Ruminations on New Year’s Eve

Resumed Work on Bison Watercolor

If you have another exciting challenging project to work on, well being stuck on one is just an opportunity to do something else.

Tim Hartford, “A Powerful Way to Unleash your Natural Creativity” TED talks

Retiring to bed last night, I lay awake awhile, musing over what to do during New Year’s Eve. Before sleep overtook me, the idea was hatched. For this trip, I had packed two watercolors that were started months ago. The first was aborted once I got stuck, hence a second one, that then was aborted when I got stuck again. Waking this morning, recalling last night’s bedtime thoughts, I felt thankful that I had packed my two “stuck” paintings. Resuming work on the one posted above, I decided I needed some company, so I dialed up TED talks. And, what do you know! Tim Hartford addressed directly what I was experiencing. For a few weeks I have been dormant when it comes to watercoloring, aside from the occasional sketchbook exercise. I’m glad now that I have two in-progress pieces while away on this trip. Who knows–maybe I’ll return home soon with one or two new completed paintings. I have worked for about an hour on the one above and am allowing it now to dry while I bring my attention back to this blog. Should I hit a snag on the painting, the other one is waiting nearby.

While painting today, a number of ruminations have flowed rather freely. Taking occasional breaks from my work (or is it play?), I revised the New Year’s resolutions I have been compiling for a little while now, and finally drafted a final document in my laptop: a list that I will print multiple times on small sheets of paper to serve as daily check lists as I go about my routines.

Today I want to address one of the major items on the list: mindfulness. When browsing the Barnes & Noble Store, I notice a prominent display under the topic of mindfulness, and recognize this as some kind of movement that has gained significant momentum, judging from the number of products on display that seem to be selling well. In all honesty, I have never stopped to examine the various books, pamphlets and journal-like volumes in the display, but I am intrigued by that title and have adopted it as one of my resolutions.

Our nation currently endures a toxic public discourse that repulses me every time I tune in to the national news. Occasionally the toxicity finds its way into my social media channels. Repeat offenders are removed, and therefore I can keep my social media positive. As before promised, I am doing my best to keep this venom off my blog. Why would anyone wish to read such vitriol? One of my resolutions vows to read quality writing and hopefully find a way to disseminate it. And when listening to audio materials, I find myself now tuning in to TED talks more frequently than news feeds.

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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