Thursday, September 22, 2016

Adoring my awkwardness or how to be happy while failing at new stuff

I've spent time in the studio this last couple of weeks thanks to finding out what was causing my general fatigue and correcting it.  And normally, I would have great pictures to show.  But.  I'm experimenting and doing some very new to me things and I've had strong resistance to sharing pictures of what I'm doing.  Synchronistically, this blog post from Gretchen Schmelzer came out and she gave me some insight into why I'm struggling with this.

Here's a great quote:  "I’ll put it simply. Without letting yourself be awkward you won’t learn anything worth learning. When babies learn to walk they totter and wobble and fall and get up and for some reason we don’t call this awkward—we call it adorable. But this is the blueprint for learning everything. We totter and wobble and fall down and get up. And we need to see it as just as adore-able. We need to adore that awkward part of ourselves. We need to adore it more, or adore it at all. Awkwardness is the sign that you are actually doing something different. If everything is going smoothly, it’s a good bet that you aren’t changing anything or learning anything new."

Wow.  The rest of the blog goes into more detail but this was enough to have my internal struggle just go poof.  Of course it feels odd and awkward.  I'm doing some totally new stuff and I'm not even mediocre at it yet.

So I'll be waiting to share photos of my studio work until I don't feel so awkward about it.  In the meantime, here's a photo of the warblers that graced my morning walk.  Not from my camera, as I didn't take it, but thanks to Cornell Ornithology Labs.  Tina and I had a 3 warbler morning with the Black-Throated Gray pictured below, an Orange-crowned, and a yellow-rumped.  They were all jumping around in a few trees giving us great views and a lovely walk.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Embracing imperfection

I've been struggling with getting back into the studio.  I've just ended 18 months of low grade infection which was repeatedly misdiagnosed but is now gone, gone, gone.  And I'm just not bouncing right back.  In addition to the physical challenges, there's about 16 months worth of accumulated chores & clutter that need my attention.  And my habits have fallen into utter disarray.  So, bless you, Lisa Call,  for today's blog post about embracing imperfection and leveraging a small, doable task into a path for a larger goal.  See her blog post here.   Because a big part of my problem is feeling like I can't do enough today so I don't do anything.  Baby steps are clearly called for here and I apparently really needed some outside voice to tell me that.

The second great thing today was a FB post about a Turkish artist, Garip Ay.  I am particularly inspired by his piece pictured below.  Not because I do portraits, but because I like the combination of the marbling color and flow with the realistic style painted image.  It just really speaks to me so now my brain is churning with small steps I can take to move toward experimenting with this idea using my style of marbling and my bird photo based sketches.

See more at

This is a particularly promising path for me as the marbling can be done in small bursts, very quickly.  This means I can do a bunch of marbling in less than an hour (assuming the marbling tray and inks are already set up) and still have time to do some other work experimenting with the bird photos.  And not need more than 2 hours a day to make significant progress.

However, recognizing my low energy right now, and my challenges, I am not going to set myself up to fail.  I'm shooting for once a week making new stuff in the studio and the rest of my studio time can be finishing up the amazingly depressing backlog.  So, we'll see how it goes.