Friday, December 28, 2012

Holidays, Get Thee Behind Me!

I know that the holidays are a time for family, food, giving, receiving, and fellowship. They are also a time for stress and chaos, so I am glad to be on the other side of Christmas. Especially this year, so full of tragedy and pain for so many. I’m not sure our country will be able to truly celebrate this season for a long, long time.
 
So, we reflect, stiffen our spines, and move on. Searching for beauty in the madness, we must somehow energize our souls and replenish our spirits as best we can. Art, in it’s infinite forms, has always been a tonic to sooth my battered psych. A way to refresh my mind and bring inspiration when none seems possible. Art, and the ability to express myself through it, has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.
 
Yet, this time, this time we live in, weighs so heavily on me now. I am struggling to find the spark, to put my hands and heart to work again. The furious flurry of creative activity leading up to Christmas was exhilarating and joyous for me. From my hands I created thoughtful, beautiful gifts, and found myself exploring new designs and mediums with ease and inspiration. Not so now, and I am having a really tough time re-starting my “engine”.
 
I have commitments and deadlines and promises to keep. I have been so lucky and blessed to be chosen to continue as part of Becky Nunn’s 2013 Nunn Design Innovation Team. I have projects that will be published in the coming year, something that has never happened for me before working with Becky. I am so thankful (and a bit terrified!).
 
My goal is to try to begin as fresh as I can. Today, I attack my workspace to simply clear it and organize. If that is all I accomplish today, that’s fine. I hope that each day I will be a little clearer, hopefully a little lighter in spirit. I will not push, or stress myself right now, no matter how I long for that feeling—that magic when time blurs, hours fly, and suddenly you hold in your hands something entirely new and beautiful. It will come, I hope, soon.
 
I would like to hear from other artists…how you deal with times like this, when it seems impossible to see beyond the chaos. Please share, and I wish you all the very best in this coming year. Peace for us all….
 
 

2 comments:

Janet Bocciardi said...

Karen - Thanks for posting this. Your work is beautiful not only to look at, but I love the messages. Some are very brave in this country we live in today - like your expression on over-population. Why is this a sacred cow to talk about?

Although the holidays themselves do not weigh on me since my husband and I started spending them by ourselves and with much less fanfare, I do have a heavy heart which makes me sleep more and move slowly. I used some of that extra time that normally would be spent shopping or cooking to volunteer. That was an uplifter - to spend time with other people taking their time to make a person or animal's life easier.

I've also started picking up pace the last couple of days by increasing my exercise routine of aerobics and yoga/pilates. It's given me energy I think and time to clear my mind.

Also finishing some UFOs was satisfying. Do you have any of those you could go back to?

If I allow myself to start creating in times like this - even if it's just drawing in my journal - I find I come up with my deepest and creative work. Pieces that I go back to and find I hardly remember designing or creating!

Best wishes to you in the New Year. I so look forward to seeing more of your work and reading your blog now that I've found you!

Karen McGovern said...

Thanks so much for the kind words and suggestions, Janet. I did what I set out to do, cleaned and organized my bench. That simple (if tedious) job of removing clutter and putting things in their place helped restore some feeling of control and peace of mind. Now I have a welcoming space to return to with some of the chaos removed. New ideas are brewing...and yes, we all need to have courage to speak truthfully in this world, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.