the line between reasonable tolerance and where I have a reasonable right to set a firm boundary. You know, I don’t want to be the “curmudgeon on the hill” nor “the push-over that lives up there.” (click to Tweet) I think I’d rather err on the side of the curmudgeon, but fear I can more easily fill the shoes of the push-over. Boy, after I give too much, am I fun to be around or what? Continue reading “Fresh Start”

Wanting What’s Best

The best thingJust because we want it, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for us.

You may want to read that again.

This point was driven home this week when I had a conversation with a friend. She was wondering how to deal with some “crazy spirited” extended family members. You know the old saying,”You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family?” Sorry, Mom, I don’t mean YOU! Anyhou, convinced large family gatherings would fill her heart, she was wrestling with the idea of her unwieldy and unreliable “attendees.”  She dreamt of a large family gathering and, of course, that was the family she had to work with. Just because we want it doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Imagine hosting a family gathering where you issued straight jackets like party favors at the door.

I remember when I worked in corporate. I’d apply for advancement positions. I did it because I wanted it…or sometimes, I just wanted to be the chosen one. Honestly. I just wanted to be selected…competitive much? All the demands that accompanied the position, well, those might not be for me, but I wanted to be the pick of the litter. This addictive desire got me into tight, unhappy spots on more than one occasion. My ego made my bed, then I had to be the one to lie in it! It’s taken some time, but I’m so over it.

What do you want? Is it your ego or inner-child doing the begging – or is it your heart’s desire? How would you know the difference? It’s worth taking some time to think about, me thinks. Sometimes, our best information comes in times of contemplative silence. (click to Tweet) Continue reading “Wanting What’s Best”

Book Club

Art Book Recommendations









Yay!!!! I’ve reclaimed my time! It’s a precious commodity you know? And, after last week’s realizations about “over-helping” others and running into a lack of time to pursue my own goals, I’m stepping into the space of taking a big breath, relishing time in my studio and developing my new painting series of ‘Love Songs.’ When they’re ready for prime time, I’ll be sure to share some photos with you!

Given my new found space and potential, I have a bit of leisure time and am ready for a good read. Well, of course, it should be an art book….or something related to creativity. So, I thought maybe you could help me with some recommendations. I’ve started a list to share with you of some of my favourites. These include:

Improving the Workings Between Your Ears

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon

Show Your Work – Austin Kleon

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking – David Bayles and Ted Orland

Improving the Workings in Your Studio

The Creative Edge – Mary Todd Beam

I’d Rather Be In the Studio – Alyson B. Stanfield

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Betty Edwards

 Voyeurism of Other ArtistsArt Book Recommendations

Inside the Painter’s Studio – Joe Fig Continue reading “Book Club”

The Price of Giving Too Much

giving too muchMy cup is almost empty. There’s no more wind in my sails. I can only think in trite clichés.

I’ve given pretty much all of it away.

I’d like to think I’m a bottomless-well, serving buckets of goodwill, assistance and cheer to everyone I meet – but it’s a negligent practice that can lead to a parched throat and scowling countenance. Ooops, there goes the cheer.

I’m not that generous. At least not now.

I offer a lot of assistance – I know that about myself. I will generously promote you, tirelessly applaud you, praise you, share with you, give of my time. Don’t feel sorry for me –

Human beings do not repeat behaviours that don’t have a pay-off in it for them. (click to Tweet).

Continue reading “The Price of Giving Too Much”