Thursday, January 9, 2014

A new year, a new word

Well hello my blogsy people!

It's high time to end my blog break since my vacation is now really really over and I have been to work again for the first time this week.

I had a wonderful time during my time off though and I really got to relax and unwind which I truly needed to do. I spent my days in a lovely quiet tempo and got to walk, read, write, photograph, draw and sleep to my hearts content. I filled a small journal. I went on a couple of daytrips too.

These were a good two and a half weeks all around. I didn't do a whole lot of art, but I did do a truckload of writing and writing helps me think and my last post may have made clear I really needed to think about stuff, haha.

I will show you a selection of the hundreds of photographs I took sometime next week and of course you'll also get a peek into the journal I filled, but today I wanted to start where I left off last time.

A very relaxed assistant.

Let me just tell you you are an amazing bunch of people! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the suggestions for words for 2014 I got. In a way all of them were appropriate, they really helped me to think about what I wanted for the coming year. In the end of course I didn't choose any of them (haha!) and the word just came to me the way it did last year during my vacation.

I was rereading Christina Rosalies lovely little book 'A field guide to now', because it helps me to remember that we must observe our own lives to see the good in them. We need to be more mindfull, more present in the everyday. It's a good book to read at the end of the year, at least for me, because that for me is always the most reflective time. The book offered a couple of good options for words for 2014 too, but it wasn't until I read the following passage that I knew what my word would be:

My most important work ofen begins when I'm not working. Creativity wells up when I give myself the present. When I go with eyes wide under open skies and allow the world to split me open.
The more you open yourself like this, the more you give yourself to the rawness of world, outdoors and uncharted, the more your work will work for you. It's a game of cause and effect where the whole universe plays along.

When I read the words 'split me open' it really resonated inside and I knew my word for 2014 would be 'OPEN'.

A very relaxed seal baby.

This word can be interpreted in more than one way and that is exactly why I like it. I feel like I need to open up in the sense of listening more to my life, my body, my soul. To be more observant and less judgemental. To appreciate what is there and be open to the good stuff.
I also need to surrender to open time, time that is not planned to the brim with activities no matter how much I want to do them or think I should do them.
I need to be open to finding my own style in my art and writing, see what happens when I create from the inside instead of letting outside influences ... um ... influence me.  I want to be inspired by my own life, surroundings and ideas and not so much by others, no matter how much I love their art.
I need to open up when it comes to my own expectations, this also involves letting go of many preconceptions of how I should be and how I should live. I need to be open to the flow of life just the way it is.
In short I need to get out of my own way!

However 'open' works both ways. It's a way to receive, but it's also a way to give. So I intend to be more open toward the world around me. Share more both in person and here on my blog. Try to be more vulnerable. I have found over the past years that the posts where I get the most personal are the ones that resonate the most with others. Being open about yourself brings forth a connection to others.
I also want to keep sharing about my process and my art and philosophies. I reaffirmed for myself that I don't want to be a professional payed artist, but want to share freely in what I do and make so others feel they can do the same and maybe be inspired a little to look for the smaller pleasures in life that make all the difference. I find there is way too much focus on money, marketing and business in the art blog world.

Working towards a very relaxed Caatje! ;-)

I'm not setting any specific goals and I'm not making any big plans for change. I think I mostly want to sit back a little and look at my life for a while and see what comes up. Document it, write about it, take pictures, if only for my journal.

I think what it means is that I want to settle down comfortably in my own life. To be able to do that I have to be open to it.

This should be an interesting year. I have no delusions that a year from now all my stressy issues and inner conflicts will be gone, but I hope to have gained some insight as to how to deal with them better. In fact I think a word like 'OPEN' could serve a person for a lifetime!

If you picked a word for 2014 I'd love to hear what it is and why. Hope you like mine and wish you all a wonderful and artsy new year!