Things I’ve learned in the first 60 years

I’ve been painting for better than 1/2 my life so I thought I’d put down a few life lessons learned so far.

  1. Look for what you can do while you are waiting for what you want to do.  Don’t waste a minute pining.
  2. Focus on the task at hand, block out everything else going on in your life if it distracts you at all from your painting while you are painting.
  3. Plan what you can do for yourself without worrying about the future.  Worry later.
  4. Be as kind and honest with people as is within your power to do.  Invest yourself and your time in your good lifelong friends and work on  friendships.
  5. Something someone said to me when I was in college ages ago “people are going to talk about you, and gossip etc.  Just make sure that you are doing the right things for you”.  No one understands you better than you.   I would say few of us are ever really judged based on the realities we face as individuals.   So only you know what is right for you.  If people misjudge who you are based on their perceptions well there is little that you can do about that.  What you need to focus on is what you are doing.  Is it the right thing for you, your family, your work?    If it is then people will just have to get over it their erroneous perceptions.
  6. “Fester Fester Fester, rot, rot, rot, You make my ass twitch. ” says Meg Ryan in French Kiss.  Just make sure that you aren’t wallowing.  It is ok to lick your wounds, but only until they heal.  Make sure that they do and move on.  Live in the moment.
  7. Use every tool at your disposal to organize everything in your life.  A place for everything and everything in its place will save you large chunks of time looking for things.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, ready for Better Homes. Remember 15 mins a day looking for your keys will add up to 91 hours a year wasted.
  8. Enjoy the moments with  Good Friends, Good Weather, Good Food, Fun trips, The Work You Love To Do, stir and repeat.
  9. Oh and if you have to do something else for a while in order to survive.  Just remember all the artist who’ve had wars disrupt their lives and took it back up after the war.  First rule is that they had to survive.   When they took back up the brushes, the talent kicked back in and they’d still been painting and drawing in their head and new level of painting resulted with deeper appreciation.

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New Paintings ~ New Life ~ New Experience

I have been working on a new series of paintings for the past couple of years and scraping down, starting over and over and over.   I didn’t want mediocre, I wanted something uniquely beautiful, I didn’t know whether or not it would be successful, and like any new venture we are always full of self doubts.    I mentally revisited my firsts of the past where the unknown truly had no boundaries.  Everything was an unknown.   The mental game an artist plays is really quite something.  I remembered painting three pieces for my very first national show and wondering was it good enough, did I miss something? what if… but I screwed up my courage and scraped my entry fee together and lo and behold all three works were accepted.     That was the beginning of my first incarnation as an artist.  I have since metamorphosed myself several more times.    I realized while painting this new work that I was having a deja vous experience.     A fresh start but with all the experiences of the past.   Art is really a journey into the possibilities of self discovery, what are the limit? are there any limits to your imagination? what next?   For those who have been painting a particular subject for a while you know that you gain confidence that the public will like your work, an assurance that you are in the flow of the work and that the subjects are worthy of paint.  That collectors will come knocking at your door and want what you have created and that you will ultimately succeed.    Whenever, you are venturing out of your comfort zone you know that your gut is responding to the risks of failure (this is your lizard brain talking).   Despite this, fear of failure is NO reason not to risk it.   It is death to a creative spirit to stop poking your talent into new venues,  to quit exploring what you can do, finding limits or discovering none.  You must see if you can, when all the evidence is on the side of “you can’t”.   A creative mind will create no matter what and it is a waste of abilities NOT to explore every aspect of it.

I have been painting on the edge between realistic and abstract for a long time.   That and the subject of water seem to by the common thread throughout my 30+ years of painting,  whether painting meander of the sea pieces, or florals abstracted from their background, or marsh landscapes or painting reflections with gliding wildlife or kids on a beach, all these experiences have been incorporated into this new subject matter.    I am very proud of myself (can I say that?) that I have taken the journey to this point, and not flinched from the rocky road.  I am also pleased that despite a lot of obstacles that I am still working on me, tweaking abilities, honing skills and refining my thinking.  Trying to go beyond what I’ve done before stretch myself.    This is what I wanted my life to be.   I didn’t want to settle and fortunately the “times” wouldn’t allow me to either, it kept pushing me on to the next thing.   Since I can’t travel at the moment what I chose to do with my time has become a perfect subject to challenge myself.    I’m busy working on a series of pieces getting ready for the next opportunity, seeing new things and challenge my mind with new puzzles to solve.   After all I’m not dead yet, I still have time to discover what else I can do.

