Four On The Floor

For about a year now, I have had one goal for my art - work faster. As my work has improved over the course of the last few years, it hadn't yet translated into quicker production. I read somewhere that the average painter needs to produce about 80 paintings per year to put themselves in the best position to work as full-time artists. Because I work a regular job, my objective is to achieve about half of that - to start and finish four paintings per month.

August will mark the first month where I was able to accomplish this goal. As a result, I'm achieving a certain consistency to my work. This feels like real progress. More so, because I am improving my output, the opportunities to learn increase and I believe my work will only get better. Appreciating what's happening only makes it that much more fulfilling.

Thanksgiving Revisited

We were approaching the end of our Thanksgiving family dinner when my sister thought it would be a good idea for all of us to go around and proclaim what we were thankful for. Admittedly it has been a difficult year, and after drinking a few glasses of truth serum derived from a bottle of wine, I teetered on the verge of finding the good in all of it... or simply expressing myself.

The rotation of positive affirmations ensued, warming the table like gravy on mashed potatoes. I knew I had a lot to be thankful for- good health, a supportive family and loving girlfriend, etcetera, etcetera- but I wasn't in the mood to delve that deep into my emotions to extract those warm fuzzies. I opted instead for the wry humor card, hoping to mix things up while demonstrating I was comfortable enough to speak my mind.

"I'm thankful this year is almost over," I announced at my turn.

My thanks was met with stunned, awkward silence. My sister pressed me for a better answer, hoping to keep a constructive perspective on my reflection, but I would have none of it. I made my decision and wasn't about to back down. Digging my heels further into the ground, I restated my answer.

"I'm thankful I was able to learn something positive in an otherwise shit-ass year!"

My second outburst was received no better than the first and we quickly moved on to the next person. I had succeeded in expressing myself, but it was at the expense of my family's feelings. I think maybe next year, I will be thankful for the ability of those around me to forgive me when I take things too far... then again, maybe not.