Monday, January 09, 2012

Some Deep Thoughts About Commitments....

The new year is a week old and I'm already questioning my commitments! One of the things I've always said about myself is that I have great intentions but my follow-through is the pits. I know this is a long post but I hope you read through it to understand where I'm at right now.

Each new year I get caught up in all the things going on around Blogland, everyone seems to be starting some new project that looks like it would be fun. I join this and then I join that and in the wink of an eye I feel overwhelmed. I've watched so many videos in the past week and they all seem to run together after awhile.

Everyone has a different take on what we should be doing to start the new year. Make a journal, make a calendar, make art every day, etc. etc. etc. But then if we commit to all of these things when do we have time to enjoy this new enjoy enjoy stop and smell the roses?

I woke up in the middle of the night last night, struggling with whether or not to continue blogging. It just felt like a huge weight on my shoulders (put there by me) and it isn't always fun anymore because I've let myself get caught up in all the "New Year" stuff. This morning I woke up and while reading through some blogs I came across two other people with much the same thoughts. Julie has some interesting thoughts on this subject, as does Dion Dior. After reading these two blogs I knew what I was going to do!

Each day I'm going to do whatever feels right! If that means I don't get around to visit everyone, I'm sorry. If that means I don't do whatever everyone else is doing, I'm sorry. But all at once making art has become something less fun and more obligation and I don't like that. I enjoy coming into my studio each day and playing. When left on my own I usually make something every day but when I make a "commitment" to do that, then it becomes a chore and my art reflects that. When it becomes something I "have" to do because I've made a commitment or when it's so I have something to share on my blog then it's no fun anymore.

Don't get me wrong....I love sharing what I've done with all of you. And if there's any expectations about having something new each day, it's been put there by me. I've done it to myself. So with all this said, I hope you still come visit me, and I'll continue to post my art when I make it but I'm not going to hold myself to any crazy bunch of commitments that I've put on myself. With that said, here are two more pages that I finished over the weekend....

I started with a magazine picture and painted over it. I've never done a face from this angle before and don't know that I'd try it on my own but working over the magazine helped a lot. I wish I had filled the page with writing but that's always my biggest problem when I journal.

This is an old face painting I did. I think she needs some kind of body added to her but for now this is what I have. I love the background but she seems disconnected from it. And the color is all wrong because in real life these are all greens. Maybe a body and later some journaling will help pull it together....or maybe not. But this is what I did, right now.

I hope I haven't lost all of you, and I hope you don't think I'm a complete idiot! Actually I'm just trying to stay sane! Happy Monday!!


  1. No I don't think you are an idiot Janet, far from it. Art should never be a chore, whats the fun in that. Be true to yourself my friend, am always here for you. Hugs Annette x

  2. I'm in agreement with you Janet. I tend not to sign up for stuff now for that very reason. I put too much pressure on myself and it becomes a chore and a worry instead of a pleasure. Same with blogging. I'm happy with it right now, but who know next week or next month I will want out...LOL
    I have told myself the only obligation is to myself. If I feel like doing it I will, if not it can sit until I am in the mood.
    Right now, I'm gung-ho for knitting, but who knows how long that will last..!

  3. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Oh, I totally get that. It is so easy to get caught up in all the fun stuff going on out there at this time of year and then feel deflated when you can't keep up. I'm kind of glad that I have the children to consider, because the reign me back. So do whatever feels right for you Janet. Netty hit the nail on the head with the art should never be a chore comment. Don't let go of the fun.

  4. No, no Janet not an idiot just beeing honest. As a "freetimer" myself I don't understand how all those clever people out there can manage everything. I cheerish my freedom far too much to commit to all sorts of obligations. Not that it's not thempting but I know myself far too well. Stay true to yourself and your needs, but I hope you don't disappear from blogland completely. I would miss you alot.
    Take care!

  5. Hi Janet,
    No, not an idiot! I know exactly how you feel and as you've probably noticed one of the first things that get pushed to the side is my blog when things are tough.
    I've also discussed blogging/art/time this with my friends and they agree.
    The lady's face looking up and painted over is great.
    I'll have to try that in my free time. lol
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
    Take care,
    Creative hugs,

  6. Hi Janet...I'm so where you are and have been for some time. I haven't signed up for any classes, except for free ones and I've limited myself to three of those so far. I have cut my visits to blogs but I try and catch up whenever I can. I start getting stressed if I feel pulled in a jillion directions at once and I don't want to put that on myself. I'm with you!!! Do what you need to do to be your creative best!

  7. Janet, your post is inspiring. Thanks for admitting that you get overwhelmed, and thanks for your smart decision to do things because they feel right, and not because they're chores/commitments.

    I'm the exact same way. If something becomes an obligation, it loses its shine and I lose interest! Even if I'm the one who's made it an obligation -- which is often the case.

    So again, thank you. I'm in the middle of a slump of sorts, and your post just helped me figure out some of the "why."

