Energy Potential

~Energy flows where attention goes.~

In the colourful beautiful animated film “Monsters Inc.”
(spoiler alert) Sulley and Mike discover love & laughter are the most powerful energy sources for fueling their city rather than a previous fear based method. The film portrays a wonderful image of collecting energy from positivity.

This image came to mind while watching a powerful demonstration how loving thoughts provide humans with superior strength in comparison to anger.
The demonstration was by an Oncologist, who’s work focuses on hypnosis (when applicable) instead of anesthesia for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
“Just like Mike & Sulley,” I thought, positive thought, laughter & love are measurable energy strengths.

Startling recent science suggests ‘thought energy’ affects humans on a cellular level.
“Some of the most powerful external signals that influence the health of our cells are the energetic messages which emanate from our thoughts.
Positive or negative, our thoughts have the ability to literally change our bodies and alter our physical health and well being.”

“A renaissance in cellular biology has recently revealed the molecular mechanisms by which thoughts and perceptions directly influence gene activity and cell behaviour.. Energy psychology, through its ability to rapidly identify and reprogram limiting misconceptions, represents the most powerful and effective process to enhance physical and emotional well being.” Bruce H. Lipton author of “Biology of Belief”.

Clients pose the energy question by referring to ‘mood.’
“Do you have to be in the right mood to paint?” or state “ Creativity energy must flow from you like water.”
Professional artists know how much energy it takes to create daily under pressure. Which is why a well known artist recently asked, “I follow your work, and have one question for you…“ are you exhausted all the time?” “Because,” he said, “I know what kind of effort it takes to put out the amount and calibre of work you do.”

Creative energy doesn’t ‘flow like water’ but learning what feeds it is part of the process. Thou Individuals handle this uniquely, as people vary on what sparks or tires us, some universal elements affect energy in artists and non artists alike.
As Mr. Lipton and his colleagues suggest, frame of mind and positive energy are huge factors in health, creative productivity & longevity.

Aside from being conscious of thought, energy generating habits focus on time outdoors in nature, exercise, sleep, mediation, nutrition and balance.
Expanding on this foundation is how I stay on track. Here are three additional tips below.

Tip#1. Know Thyself.
Be aware of what fuels you, what drains you. Focus on the former.
When dealing with difficult people or situations, structure your time for recovery and self care.Set boundaries.
Healthy habits sharpen your instincts. Tune in. Why are you tired? Is it time for a break or a hard run? Listen to your body & spirit.

Tip#2 Declutter and Restructure your space/ furnishings/.
One weight loss theory is to clean your closets.
“Stuff” literally mentally, emotionally, and physically can weigh us down.

How do you move in your spaces? We respond energetically to ‘stuff’ in our environments.
Think of yourself as a swimmer with smooth flow and rhythm in your stoke. Suddenly you encounter a wall, need to climb over the wall, get back in the water, swim, another wall, and over and over again you go.
A swim without barriers is more efficient with less energy spent. Plus it’s way more fun.
Cluttered furniture & items you constantly adjust around disrupts creative flow and energy. Pay thoughtful attention to organizing your dwellings. Have tools/ supplies readily available.
Plants, light, art, colour, scents, music, sound and free flowing spaces all fuel energy. ( The scent of peppermint increases energy for long distance runners wearing tiny vials during a run.)

Tip#3 Take stalk & channel energy. Everything in life requires energy, including creating, focusing on projects/ solutions or conversations that need to take place.
Reframe how you approach tasks & goals. Are the deadlines daunting or wonderfully challenging?
Are you nervous about the presentation, or excited? Do you have to go for a run, or do you get to go for a run?

Think of daily energy as sand in an hourglass. Recognize available amount daily and where you will spend it. How much time will you worry about things you cannot control, how much energy goes down the chute when you do? Electronics can be especially draining. What is sacrificed when you allot to unnecessary screen time on FB? Experts say head position gazing at phones/ tablets puts an extra 60 pounds of pressure on our neck. Imagine how much energy this costs and how it affects overall health. Additionally, for artists, screen time is wearing on eyesight and dexterity.
Be conscious of how you spend your time, apply what increases your positive fuel cell like those in Monsters Inc.
Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” writes “It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.”
“Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, The Happiness Advantage teaches us how to retrain our brains to capitalize on positivity and improve our productivity and performance.”

