Hi there! I know this is coming to you at the busiest time of the year, so thanks for sticking with me.
1. In an ornament exchange once, I got a handmade paper star ornament. And me being myself, always saying, “I could do that,” I decided to try and make my own. The first one I made, I used white watercolor paper and painted it gold after it was all glued together. But then remembered some other metallic paints I had and wanted to make some stars in those colors, too. So I painted some sheets of paper, cut them into strips. I was a bit overzealous in my quantities; I made enough paper strips to make 18 stars. Well, now I know what to give as hostess gifts this season!
2. My most recent painting exploration has been creating finished watercolor pieces on paper. Usually I would take elements of an idea into Photoshop to arrange them, because it is so scary to try and make a finished piece that is free of mistakes. So I put myself in that scary spot and got used to it, after a few terrible attempts. I often try to push myself a little bit out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself. Doing that is the only way one can grow.
3. Recent food obsession: Gochujang, a Korean chili paste. It is a wonderful dose of sweet and spicy umami. A recipe that I plan to try this weekend is a gochujang vinaigrette, as a marinade for salmon, which I will serve with rice and fresh veggies. That will be my Christmas dinner!
4. This year, I decided to make some new year’s resolutions, something that I have never done and of which I have never heard much success. Most of my goals are health-related: being more consistently and well hydrated, establish a daily journaling practice. But I am also setting business-related goals. I want to get to 2k followers on social media by 2025, as well as grow my mailing list to 200+. Think that sounds unrealistic? Well, I am never one to shy away from a challenge. I will go for these goals as hard as I can, and if I fail, there’s always next year! What are your goals for 2024?
5. A couple weeks ago, I went to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends, and I took my “Tundra” painting along for a small art display. It was so nice to be greeted so warmly and to have my art appreciated by new faces. I am excited to share my art next May in a month-long exhibit hosted by Gaines Group Architects. Mark your calendars, locals!
6. On that trip to Pennsylvania, I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. It has so many great thoughts on life and how to live it, such as this: “Make a decision: Will you be Tigger or Eeyore?” I have found myself being the Eeyore too often, saying no to activities because I am such a workaholic (this can happen when you turn what you love into your job). Another new year’s resolution: say yes to being Tigger more often.
8. Newest podcast on my feed: The Great Women Artists with Katy Hessel. Hessel interviews curators, art writers, and sometimes artists themselves about the artist’s life, work, and its significance to culture. I like the conversational flow of it. It came from a great Instagram page where you can see pictures of the artists and their work.
9. Have you read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot? It is incredible. Most of the time I steer clear of biographies and non-fiction, because they are often dry and redundant. But every once and a while you find one that reads like a novel, like this one. It’s just amazing.