This year is a year for digging deep, figuring out what I really want to do and how to create what I want to deliver. This is no easy task, believe me. It requires diligence, studying, research and asking myself a lot of difficult questions. It is also extremely helpful because I am seeing clarity like never before. I mean, pulling blinders off to see the sun shining right in your eyes clarity. It feels great but it also brings forth reservations and an uncomfortable thought of vulnerability and transparency in what I need as an artist, teacher and all around creative being. See, it is about digging deep, right?
So with this question “what would be utterly breathtaking for your business?” I was taken aback, stunned almost because I had never really thought about my business in this way. Think about that question for your own life for a moment. It is powerful, extremely powerful. It means being amazing with limitless possibilities and dreaming big for yourself. For what you want. For what would bring a smile to your face and let your heart sing every single day. See, powerful. Write down your answer, it is important, it is a goal to lead you down a path of optimism that anything is possible! For me, the answer came like this. “To see a growth of students that truly love what I have to share in opening them up into a new area of art, a more personal side that lets them be free without restraints and conditions, a risk taking that involves trust from both of us. It is a thriving community that sees my creativity and inspiration as a part of their own.” As I type this I know it is possible, I feel it coming. Something big, something scary, but something so beautiful that it will transform the creative muse within each of us. I do hope you will join me in this inspired adventure, it is going to be life changing, I guarantee!
Last year made me think about these three things, a lot. What I was doing? Who I was doing it for? Did the outcome make me happy? My answers. Managing, not creating. Everyone else but me. If stress, frustration and counting the days until the New Year only made me happy it would have been perfect, um no! A big change was needed. Do you ever feel that way? Like you are mindlessly going through the motions, surviving but not really living. Well, that is exactly what my life felt like. Constantly doing but doing all the wrong things. I knew it would take drastic measures, huge gumption, courage and a different mindset but I vowed 2017 was going to be a year of simple pleasures. My goals: get off the road, create more just because, monthly challenges to make me step out of the box and take classes that really took me out of my comfort zone. I approach each day walking into my studio with an open mind, excited to be inspired by what today will bring and simply put, enjoy having a paintbrush in my hand again. Last year I created 23 new pieces in 365 days. It is so sad to see that little number, my heart breaks knowing it, having written it for the world to see. But, that was last year, a new year is upon us. I am so grateful to have put that in the past and to only look forward from here on out. I will do better. I will do art. I will find my simple pleasures. I will find myself again. I will, I must! I am so glad that ideas have not left me after being neglected for a full year, they still present themselves in a whisper and percolate until I am ready. I have already created 15 pieces of art in the last 28 days, I have been uncovered…
After 20 years of being in business for myself as an artist, I am searching, opening up and realizing what I want for the next 20 years. It has taken me a long while to get to this space, listening to my inner voice, the one that makes me vulnerable. It has been pushed down for a long time, but I am finally ready to unleash its power, clarity!
Have you ever questioned yourself about wants, needs, purpose, destination, journey?
I do all the time but this year I decided to actually work on each of these, one by one. My purpose is finally defined, I want to be in the business of inspiration. To inspire, encourage, support others while offering artful classes that help explore creativity. In some, this is hidden waiting for the right moment and motivation to come out and play. For others, it is that inner voice of wanting more. More explanation, more depth, more understanding of being able to create what is inside. Either journey is personal, very personal and I want to offer you inspiration here and now. It is okay to be at the stage you are in, honestly we all start somewhere. It is okay to want something for yourself in this extremely demanding world. It is okay to try and fail, it means you are learning. It is okay to explore what you like, develop a style that speaks to you, even if it is different from everyone else. It is okay to be you! I want you to tap into the inner joy it will bring to create and honor it to shine. We have one life on earth, I am inviting you to spread your artistic wings and soar. I’m here for you, I won’t let you fall. Are you ready? I am….