Perspective changes our energy. You are in the driver’s seat of possibility.
~
Further reading:
Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
The Happiness Advantage Shawn Anchor
Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hansen

New Work: Island 8×10 oil on board $455.oo
Waterlily Garden 12×36 oil on canvas ( infused with new palette!) $1200.oo
Summer Lake Diamonds 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.oo

Note: Studio/ store will remain open for art purchases, thou likely my LAST post till Mid august. Until deadline, focus will be on painting & writing documentation for the exhibit.

Power of Colour

The human eye can distinguish up to 10 million colours.
How on earth can anyone choose a favourite?

People react universally to colours found in nature, like moss greens, aqua blues, and earthy umbers.
The jury is still out to what intensity, because we all experience colour uniquely.
The next time you view a Van Gogh, the person standing next to you in the museum may be seeing an entirely different version.

Colour affects us psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
It can be used to treat obesity, invoke productivity, and calm patients with mental illness.
Universal human reactions include green and blues as the most calming, while the most stimulating are reds & oranges.
Aside from these, everyone has unique colour connection or sensitivity. Colour can stimulate memories, hunger, communication, strength and serenity. You may be drawn to robin’s egg blue, the colour of your childhood blanket, or comforted by rose pigment because of Grama’s rose water scent.

Thou you may not list “yellow” as a favourite colour, its psychologically the strongest, and the first colour the eye sees.


Yellow ochre, a natural clay may not be great for a blouse, but wheat fields shine with it in the sun’s golden glow. Against a cobalt sky promising welcome rain, it can be dramatic and powerful.


Still not sold?
It’s the colour of dijon mustard in your favourite sandwich, golden retrievers, and one of the earliest pigments found in prehistoric cave paintings.

Artists may balance strength of colour with subject.
For instance, a softer palette is paired with a dramatic ocean scene of strong pattern and shape.

A stimulating tangerine palette applied to a less active composition doesn’t overwhelm, inspiring serenity in the sunset lakeside vista.

The Amaryllis flower, painted in cad red’s contrasts with beautiful sensual line and the irony of a feminine subject displayed on large canvas.

We may react differently to colour at different phases or even days in life. People arriving to the studio stressed are usually drawn to serene, less detailed paintings. Others looking for cheerful powerful stimuli will respond to full pigment paintings. I switch my own personal collection around to support life events & changes.

Delving into your experiences with colour, you may be able to embrace more of the spectrum without judgement.
I cannot remember ever using hot pink pigment. Recently wearing a cycling jersey this colour kept me road safe and feeling spunky. It just may find it’s way to my palette.

Inquiring about the Amarylis painting a client said “I am drawn to red at this point in my life.” It’s an exciting time for her filled with wonderful new beginnings.

Here’s to summer friends! May mossy green forests, golden ochre fields, cobalt skies, tangerine sunsets and happy red flowers light your life.
~
Robert Genn Aug. 7th. 2012.
“Some painters nail the exact colour they need on the first go. I’m not one of them. In my experience, 90% share my problem. Colours change as the colours change around them — and you can’t know the colour of a passage until you’re picking up what you’re putting down. The situation is  compounded by the presence of (or desirability for) reflected lights, silhouettes, local colours, broken colours, cast shadows, equal intensity lay-bys, etc. Finding the right colour can be like looking for the Higgs boson.Understanding how colour works is largely a self taught skill.”

Colour is a power which directly influences the soul” ~ Wassily Kandinsky.

Sunset – 8×10 oil on board $455.oo
Lakeside 16×20 oil on canvas $935.oo
Ocean – 4ftx3ft oil on canvas $3950.oo
Evening Light 4ftx2ft oil on canvas $3600.oo
Amaryllis 30×40 oil on canvas $2700.oo

Exhibits and Mountain Cycling

Building a body of work for an exhibit is like road cycling in the mountains.


Unlike running where they need longer recovery, legs find a rhythm in the mountains, building strength day after day on the bike. It’s a unique phenomenon.


Tough challenging grades are targeted after several days of mountain cycling. Achieving this daily requires proper fuel and rest, walking, stretching, balancing endurance climbs with shorter ascents .