    -- Sarah

  8. Not an idiot at all, Janet! I'm sure there are many who feel this way. When I sign up to a class, I never follow along in real time with the class. I download videos and view and create from them later and at my own pace. It's just way too much pressure otherwise. I have found in the past that, when I'd take on too many commitments, some of them always fall to the way-side. If it becomes a chore or you feel pressured, it's no longer fun so what's the point, right? I would love to be able to create something daily but it never seems to work that way's okay. Don't beat yourself up about it, we totally understand.

    Your pages are lovely and what a clever idea to paint over the magazine cover.

    Have a great day!

    ~ Serena xo

  9. ah yes - I'm always trying to find the balance between "motivation" and "obligation". classes and groups and challenges have pushed me in new directions and kept me focused and kept me excited to create, but they have also stretched me thin and made me feel guilty and made me feel stressed. and then I have to step back and remember that I do this to bring me JOY. Post from your heart and we'll be here reading and cheering you on.

  10. I hear you Janet! Having similar sort of feeling myself, and decided to have a blog break. Love your work, respect your decisions, and will carry on visiting your blog with no expectations other than being keen to see what you've been up to xxx

  11. shawn2:42 PM

    I'm having the same thoughts Janet- thanks for sharing yours. When you do visit my blog, please say hi- I love hearing from you and will continue to check your blog as I have time.
    I think I may try that painting over a magazine pic-sounds fun!

  12. Oh Janet this is exactly why I never do swaps. I do art to fulfill my own need. It may be selfish and maybe one day I may sell something. For now I love it just because there is no pressure. I have done many charity pieces and even then I have anxiety whether it's good enough, which does hamper my creativity! As long as you aren't dependent on comments, which fall off when you don't post regularly, then just toodle along and enjoy your gift! Opportunities will present them self when you get a load of art ready! For now just let go and be free to create! Give yourself the gift of No pressure and a Happy New Year!

    Love Giggles

  13. Bravo Janet!! Sometimes we get so caught it in the whirlwind! I'll be stopping by and I always love to see what you're up to! Love the blog banner too , btw :D

  14. I'm with you as usual Janet-and I know where you are coming from.
    I seem to get caught up in the whirlwind of everyone chattering about this and that and before long I have signed up for something.
    At the end of last year I had signed up for 2 things for 2012-one paid and one free.
    The free one started last week and when I logged on to it I thought what am I doing here-I have signed on for a 12 month-weekly challenge which I had done once before-what a dill.
    So I cancelled it and today I am about to start on the one that I have been waiting for with much excitement.
    Do what your heart tells you to do Janet--I know I will.

  15. You have thoughts that many others have, including me. It's so nice to read that you are going to do your art without commitment. I love the way you do your ladies, and I wish
    I had visited you more often, just to get inspiration, because that is what your blogging gives to me: inspiration.

  16. HI janet, I found that as soon as I signed up for a swap something would come over me and I just couldnt function. lately it was the same with the blog, and now... I feel realy happy that the pressure is off (prob self inflicted as you say) but whatever I feel happier to now go at my own pace at home and when I'm ready I will come back to post. In the meantime I know exactly how you feel, but I will still enjoy seeing your stuff no matter when or how often you post in! Do what feels right for you!

  17. I just read all of the above comments and it looks like everyone is pretty much on the same page, me encluded.....
    I have been working on a journal that I made from just a book cover, my own pages, and a fabric cover, some art, some collage, some photos, sayings, etc. but I have not posted any of it yet.. I work when I can, FUN & FREEDOM enjoy yours.

  18. Oh,,I totally agree with you, Janet. That is where I am at in life. I am not putting myself under any more commitments. I did join a free workshop today, but it's more of a do on your own and if you want to show your art then you can. I will never commit to any that I have to do it in their time frame. It would never work for me. I like doing my art when I feel like doing it,,not because I have to do it. So I sure do feel you, Janet!!! And same way about blogging too. I am only blogging when I feel like doing that too! We have to take care of our Muse and not make her feel pressured.
    Hope you have a Happy Day!!!

  19. Hi Janet and Happy New Year to you. I completely understand what you are saying and realize how easy it is to get caught up in all things 'blogland' related. I think it's important to listen to yourself and give yourself permission to step back from it all and then to just do it for YOU when the times right. After all it's YOUR blog and it should be what makes you happy and passionate and exuberantly happy! I have stepped back a bit on my blog and commenting on others blogs too, I know that those who like my art will come back and others I may never hear from again... but I am happy because I am doing my art for ME and not putting any unnecessary pressures on myself. Good for you Janet. I will be checking in with you! Many hugs and many blessings.

  20. Well you know, I kinda let 2011 go by without blogging much and visiting less. I get around when I can and don't always leave comments--sometimes I feel pressured to leave them and that defeats the purpose. So, I do what I can do. I always think of you and my other blogging friends but I just don't always get around to visiting; and I know you're fine with it. When you feel trapped, that's when it's time to change things around. This is supposed to be fun. Let's keep it fun, no matter what! xoxo

  21. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Janet. I've gotten to pretty much the same place over the past year or so...Life is meant to be enjoyed. I still periodically get the 'gee, that looks like fun, wish I could join,' feeling when I see others' group projects and classes - but it's become increasingly clear tome, that I just don't have time to do it all, right now. These things can all get pretty overwhelming, pretty fast, and where's the fun in that?
    Thank you for continuing to visit me even though my blogging has slowed down to a snail's pace, over the past year...I hope you know, I will definitely continue to visit here every chance I get, to enjoy whatever fun art and stories you want to share, whenever it works for you to share them!

