art

The Importance of Achievable Goals

A few weeks ago I made a proclamation that I would create one painting a day, and post it to this blog. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but seeing as it's about 2 weeks later and I haven't created something, I'll admit that my goal was a bit too big!

In the past I would have just abandoned whatever the original goal was, feel a little like a failure, and not make any changes. It was definitely a case of all or nothing thinking. These days, even if I do fall short of what I intended to do, I don't have any shame in it. I recognize that I'm doing the best that I can, and that the best progress I can make is to always be kind to myself, no matter what I'm trying to achieve.

Achieving a goal gives our minds a hit of dopamine, which is connected to pleasure, motivation and learning. By setting small, achievable goals we can use that dopamine to motivate us towards the next thing, and gradually tackle bigger and bigger projects.

I look forward to creating new and wonderful artwork, and sharing the experience here as often as I am able to.

Until then, here's another one of my pastel paintings from the beginners class I took at the Northville Art House. This piece was a lot of trial and error, but the nice things about pastels is, if you don't like something, you can just go right over it, again and again until the paper can't take anymore pigment. This one probably has about 50 layers.. or at least it seemed like it when I was working on it. There are still things to be done, but for now I'm leaving it alone before my perfectionism drives me nuts!

PastelTrees.jpg

Less Facebook, More Art!

I've taken Facebook and messenger off my phone after realizing that I waste quite a few hours mindlessly scrolling though my news feed every day and end up complaining that I don't have enough time to be creative.

Inspired by the artist Karen Margulis, I've also decided to start an art blog, and to create and post one painting a day. I've had quite a few teachers tell me that you have 100-1000 (depending on who you ask) crappy paintings inside you to get through before you refine your artist's voice, better develop a style and begin to produce good stuff. I like the idea of seeing my progression in one place, and being inspired to get out the materials and work on something every day.

If other people are inspired by it and enjoy seeing it, that's even better.

This was done in a pastel class I took last month at the Northville Art House. It's a new medium for me, and involved a lot of experimentation. It was frustrating as hell, but worth pushing through to figure out what papers I like and what all the different types of pastels can do.

This was done in a pastel class I took last month at the Northville Art House. It's a new medium for me, and involved a lot of experimentation. It was frustrating as hell, but worth pushing through to figure out what papers I like and what all the different types of pastels can do.

Why is this on my therapy page?

Art and creative expression have been powerful ways for me to cope with anxiety and self doubt, and to find my voice as an individual, an artist and a therapist. Creating forces me to slow down, be mindful and exist in the present moment. When I'm in the present it's impossible to worry about the past or the future, and that's a great thing for someone with an anxious mind!

Despite loving art and wanting to create, life has a tendency to get in the way. Self-care and fun are the first things to get scheduled over. I encourage my clients to schedule self-care into their calendars, and to make a commitment to themselves that their health and well being is a priority. Making this public shows that I practice what I preach, and keeps me accountable to myself at the same time. Win win!

This was done in a pastel class I took last month at the Northville Art House. It's a new medium for me, and involved a lot of experimentation. It was frustrating as hell, but worth pushing through to figure out what papers I like and what all the different types of pastels can do.