The Saskatchewan project feels like riding in the mountains. It is requiring great focus, physical, mental, and emotional endurance. The deeper I get into the work, each painting builds and evolves from the last. More ideas follow. The strength of the collection begins to take shape upon the cumulation of work.

Thou not in the beloved mountains these days, cycling helps to create great physical distance from the studio and find balance with work. With one  week totally 505k’s earlier this month, it’s helping me be productive and find confidence in the art.

On mountains excursions, days are limited, with so many to climb and explore.
Like this art project, reducing thousands of subject choices to a handful is a huge challenge.
Ideas now flow like thundering waterfalls. It’s peak days with the sands of time ebbing quickly.

In the words of the Beatles “I will get by with a little help from my friends.”
Thanks to Award winning Artist Julia Hargreaves for ongoing assistance curating the exhibit, honest feedback and endearing friendship.
To Dad for your steadfast support, allowing me to ship & store paintings at your home before transport to the gallery. To friends, family and clients who have marked their calendars to attend the exhibit. To Donna for her touching gift of a dress for opening night.
To the Hambleton Gallery for giving me space to work on the collection, allowing me to work on paintings for your venue later this summer.
To Marc, for making a wide berth of the studio, endless support and positive feedback.

Thanks to you, for collecting & sharing the work. Without you, this art would cease to be.

~
Keep busy while you are waiting for something to happen.”
Robert Genn.
~

The Mountain 3ft x 4ft oil on canvas ~ available to purchase

Sunset Cloud ( NEW) 11×14 oil on canvas ~ available to purchase

(work for exhibit is under wraps, hence the blurry studio photos.)

Note: Happy Father’s Day this weekend to all the great Dad’s!

Mine is a wonder of steadfast love, endless patience, and strength. A tremendous role model as father, husband, son, neighbour, friend, conservation officer, musician, avid reader, global citizen, humanitarian, and athlete. Thanks for the belief Dad, and letting me use the hammer.

)

 

Art’s Purpose

Art is meant to abundantly serve you.
If it was simply self expression, the work would never be released to the world, like private journals kept under lock and key, stuffed in drawers and closets.

The instant art is released to the world, its purpose is to deliver, nurture, guide, indulge, comfort, support, sustain, gratify, benefit, accommodate, and engage you.

Her images invite us to celebrate this world, to imagine that which lies on it’s outer edges, and to participate in a world moving in light” D.L

In the work, I am connecting to what’s outside within, not the other way around.
Drawing on energy around us, finding a way to channel that dimension and deliver it to you.
To connect and share story, experience, life. A universal language spoken in nature’s tongue.

A photo may capture the light, a painting beckons you to bath in it, drenched in colour and warmth.
It’s tangible living experience. The brush, a caress brought to life in pigment and energy.

The moment you acquire art, you become woven into the fabric of it’s story, of it’s legacy.
It’s journey truly begins the moment it finds you.

~
Note:  Similar powerful thoughts struck experiencing Van Gogh’s work in person. It was as thou I was sitting on a wooden stool in the field right beside him.
So you see it? He asks. Do you feel it, with the clouds overhead, violet shadows dancing before you? Here we are, together, in the field under the summer sun by the olive trees, centuries apart, reaching thru time in this moment eternal.

P.S
I am knee deep working on the Sask Exhibit collection, cocooning now toward a deadline. This journey is by far one of my most challenging. So excited to share this new body of work with you in the fall! The new paintings released today have the flavour of what’s to come. Enjoy!

New Work:

Windswept 11×14 oil on canvas $600.oo CAD
Morning at the Lake 12×16 oil on canvas $700.oo CAD

 

Room with a View

Do you yearn for a view?
Opening the exterior wall, what would you see? offices? concrete? a neighbours house? nature?

What if you could control that view? Choose it.

Knocking out a wall might not be feasible, budget friendly, or the view you pine for.
Art may be your answer.

Unlike a window, art is portable, will outlast furniture, flooring, wall paint.

Infusing your space with colour and reflective light, art will awaken your senses similar to a spectacular view.

Art breathes life into a room, and to the people within it.

“If you want something to match your couch, buy a pillow.” a famous collector said.
Art isn’t a fixture for walls. Forget trend and ‘matching’ fashion.
It’s your view, make it your own.

