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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Take it to the Next Level in 2013

"Two Plus Two"
Oil on Linen - 16x12"

 How much did you stretch this year? Did you inch carefully out of your comfort zone or take a bold and daring leap? Will artistic growth be a priority in 2013?

I love this time of year because it always inspires me to reflect on the year past and set my sights on where I want to soar to in the coming year.

Know Where There's Room for Growth

This painting is a great example of where I am limited and how I want to grow. The end result was not what I intended. I wanted loose, painterly passages of thick and thin, expressive brushwork, an abstract quality up close. I got tight, controlled, careful, contained, photographic. I was playing it safe and it held me back from 'finding out'. It always will - can't have it both ways. Dammit. :-)

There are things I love about this painting, but I want something more for it. So I'm going to take another run at it and overshoot for loose, see what happens. An experiment in stretching with a focus on non-attatchment. Will let you know how it goes.

Once You're Clear - Embrace the Challenge With an Open Heart

There is value in finding a way to be in joy with a painting whatever shows up - while still keeping your eye on a higher bar. There is no value in feeling angst and frustration if what you're doing isn't where you want to be, and yet we all succumb to this occasionally.

What I have found is the more willing I am to carve out painting time that is focused on nothing but growth - no commercial or ego demands at play - the more at ease I feel with my results, whatever they are. And the more connected I become with the knowledge that becoming a skillful painter is a journey that has no end.

2013 Workshop Schedule

I have just finalized my workshop schedule for the upcoming year. Have lots of cool and varied learning opportunities on the books. I hope you can fit one into your schedule - I'd love to share a captivating part of the journey with you! Please follow this link for more info.


  1. Liz I think this a fantastic painting! I love the mystery, the modern dress and activities, with an old world style. I love the greys in the foreground and the hot background, and the wonderful way you pulled that off. Plus the composition is perfect, absolutely perfect. Maybe it wasn't what you were aiming for, but WOW!

  2. I did stretch in your portrait workshop and hope to assimilate that learning in the new year with a lot of practise. As for the journey, there is excitement in the mystery of it all, I will continue but who knows where I will be this time next year!!! How fun is that!!:)
    All the best to you in the New Year Liz and Merry Christmas and all that jazz!

  3. Such wise observations! When I force myself to paint only "to see what it will look like", I allow myself to experiment and "stretch". I think the "playing it safe" thing (too much detail, saying too much) is somehow related to our need to please others? Just a thought.
    What a cool journey we are on!

    1. I love what you're pointing to Nancy, could be about pleasing others for sure. For me it feels like a need to be in control- which equals safe. And that safety is most surely on some level about acceptance, so it all ties together in the end.

      I love how art pushes us to explore who we are on so many levels.

  4. well said. It is a great painting though and the red sings. NO easy feat there.

  5. I've ended up back here and I have to say that I LOVE this painting.