The Turtle is part of my January Challenge, painting every day. This particular piece had three challenges for me. One, the color blue. It is not my favorite color by any means and I have a really hard time working with it. Especially blue everywhere. Two, tarnished silver. I have never created an image with silver so this was really difficult. I had my photo as a reference but I really think I got caught up in all the wonderful nuances of the metal but just couldn’t quite make it translate. I know the little tray at the top is way too smooth, need to go back and grunge it up a bit. Three, those blueberries. I totally love the color variations blueberries have and that magical frost that covers their skin but transferring that into paint and texture, isn’t so easy. Since I didn’t know where to start, I actually put in the dark values first then added each layer of light getting smaller and more intense as I came up to the shine spot. After doing several, the process got easier but still no small feat. I am pretty happy with the outcome, it’s not perfect but is art really about perfection, I don’t think so. Doing is the best practice and I’m thrilled this piece pushed my artistic abilities. My challenge for you to find something that you have been wanting to do but fear stepped in. Give it a go, you might just surprise yourself with the end results!
I have picked a word for the last 5 years and they have served me well because I figure out what I need to focus on and let it guide me throughout the year. So, what do you need this year? What direction are you heading? Where do you need help and guidance? Where do you want to be when 2018 rolls around? These are all questions I ask myself when leading up to a new year. It helps define my word for me and gives me a place for guidance.
I had three words that I was contemplating – faith, leap and trust. They are all very similar but in some ways very different to me. Faith – belief and trust in God; allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; a system of religious beliefs. Leap – to spring free from a surface or over an obstacle; jump. Trust – assured reliance on the character, strength or truth of someone or something; a basis of reliance, faith or hope; to place confidence; to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgivings. As you can see, they complement each other but I had to pick just one. Trust wrapped them all into one as hope, belief and strength.
What will “trust” do for me this year? I need to…
Trust myself and create what I want without worrying about the money it will bring in. Trust that they universe has lead me down this path for a reason. Trust that the right creative students will find me, be inspired by me and would love to create with me. Trust that this path is much larger than I can even dream. As you can see, Trust and I have a very big year planned. I hope your word gives you this kind of direction into the new year and makes it creatively successful, however that looks for you!
My New Year is starting out great. I challenged myself to paint everyday in January and so far it has worked like a charm. This painting took two days to complete but what I learned along the way has made me excited to work with acrylics and my paint brushes again. While I have done almost all of my glass objects in colored pencil, I thought I would try one with paint on wood and a little bit of paper as a background. There are pros and cons with any medium, it is all in the handling. The paint, meaning I couldn’t use a ruler and a pencil for my straight lines. No problem, with paint, I can just wipe it off again and again and again until I am satisfied, right? It took me quite a while to get those nice dark oh so important edge lines on the bottle but when I finally did it, I smiled like the Cheshire Cat! I was really nervous about adding that yellow orange hue to the glass shine but thought it added so much to the design, I just had to try it. So I mixed the color, tested it on the piece, wiped it off then quickly gave myself the go ahead to just do it. With a nervous hand, a little gumption and the belief that it will be okay, I held my breath and did it. Whew! The end result looked just like the reference photo I had taken and I even surprised myself by that. So, the moral of the story here. Trust in yourself. Give yourself the courage to try new things. Know that everything takes practice, practice, and more practice. In the end, always be happy you found time to do art, shared a piece of yourself with the world and can look forward to the next day in the studio. This year is going to be artistically amazing, can you feel it? I know, right!
With any New Year goals are sure to follow. Setting an intention, one to keep you motivated is a good place to start. With that being said, I am going to paint every single day in January. I’m not talking a finished painting, but that would be great. I am talking about going into the studio, spending quality time there designing, creating and just playing with paint. Opening and exploring that new box of art supplies I have collected over the last year. New techniques, layers, and allowing myself the freedom to just create without expectations of the end product. I want to discover what it is like to paint every single day, just me and the paint brush. No grand illusions of what to do, just the daily exercise of flexing my creative voice and putting it down on a canvas or two, maybe even 31 if all goes well. This year is about me, my art, telling stories, creating a community of like minded artists and living a very fulfilled artful life.
If you would like to join me on this journey, I have created an Instagram hashtag of #paintwithkelly so I can peek in on what you are creating along with me on this January journey. There is also a facebook group called “In the STUDIO with Kelly Hoernig” if you would like to share with the small art community gathering there. I can’t think of a better way to start a new year, creating with friends!