Summing Up Your 2015 Creative Year

"Enchanted" -detail, OIl on panel, 24" x 18". See

“Enchanted” -detail, Oil on panel, 24″ x 18″. See

Taking a few moments to reflect on our year of creative life, our 2015. Did you find time to paint or make art? Too little progress or obsessively too much work to the exclusion of a good balance in life? This is not a time to bust on yourself for not measuring up to your goals and ideals. Far from it. Instead, this is the time to be kind to your innermost self, that part of you that was created to be a uniquely creative YOU.

The more artists I meet, whether in person or through online friendships, the more I appreciate the intricate beauty of each person’s creative expression, personality traits and talent. No kidding. It’s like fingerprints! No two alike. As I see the work of my painting students present and past, I marvel at the individual personality that shines through in their work. (I try to encourage that individual expression. It’s no good to teach a student to copy your own style.)

I have seen some great art posted out there on Facebook and the Internet sites I like to follow. What a gift we have to view this online. Still, I feel we have to make the effort to get out there and see the REAL thing in our community galleries, museums, class environments and local shops. That is the equivalent to one internet site times 50!

Oh, back to our Creative Life… Are you trying to please others with your art, or trusting yourself?

I confess that part of my year in the summer was split between what I wanted to paint and what I thought a new gallery owner wanted me to paint. It was a challenge, and stretched me, and stressed me. A hard lesson learned, but in the end I found out some new suggestions out of all the other *stuff* were actually a good thing. So I found myself grateful in the end for that experience, and could even part with a bit of love in my heart, on reflection. The gallery owner and I bared our souls at one point in our conversations, and talked about life and things not even art. I have come away with a measure of respect and hope to harbor some kindness inside to cover over disappointment that will still linger for awhile. And I still painted in my own style. Couldn’t help it, and didn’t want to!

How about you? Did you make some art and get disappointed with your responses to it or results? Keep going and shove those negative thoughts or responses into a very small but powerful space ship to send them out to an outer galaxy! You need to make your own art with your own vision. Period. Only ask for art comments on your work from trusted sources. You need to “vet” those sources, people who have art experience, if possible.

I started out to write a post to get you to think about summing up your creative life in the last year. Then, it became more about a few moments of learning about things you might do differently in 2016, (I said to myself!) and to move on.

The best thing I could say to myself and others, is to move on and try to make art more often, every day if it is only a small sketch, or a nice hour for painting or more. Creative people need to create. An hour a day will help keep us in the game, keep us sane and help us find the ways to complete us. To keep us creating. The world out there needs creative people, and it most truly needs you, dear friend.

Thank you for reading,


P.S. If you only have an hour a day to create, what do you do? I’m curious to know what works (or doesn’t work) for you!



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2 Responses to “Summing Up Your 2015 Creative Year”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    Wow, Karen. I really needed this word today. Thank you so much! I was first struck by your beautifully glowing painting, but you’ve posted some wise stuff right here and many people need to hear it. Creative people need to create. Bam. An hour a day. Wonderful! Even 10 minutes is good, I’ve found. I resolved sometime in May or June of last year to draw something every day. I was already creating daily, but sometimes hauling out the paint can be a little time consuming. I find keeping a travel WC box and a mixed media sketchbook (and a drawing pen & pencil or two) near the recliner where I settle down at night are helpful. I can paint, draw or both, and even if it’s 15 minutes in front of the TV, it’s something, and I’m at least honing a skill. Taking a baby step forward. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, and I hope you have a wonderful 2016!


    • Karen Says:

      Hi Laura, thanks for your good comments. I am enjoying your blog and drawings, and resolve to create something each day! Drawing is such a great solution if you only have a few minutes. I like the added step of some watercolor wash of colors over a drawing too. Quick studies might be the way to go for me these days when life gets really busy, as it can when I teach, too. Happy art making in 2016 to you! -Karen

      Liked by 1 person

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