We are beyond the restrictive mythical belief that art is decorative.
Humans engage in, respond, interact with art in powerful ways.

Our pupils actually vibrate when viewing art, offering evidence of a direct energetic response. ( further reading on habitat vitamins ~ click here )

And that is just the beginning.

This article suggests the area of the brain that experiences not just emotion, but goal setting is activated when viewing art.
From Visual Thinking Strategies:
“We also found that given certain key elements in the design of aesthetic encounters, growth in critical and creative thinking accompanied growth in aesthetic thought. In other words, in the process of looking at and talking about art, the viewer is developing skills not ordinarily associated with art. These findings were consistent over a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic contexts.”

Orchestrate your view, illuminate a world of possibilities. ‘See’ what unfolds.

What’s your view?

~

New Work available for purchase:

North 14×18 oil on canvas

Sunup 16×20 oil on canvas

Behind the Scenes

Successful career Artist Philip Harris’s contribution to a Visual Arts post,
“A day in the life of an artist” tallies his daily activities mimicking some of the Greats.
Expressing his wit, he states,
“I’m convinced that friends and family believe that I spend my days wearing a smoking jacket and swapping witty aphorisms with the characters from a novella by Oscar Wilde.”

Thou you may not picture me wearing such a jacket, your recent inquiries about exhibits, work habits, what am I up to, hint of mysterious smoke.
Let’s clear the air, go behind the scenes for a moment, and tackle these burning questions, friends!

1. Do you paint everyday?

I work every day.
I paint 4-6 days a week depending on scheduling. Being prolific doesn’t mean it comes easy. I don’t have a smidgen of so called ‘natural talent,’ (see my Mother’s Day card below. My brother did the printing).


I am prolific because I work really hard. I keep routine to conserve headspace for the canvas, have developed some proficiencies, like prepping boards, organizing tools, reference filing, etc.

If not in the field, I work in my home studio, a lovely space with amazing light thru the day, built by Marc. At times, visitors come to sit in the rocking chair with tea, remarking it’s a ‘sanctuary space.’ I would agree.

Being self employed -full time, like other business owners, I wear a lot of hats. (or jackets). Responsibilities beyond painting include inventory collection, gallery visits/ calls & updates submissions, field research, sourcing new venues, social media, website updates, exhibit research, industry research, press release writing, marketing& sales, ( some clients may purchase one painting in their lifetime, it’s a necessary cog in this wheel to always be sourcing new collectors.) logistics, deliveries, wrapping & shipping ( it can take half a day to wrap a painting for shipping).

The blogs have attracted attention from Fitness & Health magazines in the US and Australia, dealers, gallery owners, investment collectors, new & veteran collectors, artists, neighbours and cousins, people from all walks of life from 8 – 92.
Because the newsposts are a big part of my business, I spend a lot of time researching ideas and writing. At any given time I have a dozen newsletters half written. If I am crunched for time, working on the art, I can finesse a post I had begun previously.

2. Do you ever run out of ideas for painting?

No. Never. I run out of supplies. Literally.
To paint more, I need to sell more, it’s a business balance.

3. Since the exciting Sask Exhibit announcement, questions filter in weekly.

How did it come about?
After meeting Bill 8 years ago, and handing him my card, he mentioned the possibility of showing my work. I didn’t let that idea die, and was in touch regularly with him after that. It was years before I was accepted. The last two have been sorting out details of timing, inventory requirements, etc. Exhibits never happen overnight, certainly not in a reputable gallery like the Shurniak. A few artists have written since,“ It’s every Artists dream to show there.”

How will the Exhibit work?

The show will run from Oct. 1, to Nov. 30. I will attend the opening, then return to close up the show.
They have asked for up to 30 or so pieces, depending on size. With a solo show within the gallery ( the permanent collection is always on display) ,I am allowed to have my own theme, choose sizes, subject matter ext. It’s a wonderful freedom, as for most showings the artist has to meet gallery criteria of sizes, themes, etc.
Shurniak Gallery is a non-profit. Any sales will take place after the exhibit with collectors getting in touch with me directly.
Work has to be complete at least a month- 6weeks prior to the show for drying purposes, shipping and cataloguing.
I won’t publicly show the collection for the exhibit until after the show opens, thou you have glimpsed two pieces.
~ in the meantime, I need to work on new inventory for my representing gallery in Kelowna, and inventory I can keep selling thru the months until Oct.

