©Helen Klebesadel, The Watchers. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

Steven Sweeney mentioned he could not get the feedback to function (hope that has not occurred to anyone else). He wished to increase this:

I resolved past February, on the afternoon of a day in the place of work cubicle that commenced as any other, to choose an unsure regret in excess of a specified one. The latter would be to want, late in lifestyle, that I’d taken benefit of each my eager desire in and intensive teaching in drawing and portray. The former “regret” consists of going for walks away from the bi-weekly paycheck, the wellness and retirement rewards, the relative certainty of being aware of what I would be “doing” each day for perform. I moved all my dwelling space home furniture to the eastern 1/3 of the space and transformed the other 2/3 to a portray studio–daylight lighting method, blackout drapes, easels, a year’s supply of paints, medium, canvas, boards, brushes and frames. I experienced presented my corporate employer 6 months’ detect, so that I could thoroughly educate my replacement. In the 10 weeks now because “retirement,” I’ve spent 80% of my times dealing with other folks’ issues (major, not trifling), but the term is having out that there are periods when I will not pick up the cellular phone or reply to your email, simply because I’m in my studio. It’s not a enjoyment very little pastime, it’s my new vocation, my work, my work. I will very likely miff relatives and reduce make contact with with some mates more than this. So be it. Previous evening I built and printed new business enterprise cards.

I’ve joined a group of like-minded folks (Out of doors Painters of Minnesota) and will join numerous of them near the Canadian-Minnesota border in late January to paint plein air winter scenes for a week. (About this, a gallery proprietor, a plein air painter himself, remarked just yesterday, “You’re crazy.”) But most importantly, I know that I want to shell out a 12 months setting up up an inventory of superior-good quality operate, to proof my abilities as nicely as my intentions. I see countless paintings each working day that are “better” than what I at the moment produce, and yet they continue to be unsold. This doesn’t prevent me. I have marketed paintings in the earlier, and will do it all over again. I have to function smarter than I did before. Prints and take note cards I’ve made from my paintings stay really well-known, but I need to have to resource affordable distributors of the materials. Certainly, I’m experience a monetary pinch now, which just usually means I have to go on shifting my priorities. In small, I simply cannot do it all at the moment, but I can do anything just about every working day, and “something each and every day” is the variation among do or do not. And finally, DVDs, publications, workshops and classes supply information and inspiration, but till I’m pushing paint about on canvas or board with my very own fingers using my own resources and talents, I’m no artist. Whether or not I regret the adjustments I’ve manufactured in the earlier 9 months is largely up to me. I can have the frame of mind about it that I opt for. So significantly, so good.
– Steven Sweeney


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