Trial and Error

I nearly named this post "Mistakes" but then I realized that it would have been a misnomer.  I don't like to think of things that I don't use as mistakes, but as trial and error, learning experiences.

For some reason, when I draw or paint and the result is less than what I had hoped for at the outset, I tend to think of the time or resources as gone.  But when I take many pictures out of focus or unusable for one reason or another, I never think of them as 'wasted'.

It's a conundrum.

We all know that practice is what makes you better, but no one wants to waste a single thing, especially not time.  Making mistakes or trial and error is how we learn, especially when working on new projects.

I've been working on a picture of a gas giant that just isn't happening for me.  At first I was frustrated and angry at myself for not getting it "right" the first time.  But then I thought back to all of those photographs that  I took that are poorly lit, crooked or otherwise different than how I'd intended for them to be when I picked up the camera.  I have thousands of pictures and some of them just aren't salvageable.  It's not just art.  I've made cookies that wound up in the garbage, and written thousands of words of stories that will never see the light of day.  Practice is brave.  It's the hardest part on the way to making something good.

I need to remember that to put things in perspective from time to time.  It's not about the mistakes, but about learning.  I can only do that by trying.  The time is never wasted so long as it is important to me.

Here's to me flailing about and hopefully making some more art really soon.


The calendar says it's spring now in my hemisphere, but the snow outside can't make up its mind if it wants to leave.  There's been rain and sunshine, wind cool enough to make the whole of the house cold, and temperatures so high you start to wonder what month it is.  My allergies declared it spring back in the middle of February, when my eyes began to itch and I found no quarter from the early pollen.

Spring slows me down and excites me.  I like the renewal of it, the bleakness giving way to color once again, a burst of bright hue after the monochrome of winter.  But physically I get tired and sidelined by bad allergies every year and dream of moving to the desert.  It's already taken a toll on my running - I am going for half miles instead of full ones to spare my lungs.

Even with its difficulties, I enjoy the season.  The days grow longer and sweeter, and just before the sultry kiss of summer there is a temperate reprieve that invites color and laughter back into our worlds.

"Begin" A spring print found in my Society6 store


Free Shipping Promo

Society6 is offering a free worldwide shipping promo.  Follow this link for free shipping in my shop.  If you'd like to see my shop without the promo link (or if it's after March 17 when it expires), it's on the sidebar to the right.

The above print is in my shop.  It's called Lake George II and I have prints and accessories for it.  Please check it out.

Getting Uncomfortable

Lately I've been stuck in a rut.  I've been stuck so long all of my art is suffering - photography, painting and writing.  I've even stopped the practice edits that I do to work on my photoshop skills.

For the longest time, I wasn't sure what to do about it.  I felt bad, really terrible about not working, or even wanting to work.  When this kind of stress hits me, I really wish I had a bigger support network in place.  I don't know many artists in my community, and I haven't had a chance to do much networking.

This morning I got up for the first time in a good while, after a weekend spent running and playing video games.  I made important decisions about what I wanted to do - groups to join, local exhibitions to enter - that sort of thing.

It all makes me uncomfortable, but in a good way.

I'm not the most social of people by nature.  I'm a tea and books on Friday night kind of woman.  But in life, especially an artistic life,  getting uncomfortable can be the way to get out of a rut.  I'm still scared, and to be frank it makes me anxious, but I'd rather have tried than to get into another bad patch thinking about all of the things I haven't done.

So have some azaleas, from me to you with the hope for more productive days ahead.

New frontiers in art

Space Art is something I just started exploring, but it's quickly becoming one of my favorite new areas.  I worked in photography mainly, but I always have wanted to do more illustration.  The beauty of space and my long standing interest meld for a perfect combination - especially when I am able to create art that actually looks like the gorgeous images of nebulae so often found online.

It's challenging in a new way.  I like being able to make star fields and colorful gas deposits, but I'm always pushing myself to do more, to make the art look and feel different.  Space is a ever-changing region, with stars forming and dying, and new (to us) places being discovered.  I'd like my work to evolve and reflect that dynamism.

Last night I picked up some new types of paper to use when I practice my work with oil pastels.  Michael's had a great buy one get one sale on notepads, and I got some black sheets that would lend themselves well to space art.  Here's to exploring space through another medium!

See my space art gallery on my website.