  22. No worries, Janet!
    I think a lot of us feel this way, here in "blogland"... I know I was just thinking the same thing. :]
    I think, you should do what feels right for you. That's what makes a happy artist!!
    Take care and I look forward to seeing, reading, and learning of your process along the way. *hugs*
    Remember... It is all about the journey.

  23. I totally know where you are coming from! I got involved with three different "things" this new year, and fast realized that I can't participate as fully as some people seem to be doing. I do what I CAN do, I do what I WANT to do, and I realize that no one is waiting with baited breath to see any finished results's all about my own education and enjoyment! Going with that approach (instead of feeling like I have to finish all these "projects") has allowed some new ideas to swirl around and some fun experimentation to take place. And I feel like that is what it is all about anyway!

  24. 'Each day I'm going to do whatever feels right!'is what you wrote and that is PERFECT! i am stealing your quote! I have just decided that the only 'challenge' I am putting on myself this year (so far) is finding a good quote and then writing it down. If I am so inclined, I'll illustrate it:) So I am putting yours in my book. You may see it one day again. Having said that I agree with you 100% Some evenings I am up waaay after bedtime rushing around checking blogs because I am fearful that I'll lose the small group of friends I have made online but I told myself I can't do that anymore. I can't force it, just let it be. Thank you so much Janet, I think you have hit on something by the looks of the amount of comments you've gotten. I loved reading them all!

  25. Hi Janet,
    your post makes sense 100%. I just started blogging in September and immediately I saw the potential for burn out...I got so confused too with all the multiple challenges, mail swaps, art swaps, etc. I am with what you feel like doing. Just exist in the day and savor each and every one of them.

    I am not too sure that the expectation is that bloggers keep up with each and every post, as least I hope not. That would be impossible and you would have to be on your computer alllllll day to accomplish it. Then there would be not art or pretties to post, right?

    Happy Art Making Janet! I appreciate all the visits you've made over on my blog and your great comments. But NO pressure from here...stop by just when you feel like it. : )

  26. enjoy yourself, your home, your art and your husband!
    life is too short to be pleasing
    i think i am pretty good on this
    and i can not understand how people spend so much time in facebook and other social medias and/or praising others and forget about themselves
    we are the most important person to ouselves and our families
    let's make ourselves happy
    let's make art :-)
    hugs dear Janet!

  27. Isnt it amazing how much pressure we put on ourselves! And from the many comments obviously everyone else doesnt put that same pressure on..

    I absolutely love your art. But I would hate to think that it was becoming obligation. I think art has the capability to hold and communicate our emotions. There is nothing sadder than emotionless art, in my opinion.

  28. Ptui on what everyone else is doing. I take classes and hardly ever post anything I've done. I'm more interested in watching the process I guess. I let my fingers tell me what they want to do and when they want to do it! Life is too short. Enjoy it.

  29. A beautiful and thoughtful post, Janet. I'm not surprised you and many others are experiencing this. Me, too. I think part of it -- at least for me -- is that blogging is my (favorite) extracurricular activity in a world that involves significant work pressures, illness and lots more than I like to talk about (but getting better), trying to keep up my space (not all that well) and just be with Rick. By the time I get to the computer to visit, it's usually Saturday and I'm reading three or four posts from everyone! I could sit here all day!

    And yet, I love this blog world. Love it. Love seeing what's there, mad I don't have the time to do some of the wonderful things I see others do, frustrated I don't have the resources of time or money to take online or even offline classes or go to wonderful things people speak of like Art and Soul. So, I'll be here. I'll comment whenever I can, and if I can't, I can't. I have to try to be forgiving of myself. I see this in you - and I applaud your commitment to assessment and finding your Janet space. It's the best space to be.

  30. Wow Janet, you are in my head at the moment I think. I have been feeling overwhelmed for a while and then at the end of last year I signed up for a couple of things too, one being BOD, Flora's online ecourse and then not counting the things I already had on my plate. I get so caught up in the excitement that I don't really think it through about whether I really will have the time to do what I have committed to. I was asking the same question as you last week about wishing that the classes would not all start at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately my blog and my visits to others blogs have been pushed to the background for a couple of weeks. Today I have come on and look at how much I have to catch up on. Why do I continually do this to myself? that is the question I keep asking but maybe this year I had better stop and think and actually find and accept the answer. I am just so torn at times, I love the blogging friends I have made, the inspiration has added invaluably to my artistic growth but at the same time made me so time poor. Ahhh, I guess that is why my word for this year is Balance. It is going to be a year long challenge I think.
    I love your moving forward page, I haven't tackled that one in my journal yet, just done a couple around it.
    Much love to you Janet


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