Each day is different, yet even during troubling periods, you can make decisions to bring at least some joy into your life.
In the desert, November started with glorious, sunny, yet crisp weather—a dip into the 30’s at night.
October was a very busy month for me – “art season” as they say. Teaching a painting day-workshop in Joshua Tree National Park, two weekends of opening our home and my studio on Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours and, because I believe we all need inspiration from outside sources, a first time visit to the LA Brewery Artwalk – a twice a year event where 104 arts open their studio lofts to the public.
Teaching Desert Institute class, open studios photos - including the model purchasing the photo of herself hiking, and adventures at the LA Brewery Artwalk:
My head is spinning with creative ideas!—in need of rest and restoration.
This weekend, while attending the funeral of and elderly friend’s husband, I was reminded of the seasons of life and our lifespan on this planet.
As artists and artlovers, the richness of our lives comes from a range of emotional experiences. Although we cannot control all circumstances, we can learn to be content—and by storing up kernels of wisdom and creativity, we can create and spread joy.
On that note, let me encourage you to set some creative goals for 2020!
I enjoy teaching a sharing painting tips, especially in our beautiful Mojave Desert! Each spring and fall, I teach a Saturday plein air painting class in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park through the Desert Institute https://www.joshuatree.org/desert-institute/field-classes.html
In January, I will be teaching a two night/three day water based painting workshop at the historic Campbell House Inn in 29 Palms and will be directed to beginning and intermediate level painters. Come play with us in the sunny Mojave Desert, a perfect winter get away January 14 – 16th https://artcantina.com/business-directory/desert-landscape-painting-with-janis-commentz/
There is a time for serious painting and a time for fun, a time for a more academic approach and a time to break “art rules”! Does art still have rules? After my lighthearted painting, I begin to yearn to paint a bit more thoughtfully. I am eager to really work out my new lightweight plein air easel. Living near a National Park allows for some quick trips to wonderful vistas! However, urban areas, interiors, pets and so many more scenes provide great subjects for painting.
Your schedule may be very full, allowing only a brief time for any creative pursuit. Gather a few supplies. Keep them where you can get to them. It may be only a small box of watercolors in a mesh cosmetic bag ready to go.
Work in steps; prepare the surface one day, find something to paint (photo or scene) on another and then pain on that third hour that you carved out.
Gather objects for inspiration! Above (right) is a photo of an inspiration shelf I put together when I first retired from teaching and needed to surround myself with meaningful objects: (from top clockwise, Christmas music parchment belonging to my mother, photo of my mother in her 1940's ceramic studio, cubist self portrait by my uncle, Vermeer print - because I love his use of light, vase by local potter Ed Keeseling with a figure he sketched in my life drawing group, red asian wooden vase belonging to my mother, a jar of red earth from Texas that was supposed to be under the bed when I was born. Haha-- it arrived too late for me to be born over Texas soil!
Make a move! Obstacles will enter our life. I found myself journaling with a negative twist last week, ad made my self rewrite each with a positive re-statement. I created a thankfulness bridge:
The whiny negative comments changed to encouragements.
Make a plan. Even if you have to modify it, have a general plan! Turn “I can’t” into “I can!” Jump in! Apply paint! Find objects for a collage! YouTube a project and follow directions.
Spread a little joy!
Wishing you a wonderful November! ~Janis Commentz
Note: The last 15 months have challenged us! This month I encourage you to learn from the isolation and I wish you a cautious, but joyous June reopening!
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