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Suzanne Edminster, Tabula Rasa series, acrylic mixed media on canvas, 12" x 12"

Suzanne Edminster, Tabula Rasa series, acrylic mixed media on canvas, 12″ x 12″

How did I do with my art mini-goals? Well, I got into the studio more than three times this week, almost every day. Not all of these were productive– this morning I went to the studio because I forgot my phone there. But the steady stream of visits helped keep me on course.

Suzanne Edminster, worktable in Saltworkstudio, 2013

Suzanne Edminster, worktable in Saltworkstudio, 2013

I did three new starts, which you can see on the table (the orange paper pieces). Most of my starts were pretty murky. But doing these worked off some excess energy and freed me up to paint more loosely on the more neutral Tablula Rasa series, which you can see at the top of the post. The other start is very raw– see below. I feel brave to post it for you.

The studio is in the mid-forties when I walk in, but warms within an hour to the mid-sixties.  With the clear winter sun coming in through the skylights, it feels quite pleasant, airy and full of possibility.

Suzanne Edminster, Tabula Rasa series start, acrylic mixed media on canvas, 12" x 12"

Suzanne Edminster, Tabula Rasa series start, acrylic mixed media on canvas, 12″ x 12″

My other goal was to post online.  This is rather a dubious goal, because online work is normally a distraction from painting.  But I had developed a nasty little logjam of procrastination around publicizing my class.  I managed to break through it, write a newsletter, publicize my Sunday Studio classes, and fill the first one to capacity.

The value of these mini-goals is that they get you just to engage.  In domino effect, all good things appear from these small efforts:  paintings are developed, people are contacted, art skills become refined with practice.  They seem to open doors, and the new miracle walks in.  They create opportunity– and opportunity is that fleeting Caerus moment.

It feels a bit ironic to promote mini-goals when we just have been posting “think large” quotes from the Big Mike, Michelangelo. But these smaller goals in the face of resistance have proved so effective for me that I think I’ll keep them going for a while.

I was talking to Caerus Artist Sharyn Dimmick recently.  She has been busking (playing public music) for donations recently, and she told me how important commitment was in her day.  Many times, she said, her tips come in the last moments of her self-assigned shift.  I noticed this in my studio practice as well. Sometimes the fluent painting or new insight comes in the final moments of your studio time, not at the beginning.  The tiny steps can bring you there.

How did you do with your art mini- goals?

Suzanne Edminster

Caerus note:  There’s a new blog post on Saltworkstudio with some ideas on art and play.

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