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One Month Into 2024? Already?

Ok, so where the heck did January go? I finally got myself back together after the holidays, set some dreams and goals for the new year, and then ***BOOM!!!*** January is over! And here we are, in February already. So, let's do a quick January recap:

New Year's this year was a great time for some serious reflection. Like so many years, I started out last year with all sorts of dreams of how I wanted the year to look. I thought it was all going to go a certain way...and then it didn't. In fact, 2023 took some crazy twists and turns I did NOT see coming. And, while I know in my head that's the way life just goes sometimes, I struggled. 

Never too early to start thiking of Valentine's Day & St Patty's Day!

Sadly, my art was probably the one thing that took the biggest hit during the crazy of 2023. I couldn’t draw, couldn’t paint, could hardly think of ideas in all that mess my head was in.  Which seemed the weirdest to me, as art is usually my “go-to therapy.”  You would have thought I would be running to bury myself in creativity, no?  I did get some small things going again at the end of 2023 as life began to get back into a bit of a “normal” flow.  I made some small paintings and, of course, my Christmas Gnomes found a way to come out & play.  The smiles they put on my face were very much welcomed.

My 2024 Dream Board - Yes, I have a goal to be a better cleaner!

The good news I seemed to find on New Years of 2024 was FINALLY being able to close a door on the past.  To properly put it behind me…or at least enough to get myself back to work.  Best way to start getting back on track I figured was with some actual GOALS, written out and placed in a location where I HAVE to see them every day.  Sounds so adult-ish, doesn’t it?  I even put together a “Dream Board” in the sketchbook I thought I would be in all the time. And, yeah, I have hardly touched that sketchbook since. HAHA! Go figure.

Actual accomplishments for January –

Palette knife painting - Practice for FrostFest '24

1.     I got myself back to posting! Maybe not every day but getting social again. While my 3-month hiatus from social media was fun, it’s been nice sharing my work and seeing what everyone has been up to also.

"Sandpiper" - another palette knife painting

2.     I got to painting again!!  Oh. My. Gosh!  Does it feel good, too!  Which has also lead to the problem of being almost overwhelmed with creative ideas again.  The creative spark has been great.  And feeling some wins with the success of creating pieces that I like & am proud of. 

FrostFest Flyer - so honored to be a part of this...

3.     I have been OUT!  I was able to join in the fun at the FrostFest ’24 in Downtown St Cloud on Sunday, Jan 21st.  What an amazing experience to be hanging out with other artists & seeing all their amazing creations!  I also did my first LIVE PAINTING there, something one of my sons has been on me to do for a while now. That was a great challenge that, while I was crazy nervous to try, I actually enjoyed doing.  My final creation was a palette knife painting, a replica of my umbrella watercolor piece that is on my business cards.

Sketchbook FUN!!

4.     I have signed up for more events! And I am working on creating more pieces to bring to those said events.  Calendar is filling up, but remembering to balance out the work/life thing, too.

5.     I got back into the sketchbook, and this time I have been playing around with “sketchbook journaling” – combining the act of journaling with sketching.  Many of those sketches have been focused on real life, what is right in front of me.  Hoping that will help me stay in the moment, capture more of my life with my art and add a fun dimension of arting from real-life instead of too many photo references.

So that means I have been super-duper “all-in” this year & haven’t slipped up yet, right?  Heck NO!  But while I haven’t gotten a gold star for my performance every day, I also haven’t jumped ship yet.  And there is something to that, too, isn’t there?  Not giving up?  Being persistent even though there were some days where I didn’t want to do it or life got a little crazy.  Gonna give myself a high-five for that little win.


What’s in store for February, you may ask? To start, I will be hanging out at the Apopka Craft and Food Fest at Kit Land Nelson Park on Feb 10th from 11AM-4PM.  Hope to see you there!

Other than that, you’ll have to stay tuned for more…

Until next time, be well! 

-- chris :)

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