New Year—Fresh Start

blank canvas
blank canvas

People like the idea of a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to do it “right” this time (as long as starting over doesn’t involve losing any built up vacation time).

As an artist I’m lucky—each new art piece begins with a blank canvas. Some people go to work and do the same thing every day. Even a doctor might see her waiting room as a sink full of dirty dishes so to speak.

Of course that white space staring at you every day can get intimidating. I have to think of something to put on it everyday. When inspiration doesn’t come I still have to work. I put a wash of color on the canvas. I move some paint around. Inspiration comes.

Creating art is good for the mind. Creating art is good for the body. Looking at art is good for the mind and the body as well.

In an article by the Huffpost, Art Isn’t Just Good For The Mind, It’s Good For The Body Too, Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, “referenced a slew of studies chronicling art’s ability to reduce pain, counter fatigue and promote general physical wellness”.

So in 2016 be sure to include art in your schedule—sign up for a class, attend a show, visit a museum, buy a special piece for your space that you will benefit from in more ways than one.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

acrylic painting Farmers Market
“Green Beans”
I should really paint less complicated subjects for these 6×6″ pieces. (painted with my right hand)

It’s good to set goals, to strive, to push yourself. Sometimes it’s good to go an extra 10 reps, to walk an extra block, or to complete a painting a day.

But sometimes life pushes back and you need to take a break. Having two surgeries in one year takes it’s toll on a body. The recovery of surgery on my left shoulder, my dominant hand, is going a little rougher than the right shoulder did.

I was feeling bad that things weren’t getting done. But this isn’t a time to beat myself up; this is the time to take care of myself. So if the floor doesn’t get swept, and a painting doesn’t get finished every day, I’m going to cut myself some slack—let it go.

I found I can do other things, like at 3 A.M. when I can’t sleep because of the pain I listen to interviews of artists on my iPhone, Podcasts at the Savvy Painter ( Or, since iPhone has voice recording, I can record my blog so I don’t have to type this all with one finger.

So as everyone might start gearing up for the upcoming holidays I may take a nap and as The Beatles would say, “Let it be”.