The bottom line

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All of the Commence pieces now have their camouflage people done and I’m just finalizing the main characters on the last few.

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Here’s a strange truth: I’ve never actually create a single, cohesive series of 10 or more paintings at one time before. I’ve created this many paintings, of course, but the style often had more variation.

So this is a big milestone for me, both personally and professionally. In the past, my solo shows often seemed like group shows because I had such different work. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, but I am excited about having this more consistent body of work and how each image informs the others.

Besides being just about done with these, this week was also my birthday, my husband’s birthday, and my daughter’s last week of kindergarten. Phew. It’s almost like some kind of family New Year is happening.

For me, both the paintings and the other milestones have served as reminders of my bottom line: connection.

The main thing I bring to my work is my endless desire for, and ability to create, connection. So if a painting isn’t working, it’s because I can’t connect with the characters, no matter how beautiful it is.

And that’s true in the rest of life too.

I feel like I’ve learned this year to be even more picky about following that connection and trusting that it will take me where I need to go, even when it doesn’t seem to be the straight path to some kind of goal or status or success.

I’ve really always done this but I have to be honest and admit I’ve also second-guessed myself, wondering if I should have made more effort to network with artists and art professionals I know who have achieved a certain type of status or pursue certain galleries who I really thought were kind of gross.

Luckily, I am terrible at this, so I never really went over to the “dark side,” but I am now just taking more conscious ownership of this choice to stick with what is authentic.

So this week, here’s to being terrible at networking!

But seriously, here’s to committing (or recommitting) to being your own vulnerable, authentic self and letting it guide you to the community you are meant to be part of.

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