Thursday, February 08, 2018

A good beginning is half the work

Here we are, already heading into the second week of February and just like clockwork, every single year, I find myself wondering how the month of January flew by so fast. 2018 is 1/12th over! I've barely had a chance to catch my breath from the busy holiday season to even think about all those New Year's Resolutions. I mean, it's already February, why even bother now?

Is it even worth it to begin something new if we have gotten off to a later start than everyone else seems to have? Sound familiar?

In one form or another, this self-defeating belief creeps into our thinking and keeps us stuck in old behavior patterns, preventing us from stepping out of an established routine to try something new. I didn't take the traditional pathway to becoming an established career artist, no degree or MFA or any formal training, it wasn't in the cards for me. But where would I be now if I hadn't decided to let go of the security of the known career path when I was approaching my forties, to start experimenting with mixed media and collage?

The faulty thinking of "why bother now" can be even more amplified when we have started strong down a particular path and gotten sidetracked by life somewhere along the way. Then the "why even bother now" messages get reinforced with the good ol' "I had my shot and blew it". 

"It's too late..." is a roadblock of a self-protective thinking pattern gone-awry, making us weary of starting something new when we have grown accustomed to the way things are. We come up with rational and reasonable sounding excuses not to try, but the bottom line so often comes down to fear of the unknown, or what author of The War Of Art, Steven Pressfield, calls "resistance". 

After much experience with these mental obstacles, I now recognize that when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone to achieve something I've only dreamed of doing, taking the first step is the hardest. I don't always know exactly how to begin, so I don't even try. 

That's why I firmly believe that half the value of taking an art workshop isn't only about learning a new technique, but in finding the freedom to let yourself try. 

In my Wax, Paper, Scissors workshop experimenting and trying something new is the name of the game. And because I know that a common obstacle to trying a new technique is the expense of purchasing supplies and tools you have never used before and don't even know if you'll like, I've decided to include nearly everything you need in my February class. This is one of the biggest benefits of taking a workshop in the artist's studio - I don't have to be selective about what I bring for you to use, because we are in my personal workspace. Everything I use is right there. 

Won't you join me in giving yourself permission to try?

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