Monday, January 20, 2014

Permission to be Great

I harbor a guilty pleasure: award shows. Surprised? They ignite that fantasy portion of my brain and I visualize "what if?" What if there were nationally televised award programs specifically targeted to visual artists? Can the subjective approval of art be measured? What would be distinctive, considered excellent enough to garner special merit? What would truly be "award-winning (not self-proclaimed) and by who's standards?

Okay, that's just too crazy to even consider and yet another subject for an all-night discussion. So, I'm watching the Golden Globes last week and Leonardo DiCaprio wins best actor in a musical or comedy. His acceptance speech includes much gushing about Martin Scorcese, seated in the audience and director of the film DiCaprio has won the award for. DiCaprio calls Scorcese a "risk-taker", a "visionary", putting "the fabric of our culture on screen." I agree. Massively talented, his list of accolades is beyond impressive and his multi-tasking for not only directing films but also screenwriting, producing, acting and filling in as film historian is nonpareil. When do these over-achievers sleep? What drive. His work is great, he will leave a legacy of greatness, he drags his players along with him to great accomplishment...he's just an inspiration to become great.

Pondering this in my studio the next morning, I'm wondering if I could be great. Could I ever paint a great canvas or aspire to a great idea? What really defines "great?"

With arms folded in front a large commissioned canvas, I gather up the chutzpa to whisper to myself: today I will do something great. Just like that. This hesitant yet audacious statement prompted a liberating feeling of empowerment. Like giving myself permission to really strive, achieve and go for it. It promised opportunity for growth with assurance. It handed out confidence. It's too simple.

I urge you to give a a won't be sorry. They're just words, after all. I've said it everyday since the Golden Globes. I'm emboldened.

Discover you own greatness,

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year, New Digs

Our move out of the gallery/living space on Beekman St. into the new house was not without drama. Progress was impeded by severe weather - ice storms, blizzards and frigid temps. It's winter after all and an honest one. The day before we were scheduled to spend our first night, fourteen inches of snow fell. We shoveled our way out of the driveway but the roads were impassable. We decided to stay put one more night. That very night, the new house was broken into and all the copper piping in the basement was ripped out and hauled away taking the heat and water along in the destructive chaos. The intruders also ransacked through everything we had already brought over, helping themselves to all of Michael's power tools and a few other things that could bring a quick buck. Thankfully, and I mean thankfully, all the printers and computer equipment were left unscathed as well as all the paintings.

We finally moved in last week but I have to's a creepy, uneasy feeling that takes over that I'm sure anyone who has experienced a similar situation can empathize. The 12-gauge is now out of it's case and propped behind the door.

But life goes on and we managed to take care of some business while unpacking. Assessment of 2013 and plans for 2014 are now on paper and I'm anxious to get settled and back into the studio. Anxious to paint and anxious for routine. Anxious for the focus and addictive Zen-like brain state that is art making.


I look forward to a productive and prosperous new year and wish my readers the same. I hope I've imparted something useful or at least thought-provoking in this blog and I'm grateful that you've joined me on this artistic journey. Thank you for celebrating my accomplishments with me and allowing me to vent my doubts, fears and insecurities. In the "jungles of time and space" as Mike Dooley calls this crazy adventure.

With loving appreciation since 2006!