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Be still, here come the still lifes!

my two new still-lifes done in the backyard

It’s been a productive week, getting ready to venture out east to my home state of New Jersey.  I’ll be first going to Ocean City, MD with my girlfriend, where my parents have a home there on the bay.  It’s hard to believe that by next week, I’ll be painting on the beach with the ocean beside me.

But this week, I had to do many things to get ready for the trip.  I’m not the type to just sit around and wait for the timer to ring.  There’s always much to do in my world.  But it feels like the universe is responding in a positive way.  Since I have been hanging out in Albuquerque the past week, I noticed some changes.  I feel more zen-like, less stressed.  Yes, even before a major trip 2,000 miles away.

Santa Fe feels like it’s in the rear-view mirror in my life.  I’m not sure if I’ll live there or Albuquerque when I return from my trip in a few weeks.  So I’m leaving the future like an open book.  I don’t feel the need to make a decision immediately.  And that’s refreshing.  I know I’ll still be painting and creating my heart out.

But I want everyone to know that I’m mentally feeling much better these days.  So what if I didn’t get accepted in the Society of Artists.  I don’t feel the need to be part of the status quo.  I’m dissatisfied with snobbery and politics in the art world.  My art, my girlfriend, my joy and appreciation for the journey I have been taking to reach this moment.  It’s all good in my crazy world.

So here’s what I learned this week:

  • If you want to paint your butt off, better start early in the morning. It’s true, I woke up around 7am and soon painted out in the backyard.  By 4pm, I painted 2 new still lifes, retouched 5 others and was outside listening to a retro 80’s weekend mix on the radio.  I was in heaven, man!  Plus the same day, someone who was a repeat customer and friend bought one of my paintings from my gallery.  So it was a very productive day, and I’m grateful for that.  One day can make a difference, I believe that now.
  • Save the menial things for later in the day. I discovered that once you take care of your most important priority, then everything else falls into place.  For me, pouring all your heart and energy into your first priority will help see its fullest potential.  I can always do marketing and email stuff later.
  • Don’t forget to thank your customers. I met a great couple from Kansas at my booth last Saturday at the Santa Fe Artists’ Market.  Turns out that they were the only ones who bought my artwork, not just notecards.  And I always said that one person can make a difference.  They sure did, and I had a better-than-usual day.  I thanked them via email a few days later.
  • Honor yourself, maybe write a book? I self-published my first artbook on Blurb last week, and have been getting some great response, and sold several copies so far.  I worked very hard on this book, because I was basically doing a retrospective of my own work from the past 20 years.  ( You can find it on my homepage).  I just wanted another product to offer to my customers and fans who enjoy my work, and I did it.  Hooray!
  • If you’re going to be an a-hole, be the best a-hole you can be. I admit, I have some issues.  I procrastinate, wake up late, eat crap food, but at least I’m good at it.  You can’t lie to yourself.  You must accept your own faults if you want to be more comfortable with yourself.  And it will help you with the creative process as well.  Art is like a psychologist to me, it’s always there when I need it.

That’s it for now, oh by the way, here are my finished paintings, now available in my gallery.  I’ll keep you posted about my trip, maybe even a pic of myself painting on the beach in Maryland!