This brings me to the next question.

4.“If we don’t see a post from you we think you have quit painting.”

This news blog is an interesting phenomenon. Over a dozen clients mentioned this when the post was getting blocked by the web server. If you don’t check the website for recent posts & work, with dates listed, and contact me, I have no way of knowing who may or may not be getting the posts.

For the record, I am painting a lot, and with this new body of work being kept under wraps, please know I am here for you, even if I am quiet. Quiet is when I do my best work. :))
There is a great selection of paintings available for purchase. I would love to help you with your collection.

5. “You must feel so rewarded when you finish a painting”.

I never feel like the work is finished until it finds a home. Because of this it can be a roller coaster of emotions at any given time. The work itself is always developing, and that’s pretty cool. I am pleased with the momentum and look forward to continuing the trek.Its utter joy to be creating something that has never been before, every day. .

~
What else?


Once in awhile I help Marc design furniture. He is an incredible craftsman with an engineering mind, whose creativity continues to grow. It’s amazing to see one of my sketches come to life in 3-D.


He is super passionate for music, kindly getting us out of our respective studios to see wonderful live original music. Music replenishes the soul! In my spare time I can be found on my bike, running, wandering trails, reading, etc.

Thanks for your letters, continued interest & collection of the work, and lovely cards!
Wishing you all good things from the studio!

~
P.S ~ You’ve asked about my role models.


My Mom was a huge influence in my life. She was my creative sounding board, compass and BFF. A self proclaimed badass, she was my hero in every way. I miss her every single day, and like to believe a light that shone that bright, never really goes out.
The Daisy painting was donated to Watrous Hospital in her memory.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Mom’s out there.

~

New Work  all avail for purchase~ Daisies & Hydrangea- 11×14 oil on canvas
Evening Light – 4f x2ft oil on canvas

Other Photos:
Paint box. Mother’s Day card drawing _ not recent. :0)
Studio
Shipping material :One of three rolls of varying materials I use for shipping.
Birch painting on display in Anchor Coffee House avail. for purchase
Drawing new chair design- Marc’s  previous work and new chair in progress, half finished.                                                                                                                             My bike
Mom, Mom & Dawn
Daisy painting donation 22×28 oil on canvas

Ancient Beckoning

I began to crave nature. A soulful yearning for the quiet voice of the wind without urban interruption.
A desperate ache to hear rainfall on leaves & trickle in creeks running pure, birds greeting the day.

I longed for the invigorating scent of woods draped in morning dew, mingled with pine.
My feet desired soft moss underfoot, lungs to drink fresh air.
I needed to feel the heartbeat of the earth and breath of the sun.

I wondered, could I feel it in the paint? Could I return there, to the quiet hush, and feel nature’s breath?

and if I could… would other’s feel it too?

~

In art, nature communicates a connection requiring no language, nor explanation, and constructs no barriers.
It universally unites.
I hope you feel it too.


~
New Work:
Wilderness wander – 24×30 oil on canvas
Waterlily garden- 12×36

Artist Mantra & Mission

“Thou shalt paint to please thyself.”
“Thou shalt be hard to please.” Robert Genn.

Beyond the fruition of hard work, style matures when an artist:
• Pushes their boundaries
• Listens to informed critics while censoring the others.
• Has an audience
• Experiments with tools, genres, mediums, methods, techniques.
• Insulates/ Isolates oneself to create.
• Purges bad habits & develops good ones. Recognizing which is which.
• Is a tough self critic.

Mastery of skill can be achieved but it may still fall flat to connect.
Balance of skill & audience connection can be as elusive as finding the space between thoughts.
Growth usually happens in such small increments it sneaks up & surprises you, rarely occurring in lightening bolt epiphanies.

Many great artists have a percentage of dissatisfaction in their work.
(Robert Bateman stated during a radio interview he doesn’t feel he has ever achieved a masterpiece.)
Like the professional athlete striving for a Personal Record, pro artists seek their own path of improvement.

