“Horse Study #8” and 2011 Word(s) of the Year: Balanced Vision

Horse Study #8, ©2006 Tracy Wall

Horse Study #8
5″ x 7″
pastel on paper
©2006 Tracy Wall

This little pastel horse has come out of the barn for the Western Show at Framed Image.  Check out the show if you’re in town!!

** Alert!! Long, deep introspective post below! **

The New Year has passed and it’s time to review 2011 and reflect as to how my 2011 ‘Word(s) of the Year’ have panned out.  Sure I have a list a mile long of concrete measurable goals to conquer, but I also like the ‘Word of the Year’ concept from Christine Kane. (read about it here)

Last year, I chose “Balanced Vision” as my Word(s) of the Year (read my post here) and I like where it’s taken me.  :)

In general, I’ve got a much better idea as to what I want and need my life to look like; a little more clarity.  (Do I sound like a lost soul?  I’m really not, just sometimes feel like I’m spinning my wheels.)

Having a vision of what I want makes it far easier to figure out the detailed decisions of daily life.  During situations where I was at a crossroads, taking the time to see clearer what I want makes it so much easier to see how to keep the balance to move forward.  Besides, how will you get someplace unless you have an idea of where you want to go?

So here’s my results of keeping a balanced vision…

Finish things/clear out the old:  Getting a clearer vision helps to get rid of those things that don’t fit. The more unfinished/old unwanted stuff hanging around, the more it keeps me from where I want to go, and the more space it takes up in my head, too.

So I’ve been clearing out a ton of clothes, nick-knacks, files, books, junk, etc…  I’m fixing what needs fixing, clearing out what needs to be gone.  It’s like washing my windows to see clearly, literally and figuratively. (So then the new doorbell I just put in can help me recognize when to open the door to opportunity.)  ;)

Balancing styles/techniques in my art: I’ve been forever searching for my visual voice, that style that makes a “Tracy Wall painting”.  For the first time, I’m actually getting a handle on it.  I really like what I’ve been producing lately, which has not always been the case.  A little looser, representational with a little abstraction, a little faster, more expressive, a limited palette of colors is all where I’ve been heading.  (Even though as an artist, I’ll probably be changing directions anyway; and that’s ok.)

Balancing art production vs. art business: I’ve learned so much in the past year about handling the business side of art and how that weaves into my everyday life.  It’s easy to imagine painting all day every day, but if I didn’t pay attention to the business/marketing it’d stay a hobby.  I’ve learned about my production rate, working with galleries, and marketing.

Balancing art vs. TOJ (the other job): My biggest challenge seemed to be finding a working schedule, and now I’ve started to shift to juggle my work as an artist and my work as a massage therapist.  Consolidating TOJ, makes more room for art. :)  I’ve got a few chess pieces in place already to make a major shift this year to spend my TOJ time more productively and let go of that which isn’t.

Balancing time: work vs play:  To take it one step further, how about the idea of time-off?  <gasp!> Yeah I know that painting is playful work, but it’s still a job.  There’s challenges and struggles, deadlines and economics like any other job.  Definitely made some headway here: no longer am I working the sure-death 7-day workweek.  Sounds like a no-brainer, but being self-employed, I sometimes feel the need to take any work when I can get it.  No matter how much I love the work, it’s important for me to get away to recharge and refuel.  I actually get most Sundays off now!  I feel human again.  The past few months I’ve even been getting back to just goofing around sometimes.  Amazing!

Balancing my loves/friends: Working as I used to (see above), it made it hard to keep in touch with those you care about.  Now that I’m making a little down time it helps me reconnect not only virtually, but in person too. (I have some fun friends!)  Will definitely continue this.  :)

Balancing home vs away:  I anticipated traveling more this past year, again helping to recharge when I’m finding myself in a rut.  I love exploring new places, and have recently been reminded of this.  It’ll be addressed this year.

Next post, what’s in store then for 2012? ….

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About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
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