Posts tagged embracing change
Being in the Middle

When I sit down to write to you it’s usually with a plan that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I usually start writing about a week before I’m planning on posting. I have lists of topics. I have a schedule. But sometimes things don’t go as planned.

I think it’s important that we (as artists, but also as people) admit that life can be messy and that things don’t always go the way we hope they will. It’s easy to share the successes, less so to share the fumbles. But if we don’t share our messes, our struggles, our failures, we end up projecting inaccurate, picture-perfect stories of our lives.

Today I planned on sharing a studio tour and writing about cultivating a creative space of your own. I recently rearranged and cleaned my studio and I thought it would be perfect timing.

The view into my rearranged studio. Although it looks pretty good here, it's still unfinished and not ready for a full tour.

But the fact is, although my studio is rearranged (and looks pretty good in the photo), it’s not finished. I’m hunting for a couple pieces to help me organize some supplies and so far I’m not having any luck finding just what I’m looking for.

Ordinarily I’d simply skip to another post idea from my list. But none of those projects are finished, either. I’m stuck in the middle.

Working on carving a block inspired by my collaborate sketchbook with Dana Barbieri.

The middle is an awkward place. It’s unfinished. It’s messy. It can be uncomfortable, chaotic, confusing.

This is true no matter what the middle might be. The middle of baking a cake. The middle of organizing your closet. The middle of creating a painting. Middle school. Middle age.

But the middle is also a place of magic. It’s filled with possibilities and growth, with dreams and ideas.

I’m feeling in the middle not only with the projects I’m working on, but with my art in general and with my business.

I have a whole list of unfinished sewing project. This tea towel calendar* is just one of them.

I have a whole list of unfinished sewing project. This tea towel calendar* is just one of them.

And that’s ok. The more I think about it, the more I realize that nearly all of life is lived “in the middle”. Once I get where I’m going it won’t be long before I begin another journey.

So hang in there. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or awkward keep going. If life feels messy or chaotic or constantly unfinished, don’t be discouraged. We’re all in this together. Enjoy the process. Savor the details that makes life so magical.

Flowers and Leaves from My Autumn Garden in My Studio

*Now through Thursday, November 8 all fat quarters of my fabric, including my three tea towel calendars are 50% off at Spoonflower! Which means I’ll be adding more unfinished projects to my list.

Allowing The Change (And New Calendars)

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. In part with the changing of the seasons as I wrote last week, but also because change seems to be all around.

Giant Sunflower Seed Heads from My Garden

Isn’t it always?

The other day on her blog Flora Bowley shared her only painting “rule” and it’s simply “Allow the change”. Such a good rule not only for art-making, but for life in general. Change is always happening and it’s better to step back and let it come than to constantly fight it.

Marigolds and Purple Basil Hanging on in My Autumn Garden

I do feel a coming change in my art (and my business), or maybe just the need for change. In truth, I’m already constantly changing and making changes. Sometimes the changes are tiny, things that only I would notice. There are changes on my website and this blog. There are ebbs and flows in my creativity and in my focus. Some changes are seasonal — and it finally makes sense to me that as a botanical artist it should be this way — and some are not. Learning new skills helps to shape some changes. And others come as a sort of trial and error as I navigate my way through art and business.

Sometimes changes come easily and sometimes I really stress over them.

Zinnias in My Autumn Garden

This is the 6th year I’ve designed a calendar with my art but it’s the first time I’m having someone else print it. I really dragged my feet about this decision and kept putting off making it. I probably should have done it last year, but I was so reluctant to give up control of the process and the moniker of “handmade” (even though I was using a computer and machine to make them!). Printing and trimming them myself was so labor and time intensive. The paper and ink were expensive, too, and at times the paper I was using was hard to find. Financially it didn’t make sense for me to print them myself. And then last year I had printer problems which made things even worse. Wasted time. Wasted materials. I know it was the universe telling me it’s time to move on. Even so, when I started working on my new calendars this summer, I put off looking into printing options.

Now that they’re printed I look back and wonder why it took me so long to take action on a change I knew was necessary.

Recently Amy Butler announced that she is leaving the quilting industry and her new collection out this month will be her last. When I first started making quilts and learning about fabrics (and their designers), I became smitten with Amy’s designs and her “midwest modern” aesthetic. Getting glimpses into her studio in books and magazines (and online) was both magical and inspiring to me. Although I was a bit shocked by her announcement, seeing an icon in a creative field change direction like this is also inspiring to me.

Dahlias Still Looking Glorious in My Autumn Garden

Change is an inevitable part of life. There’s no way around it. Even when we drag our feet about decisions for change, we know it will eventually happen. I’m going to work on being more open to change. To let go of preconceptions. To allow the change.

I know it won’t always be easy, but I’m working on it.

an encouraging note I wrote in my sketchbook

an encouraging note I wrote in my sketchbook

Are you with me?