Unlike athletes, for artists, it isn’t about efficiencies & speed, but about striving for quality and communication.
Listening to their self critic keeps the opportunity for growth alive.
Maintaining confidence, while checking ego at the door, opens the door to improvement.

~
About the New Work: Waterfall/ Algonquin 14×18, Wilderness at Sunrise 24×36 :Wandering in the wilderness,  rarely do we see each leaf, tree branch or sprig of moss underfoot, as it would be captured in a photo.
Mostly, we see a collection of shapes, merging colour, fleeting light, shadow play. Individually, we experience a collection of emotions. It may be curiosity, peace, thrill, joy. We are drawn to different elements, like that baby tree illuminated among older growth, with spring moss rolling beneath.

My work involves emotionally driven content in order to enhance this kind of experience & individuality.
I apply texture, earthy under painting, and ethereal light elements. The work is less detailed to reduce noise,creating restful places for your eyes & heart. Hoping it opens doors for your imagination, memories and emotions to take hold & ignite.
The goal isn’t to illustrate or to share personal story,it’s for you to find a home in the work. That, my friends, is the ultimate reward.

~ P.S “In order to create, artistic people need be alone. Isolation is key. If you have to be lonely in order to be free, learn how to tolerate a little bit of loneliness. It’s hard, but you are strong, you can do it.” James Taylor
Biography Master Class~ James Taylor~ see the inspiring episode here, its well worth watching from beginning to end.

Influential Design

Interior design’s primary focus is functionality & aesthetics dictated by trend, products or fashion.
Great design can be so much more.

We spend 90% of our lives indoors.
Besides increasing quality time outside, we can orchestrate indoor surroundings for optimum wellness & productivity, based on specific needs and integrating nature.

Humans are incredibly influenced consciously, and unconsciously by environment.The power of influential design is remarkable.One industry that knows this very well is the field of advertising. Millions are allocated researching influencing elements of behaviour. ( ex: how we respond to colour, music, sound levels, shape, texture, scent, views, etc.)
We can use this information advantageously, applying it positively to dwellings, health facilities, educational venues, offices, industry, lobbies, clinics, and public spaces.

A healthy dwelling may involve using sustainable non toxic materials and applying wellness architecture. ( click here )
One step further, is to create influential indoor experience for positive behaviour, improved health, productivity, sleep, communication, engagement, nutrition, etc.
An interview with architect Barbara Stewart in Psychology of Interior Design describes these kind of design elements in depth. ( Its well worth the read. click here )
Stewart says it’s no surprise many people want wood floors, because they ‘replicate the forest floor.’
She mentions paying attention to how we will move in the space, “meander as thou on a path in nature’….’ if a zoologist designed human habitat, it would’ reinforce natural patterns and reduce stressors.”

Focus on personal needs and inspirations. Create a narrative within your dwellings. Apply tactile, texture, sound, colour, form, and comfort experiences. What activities will take place and who will visit the space?

• Humans are drawn to natural pattern & shape. Consider furnishings, their placement, and everyday items like dishes.
• Plants reduce air pollution and invite the outdoors in. We are meant to live among nature. Biophilic design and living walls are a growing industry,(!) applied to residential, commercial, even manufacturing venues.
• Make the most of natural light. Large windows and doorways beckon us outside.Skylights reduce the feeling of confinement.
• Passageways can be under-utilized. Relaxing colourful scenes ease transition from living room to bedroom. Brush past a basket of cozy blankets, while soothing scents and music fill the air.
• Nature art is the most recognized for health & wellness. It’s universal multigenerational appeal is cross cultural and biological. Nature views and imagery improve healing in patients, they use less pain medicine & sleep better. Nature art reduces anxiety in high stress corporate environments, and reduces mindless over-eating in controlled studies.

We can no longer take for granted what is placed within our spaces, displayed on walls and it’s ability to influence our decisions, work, rest, creative fire, fitness and health.

All New Work Available for sale, please contact me.