 

 

 

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The Woods and other things

Moonlight in the Woods, 24x34 oil on linen canvas by Deborah Chapin

Moonlight in the Woods, 24×34 oil on linen canvas by Deborah Chapin

As I was biking through the woods today, just after it had rained with a cool breeze rustling the trees, I was reminded of all the walks and treks I’d made through the woods.  Woods in Minnesota, and Montana, France and Australia.  As I breathed in that cool moist air cleansed by the rain with wet wood scents of pine and oak my mind shuffled through all the woods I’d known.    The memory of those woods brought me to all I had known, places I’d seen, people I’d meant and I wondered where the next path would lead.   We are the journey that we make, so far my path had taken me down many trails and many different woods with  many different friends and I loved it all.   While I am taking care of my mum, and preparing for my next journey, I enjoyed this simple little bike through my neighboring woods and charged my batteries thinking about the next woods I would come to know.

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New Gallery Demo for use of new Website

 

Just did a new Gallery demonstration of the website it is coming along and archives are being rebuilt along with new books etc.

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Gallery getting spruced up, Roses in Bloom

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Working on my site, and have a client project to do but have almost conquered all the quirks of the new layout, just one more thing we are trying to do, in the meantime I am working on the paintings….and  sharing my rose garden…. which is in full bloom, these roses are sooo hard to paint at least en plein air.

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Latest incarnation of the gallery site back on track…

Front Page Gallery Site Deborah Chapin

Front Page Gallery Site Deborah Chapin

ok finally getting back on track.  The latest incarnation of the gallery site is back on track and we’ll get things sorted and dusted out soon.  This group of designers has been very good and they have excellent support,  a number of options to try out and really pleased with how it is going.  I am sure that this will be much better for the work and development of project files since it was designed for just that.   Have to give it some time to finish loading existing files then I can resume with new work.

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Spring and Sprung and a good morning read

Don’t usually do a recommended reading but since Spring is finally here, and I’ve been working on project right and left I thought it would be a good time for a read on those things that bring you back to a center. I found this article this morning and thought I’d share. Doesn’t seem to be a way to do it directly from their site but the title of the read is “25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing for Yourself” by Marc and Angela

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From Out of the Blue, Client Loses Painting

Had a client from out of the blue contact me with a request of a canvas print of his painting. He’d lost the original painting in a fire several years ago so I will be printing a canvas print for him to hang in his new home. Isn’t it great that you can do such a thing these days. Think of all the master works lost through floods, fire, wars and just age that could now be at least remembered through this means.

Other than that I am working like a demon refurbishing the workshop/studio and have been trying to upgrade things as I go. So purchasing a new scanner for this purpose and proceeding on the massive project of creating my archives in digital format. I sometimes think that people contact you just to remind you to do something NOW rather than later down the line. More soon.

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Time Lapse Video of Irises

I’ve uploaded the video to my gallery site on the time-lapse video of my irises.  The color on this time-lapse isn’t what I would like it to be but there you go, everything is a lot of work.  The final painting is located here, which is much more like the final piece.  http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/art-on-linen-canvas-floral-artwork-red-velvet-irises/  

or see
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The hunt is on for video demos ~ but editing needed.

Been hunting down the video demos, but a lot of the materials which I have need editing to play on the web, not quite the short little clip since most are complete paintings.  Will work on that this weekend along with continuing the inventory pack-up.  Also been working on the new website.  I think I’ve fiddled with things but nothing seems to be taking right so have to erase the changes and start again.  Oh well modern life.  Back to work.

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