Bold, lush layers with Rejoice and Be Merry text.

What will you do in your free time these final two weeks of the year? Nest? Rest? Create? Hike? Declutter? The end of the year can bring out the urge to tackle things set aside all year, as if that final stretch provides the incentive needed to get things done. To see the year out on an upswing of activity and completion before the new year begins.

I still have work days scattered around the holidays, yet it feels as if they are smaller than normal, eating up less of my time. An illusion that persists year after year. I have more I would like to do than will actually be able to fit in, it is always so. Day trip here, sort and clean there, meet up with friends and so on.

Thirteen days, then out of this year and into the next. Make the most of them that you can, as they will not be able to be done again.

Finding it

Bold colored mixed media with “inspiration” text.

Inspiration can be an elusive thing, full force some days yet nowhere to be found on others. There is no guarantee when or for how long either stage will last. This irregularity can either frustrate an artist, or it can allow for a time in which to let the mind wander and refill itself. Many compare it to the ebb and flow of the tide, others to the natural cycle of a plant. Whichever comparison you choose, you can flourish in the quiet times in unexpected ways. We all can benefit from the these times of rest and learn not see them as dead spells lacking any creative benefit. Instead these times are ready for daydreams, explorations, reenergizing and replenishment.

October closing

Mixed media with purple 34 centered on it

It doesn’t feel Halloween-like, no frost and so no piles of crunchy leaves to shuffle through. But the calendar says it is the 31st of October. This fall has been one of general malaise it seems. I have done a bunch of art and videos for Youtube and my site, but have found it hard to muster up the energy for much else. Giving myself time in my studio has become a non negotiable part of my free days. I don’t always like the final piece, but I am keeping at it. Sometimes all I get done is cleaning up my worktable so as not to have no open spot to work in. As I get more videos and courses done I am getting comfortable, setting new goals and expanding what I offer. It is a long process to develop and grow an audience, but I am chipping away at it.

Boldly so

Bold black floral on orange and purple mixed media

Whenever I am in the studio, whether doing videos or just rolling with materials, it is a break from my normal days. Some people run, others bake, I create art. At this point I have stacks of it, which concerns me for what will befall my heirs eventually, yet still I create. Some pieces I share inside birthday cards, others I use for ideas in my videos, and a few collect dust as they didn’t quite come out right or were used as examples. I am always either actively creating or waiting to do so, and when the time is right and I can make a quick escape to create I grab it. There is so much in life that demands attention; bills, chores, family, work, et al, that I find it can be tough to consistently have a block of time set aside. It must be carved out and set aside as sacred from the din of daily life. I have to be bold about it as no one will be bold for me.

Rounding out the weekend

Mixed media featuring circles and moths

The weekend has passed all too quickly again. It doesn’t matter if I got a bunch of stuff done or not, it simply slips away like a sunset. Now that I am trying to squeeze in filming and editing work for my online courses, plus yard clean up and house prep for the coming winter, and a bit of fun in addition it is a full to do list that greets me each Saturday morning. One of the hard parts is getting used to the lessening daylight this season brings. The darker mornings and evenings seem to sap my energy, making it more difficult to make use of the hours that are the same as they are in long days of summer. Do you find that your energy dips as the shorter days take hold?

These early days

Yellow maple leaf in grass

There is always that first sign of autumn that catches your eye. The single colorful leaf, the flock of geese, or the U-Pick apple signs appearing by the orchards. Each season has their own specific ‘firsts’ that herald a change is coming. Much less specific are the ‘lasts’ as the seasons close out, those are much more fluid and harder to catch as the tend to be overshadowed by those ‘firsts’ coming in.

Here we are starting off the month of September, a clean slate to write upon. It stretches out full of potential yet to be realized. The only framework are the days and previous commitments. Yet too soon it will be passed mid-month and those hoped for adventures and experiences might still be in the potential column vs the done column. It can be hard to reconcile the daydreams with the reality of daily life.