“Stand” or “Forest in Summer” 16×20 oil on canvas

“Evening Sun” 4ftx2ft oil on canvas

“Bronco” 16×20 acrylic and charcoal on canvas 600.00 CAD ~ sale proceeds to be donated.
~
Donation art :
I was born & raised in beloved Saskatchewan. In the province I consider home, my roots run very deep. Home can mean many things, for me it’s family, the parks I grew up in, rural neighbourhoods, vast open skies, abundant wilderness, wildlife and farming communities. For many generations, hockey and curling are embedded in community and families. My parents built their dream home about 40 minutes from Humbolt, where my Dad still lives.My cousin played for the Broncos for 4 years. The devastating news this week is beyond description. My heart goes out to the victims families and people affected by this terrible loss.
Entire sale proceeds of the new “Bronco” will be donated to the Humbolt Broncos.  To view more photos of the drawing & to see it in progress, please see my Instagram page. email me for details dawn@dawnbanning.com

Comfort Level

Endurance sport teaches one to “Become comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
This gold nugget of wisdom also applies to creativity.
It builds emotional resilience, confidence, tenacity, growth, physical and creative endurance.

What does it mean to be comfortable with being uncomfortable?

Aside from elements you can control ( like training, preparation, practice) you understand and accept there will be unknown variables in every (painting/ race) and moments will arise where you will be ‘uncomfortable’.

The benefit of this acceptance, is it frees one to move forward without being attached to fear of failure.
It also creates an opportunity to conserve positivity, while not wasting energy rejecting/ fighting this variable when it occurs. It helps to be both open and curious in these moments.
I am not suggesting anticipating obstacles in negative fashion, rather, not being freaked out when it happens.

An example:
I came upon a friend at the 30k mark in her first marathon, announcing she wasn’t feeling well. After ruling out injury, dehydration, & nutritional concerns, we concluded she was struggling with not feeling as fresh as she did earlier. These feelings compounded because she was angry for being tired, anticipating a different experience. I assured her no one was feeling zippy at that point in the race. “You are uncomfortable, and it’s ok”.
In acknowledgement, there is release.

Uncomfortable feelings and setbacks may increase with rigid expectations, in both art & sport.

In Ironman racing, so many variables are beyond the athletes control it can feel overwhelming. Training involves body & mind, learning there will be moments of uncertainty & feeling uncomfortable. Knowing this can be the edge one needs to stay on track. Approaching the start line, reassurance lies in the many hours of training, controlling elements that can be controlled, and then, going with the flow.

It may seem a stretch to compare painting a picture to endurance sport, but when one’s livelihood depends on it, performance pressure can take a toll on both athletes and artists.

Do artists develop their process thru failed attempts, then, finally ‘get it’ and woo woo, ride the train of prolific effortless productivity for the remainder of their careers?
Humility and a Bonfire”, dispels this myth.

Two similar aspects of endurance sport & art relate to results and performance.

Being a professional doesn’t mean constant flawless performance. The great ones master the art of letting go, failure doesn’t own them, it’s just part of the process.
They step to the start line respecting the process in sport & art.
No matter the outcome, the fire to improve, evolve & master doesn’t fade.

In painting, each canvas is a new puzzle to solve. Each may thrill, motivate, frustrate and humble an artist. Many decisions are made along the way, not in advance. It’s like having a box of four puzzles in pile, trying to figure what might fit and what doesn’t. Once those decisions are made, you cannot go back.

In painting, rule is think twice, paint once, yet, ironically, don’t overthink. Artists walk a tightrope between the two. A famous artist whose career spans decades confessed to me he “feels fearful every time he faces a new canvas.”

Every canvas is a new story, with it’s own unique challenges and discoveries. Coping with unexpected variables builds adaptability. Research suggests it may increase neuroplasticity because of the ‘ongoing learning factor’.

“What is the most significant barrier to creativity and innovation?” ‘Daring Greatly author Brene Brown asked Kevin Surace .
His response? “The fear of introducing a new idea and being laughed at.”
Brene continues “Learning and creating are inherently vulnerable. There is never enough certainty. People want guarantees.”

Desire for guarantees frequents the art industry.
It’s in the uncertain moments where magic can flourish.

In letting go of the idea creativity is a natural talent & art is a totally controllable process; like those rare brilliant sport performances, we recognize how special those gems of masterful work are.

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New work in progress ( first photo) 4ft x2ft oil on canvas

Mountain ~ 4ft x3ft oil on canvas avail for purchase

Amaryllis ~ 30×40 oil on deep profile canvas avail for purchase