11.28.2019

You Deserve Joy, and Challenge



We are veiled with the usual cold and darkness of November in Minnesota, and it's time to reflect on my word of the year, JOY! (Yeah, irony.) Like many, I tend to associate joy with light, color, warmth and relaxation, but when I dig deeper I realize that joy is inextricably linked to challenge, and some struggle. Cannot know the light without knowing some darkness.

Recently, I did a 5-day artist challenge on social media, a photo a day of my artistic highlights over the years. These 5 days proved to be an exercise in gratitude. As I reminisced, I realized just how far I have come--thanks to the help of family, other artists, and friends.  These snapshots of moments in time were each the culmination of responses to challenge. By the end of these 5 days, I realized just how much I enjoy the challenge of the art process, and how many opportunities and adventures art-gigs have given me, my family, and friends.

Also, at the end of this artist-photo-challenge-thing, I realized how little time I took to celebrate big and small victories. At the pinnacle of an achievement, I tend to downplay it, and immediately push myself to the next goal. Do I feel like I don't deserve joy and satisfaction? That seems ridiculous. I like to have goals, and it is okay to stay humble, but girl, take a breather and enjoy the view every once and awhile!

Here are the 5 days of posts:
DAY 1: 2004, Normandale Community College, the exhibit "Fruit & Labor"
Our young family, Dan's log-work with my sewing pattern & wax layered pear forms

DAY 2: 2007, SOHO20 Gallery, NYC, right before my exhibit "AMBIOTIC"
came down. Photo was taken by one of my parents who came to NYC with me.

DAY 3: 2014, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA, artist talk for "Reassurances"
LouAnn's words and my art have traveled the country, and given me many great challenges and fun times!

DAY 4: July 2017 in Grand Marais, MN, my happy art place where I get stuff done!

DAY 5:  August, 2019 at Studio 176 in Park Rapids, Mn. In August we opened up a small gallery. I’m grateful to show my work closer to home and share the gallery experience with artists I respect!

My recent work is pretty joyful (light, playful, airy, warm); there is tension and contrast too, end even a little snow in a few recent paintings! What?! More joy and recent work in my next post.