Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

Girl Reading (close up) 
36" x 36" 
Acrylic on Canvas 

I've been trying to compose this post in my head for a couple weeks. 2012 was one of those years that just swung from high highs to low lows. It ended on a redeemed note.

I started this year very fired up about my January 2013 show at the Airdrie Public Library, thinking thoughts of "FOR ONCE I will nail being prepared!" as I type that sentence, I'm having a hard time wiping a smile off my face. For those of you holding your breath - no, didn't go as planned. God had bigger things in mind I guess.

My January to April started well for painting. Had a few on the go, seemed to be making progress, seemed realistic. Then May hit and I started to drown with all the other aspects of life. Work and kids... everything was way too busy. I looked forward to some off time in the beginning of the summer where I could paint before our family went overseas to teach at an English camp.

That time to paint never really happened. I hit a massive wall in the progress of my pieces (I have a bit of a temper, so when I get painter's block I tend to turn the offending pieces to the wall and sulk a little, these ones were hidden/banished in the basement for a time) and reached a point of exhaustion from everything else that didn't leave much left creatively.

Then we left for our trip. To say that it was an amazing time for our family is an understatement. we spent a few weeks in Hungary, mostly in small towns meeting our English teaching team and working the camp itself. Our local host family during the camp was perfect for us. The spirit and generosity of all our Hungarian friends made our time there exceedingly special. We topped off our trip with a few days in Budapest. I have one word for you - GO. Just go. The culture and food etc, etc, etc.... just awesome.

I posted a few months ago about our return - we started the second half of 2012 quite roughly. We got home to find out that our most amazing dog, Esther had died suddenly. That was tough to take. I jumped into the busiest part of my work year as well. To deal with the stress and painter's block I started to work in earnest on Lino cutting. So fun and desperately needed.

Just when I thought the stress was going down, I was in two separate minor car accidents (10 days apart) and my back got messed up enough that I couldn't sit longer than 20 minutes. I was starting to really fear this show. Somewhere in this though, a creative something showed up. I got very inspired. I couldn't sit, so I changed tactics (had to paint only standing which for me means go big or go home).

I worked on an unrelated painting and experimented a bit. It unlocked the painter's block. My back started to improve and I had some time to rejuvenate. More inspiration came, some for painting and a lot for my faith. I've had good conversations with some creative types around me and spent a large portion of November and December painting. Some nice big pieces.

I'm getting stuff finished up for the show next week and I'm really excited. For my local readers, I hope you will come check it out. There won't be any reception or opening night - my friend Veronica and I will be hanging it at the library next week. Many items have never been shown in public, so it should be interesting! If you do come see it, let me know what you thought.

Closing out 2012 with some lists (because I am a list nerd).

People who I want to thank for getting us through this year:

My family (local and extended - you all rock)
My work family (you bring out much more in me than I even knew was there)
My Bible study group (I laugh typing that because you are the craziest bunch of cats EVER)
My creative buddies (you know what a nerd I am for talking shop - thanks for indulging this)
Our Hungarian team and friends (I'm still processing this trip but we love you guys)
Everyone who put up with me whining about my back (and to those that helped fixed it)

Some great books that I managed to read (or reread):

Maus, Maus II and Metamaus (EeeeeeEeeeee!) by Art Speigleman
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Working the Angles by Eugene Peterson
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
Just My Type by Simon Garfield
Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

Some songs that I kept hitting repeat on:

I want the world to stop by Belle and Sebastian
No Light, No Light by Florence and the Machine
The Book of Right On by Joanna Newsom
Nothing But Time by Metric
I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons
Take a Walk by Passion Pit
A.P.O.L.O.G.Y. by Tom Vek
Silver and Gold (most of it) by Sufjan Stevens (actually this Christmas set is worth it's own post)

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