Active Recovery

People are reaching out with questions on proficiency, coping with challenging times, and fatigue. 

A common assumption is creating art may be a departure from facing reality. There’s this idea one closes themselves off in a studio, consumed by their passion, the world goes on without their knowledge, or engagement with it. 

Art is never therapy for me, nor is it escape. I apply other methods and tools for health and wellness. 

ART, for me, is a form of being present and aware. 

If that’s the case, then “how am I able to create prolificacy.. particularly  in these times?”

  1. Proficiency : It’s a mindset. 

Daily intention when I step to the easel with the perception It is the first painting I have ever done, and my last. 

This attitude invites focus on the present and willingness to learn with the enthusiasm of a beginner. Acting as though this is the last painting I ever create, teaches me to savour the experience.

2. Challenging times:

 Focusing on what is within your control helps. Many artists, including myself,  are faced now with being totally self represented and self supported. They are adapting to online sales, initiating their own promoting, marketing and being their own cheerleader. 

It’s a difficult road carrying on, no matter what you do, or what’s been necessary to do to make a living in the last 20 or so months. 

Building resilience and adaptability will be useful now and in the future. 

Learning to cope healthfully for what is appropriate for the individual, and the circumstance, is key. Reaching out to support networks and professionals for methods can be very useful. I like to think of it as gathering tools.

3. Fatigue : 

Firstly, Maintaining a balanced healthy lifestyle is important.

One way to cope with creative fatigue is a training tool I learned in endurance sport. That is, having a scheduled day of ACTIVE RECOVERY

For runners and triathletes, ACTIVE RECOVERY is a taking day off from regular training and racing. Instead of biking, running and swimming, athletes may participate in yoga or a non strenuous walk. It’s great for recovery, keeping body and mind engaged with activity. 

ACTIVE RECOVERY in the creative field can be playing with clay instead of paint, or taking photos on a hike. Name all the colours you see on your hike that you would squeeze on your palette. 

ACTIVE RECOVERY is a welcome departure from the pressure of creating and reconnecting with the joyful part of art. You might visit a gallery, explore other artists work, make crafts, or listen to music. Write a poem, read a book, start a journal. Years ago, I spent one day a week taking an online art marketing course. It can still be a productive use of your time.

IN endurance training, we incorporated one day a week to active recovery. You may want more than one day a week, adjust to your needs. 

~Similarly, incorporate one COMPLETE REST DAY in your routine. 

REST DAY for endurance sport suggests a day with as much rest as possible. No errands, housework, work, or training. It takes scheduling to attempt a full rest day, but it’s well worth it if you can manage it. 

I remember at the end of a full day at my office job, I would run errands, then spend the evening cleaning, doing laundry and cooking so I could relax the following day. 

REST DAY for creative work suggests just that. No creating, creative thinking, working, work calls, emails, client visits, etc. I even make an effort to refrain from creative conversation.

Working from home can make this all extra challenging, but it is up to you to set those boundaries. 

Healthy boundaries ensure a healthy long creative life.


What’s new? 

I have been experimenting with oil on paper, partly inspired due to lack of space in my new spot. IT’s still in the exploring stage, and I am having fun with it!! A extra bonus, these studies should boost my plein air skills.

ART CARDS have nearly sold out. I have two packages of WINTER cards, and two of SUNSET cards. Please email me to purchase. Each pack, including envelopes is $20. Please add 2$ per pack for shipping. 

New work sold this week! Paintings are off to Toronto and Colorado. Very exciting to see these paintings find their homes. 

The new home studio will be starting construction soon. I have been envisioning my studio view onsite. A year from now, I may be writing you from this very spot. I am so grateful!