An Empty Nester at 44 (I'm 43 now), and yet I saw on the news that more and more women are choosing to have babies in their 50's. I cannot even imagine doing that, I'm so exhausted now as it is. I remember existing in a fog in my 20's because of baby-duty, but at least I had the energy of being young. I didn't think I actually had energy at the time, but looking back now I can see that I did. Sort of like a zombie shuffling forward on autopilot. (I think if I had kids now, my autopilot would just give up.)
My eldest turned 20 years old this past weekend. She finished up her second year at university in May, and then decided that's enough for now and that her path lies in another direction. For me, this was a bit hard to wrap my brain around. Isn't it funny how you want to give your kids what you didn't have and if it turns out it's not for them it can really set you back several paces? But the truth that every parent has to grasp is that they are not you and they have their own path to follow... you just hope it doesn't end up with them living in your basement until they're 40 (because apparently that is a thing now, too!)
My own direction is shifting quickly. I still cannot share everything, but I'm hoping it'll be very positive for everyone - albeit stressful! My hope is that I can start to really do some productive things in my studio. I feel left behind because I have been meaning to get a Patreon going for over two years now, among other things, but life has gotten in the way.
However, there have been some positive signs - glimmers of hope - that lead me to believe I can start investing in myself again, and my work. That being said, I have two new series that I have started. One is going to be all larger paintings (16x20" and up... I have some really big canvases, so who knows where this will end up) and the other will be smaller paintings (8x10" and under.) They are unrelated series, but both make my soul sing just enough to know THIS is what I want to be doing right now and I want to be in my studio all the time again.
The big series is in planning stages still. I have the first painting planned out, but not sketched out. I'm excited to work on it, but I have other commissions, shows and various deadlines to meet before I can start in on it. I'm looking forward to sharing it, though!
The smaller painting series is much easier for me to dive into in between projects, and here is the first:
|"The Time Keeper" 6x8 inches, acrylic on canvas panel. Available.|
The series is "My Favorite Things", and each painting will be 8x10 and smaller, with a subject posing with its most favorite thing! I painted this Great Grey Owl, and my son informed me that this one's favorite thing was most definitely a pocket watch! Once he said it, I knew my son was absolutely spot-on! I've called this painting "The Time Keeper", and he's in a special section of my shop just for this series.
I thought about holding the paintings back and doing a show, but there are reasons why I can't do that right now... that I'll share later. But perhaps the larger series will be one I can do a full physical show with!
My goal is going to be to hopefully paint one of these Favorite Things pieces a week, whenever possible. I'm not sure how many paintings my series will encompass, but I think I'll know when I'm done. As I am just starting, I believe I have a long way in front of me! If you have any particular animal you'd like to see, let me know! I love getting ideas, but I have no idea what their favorite thing will be until I've painted them in... they're all so individual! For example, I've painted multiple raccoons (and I will do at least one for this series) and I have to say I don't think a single one of them would have the same favorite thing.
It's so nice to find the joy in my studio again!
...Off to paint!