Sometimes you get thrown by the bull. What really matters is getting back up….somehow. This past week has been as challenging as ever. All the more reason to give and keep giving as a part of my daily practice. This week I donated to my friend Lieven’s fundraiser for Lymphoma through Team in Training, gave a chess lesson to my friend Kathryn (which is a gift to me and to her), took the boy out for a day instead of working, made some art for people, etc. But instead of talking about the specifics of this week’s gifts I wanna talk a little bit about this project in general. I was recently told that I was ‘showing off’ with this blog. Meaning that my giving and my stories were very self centered and that I made this out to be an exercise in self congratulations.
(No, this is not from Craig Jacobson.)
This has made me really think about the blog and the project as a whole. And I think I have a valid and clear response. When I started this project, I was in the worst shape mentally of my entire life. I was suicidal and having a hard time dealing with day to day events. When I realized that giving was my way out of that dark space it changed my life. And I wanted to share that with everyone I could. When you find something that you are so incredibly passionate about it is impossible not to share it with people. Especially when you find that so many people are hurting and suffering. I wanted (and still do) to inspire people to do things that they believed in. It doesn’t have to be giving….it’s more about inspiring people to follow their bliss. To chase their passion. If it were just about the giving then this blog would not have any paintings on it….I also wanted to paint more than I ever had before. I can see where this part may look like I am showing off….but seriously, who cares? I love to paint. I hope that people connect with my art. But I would still make it if no one checked it out. I have to. It’s ingrained in me. I can’t even help it.
So in response, I am not showing off. I am sharing my journey. If you can’t respect that, then I kind of don’t have time for you. I have paintings to make and gifts to give….and my own life to deal with. Take care.
I didn’t realize it but I skipped a week of posting. Ok, that’s not entirely true. The real truth is that I skipped a week of giving as well. At first I felt very ashamed. Then kind of relieved. Then ashamed again.
I didn’t really notice that I had skipped a day or two of giving until I had a near panic attack and a major bout of depression. The funk. And usually when the gloom shows up I fight back by giving and at least trying too change my perspective….but not this time. This time I indulged in the bullshit. Now you can say I am overwhelmed….or maxed out. And I would agree that I am pretty busy. You would think that I could cut myself some slack…but when you are being victimized it is really hard to do. So I am just gonna let this play out. I skipped nearly a week of gifting. So what? I will find a way back. What really matters is finding new ways to give and fight back. so here goes.
As many of you know I had to stop the February Marathon yesterday. I have received a few comments in full support of me doing what I want to do. I really appreciate that. Thank you.
This early ending, has made me look at the original GP as well as last year’s February Marathon and realize a few things. My life was so incredibly different back then. Theresa was not working and was able to take care of Darwin most nights as I painted away and posted blog posts until the wee hours of the morning. Now if she has much energy after work she eats and hangs out a bit before getting Darwin ready for bed and collapsing. Darwin is now 4….back then he was a little easier to handle. Nowadays, he needs constant attention.
Back then….I was a part time employee at Trader Joe’s and a painter that was painting part time. Now I am a full time artist trying to make ends meet by making art for shows and people. I guess you could say I am way more busy than I used to be.
I am not saying all of this to complain. Just getting some perspective out of my head. I am glad things have changed. I think it would be a sad state of affairs had I made NO progress. There is probably NO WAY that I could ever be able to line up everything and do the original Gift Prolific again…and I am not sure that I would want to. It was an amazing thing. It really happened. And many of you are part of it.
And I am glad that I can step back and make this decision….It gives me more of a connection to doing art in a way that is less work…and more passion. So I am considering this release of the February Marathon a gift to myself, my family, and my fans. Thanks for supporting me through all of the learning process….and let’s see what happens next.
Take care. Go do what you want to do….even if it doesn’t work out.
This is a tough post to write. If you have been following along you know that I have skipped a few days of the marathon paintings. Deep down inside I have had to ask myself a few hard questions about the experiment as a whole. As of lately it has felt like a huge chore to get the paintings done….let alone, ‘on time’. The gifting part is easy….mostly because daily gifting is a huge part of my life and has been for 3 years. Painting is also a huge part of my life. In the last three years, I have painted way more paintings than I ever thought I could. I am forever grateful to this project and all that it has pushed me to accomplish.
That being said I feel like this is the end of the road…At least for the February Marathon. This time around things got off to a great start. I feel like the paintings are even better than last year. But I have come to realize a few negatives that maybe weren’t in the mix last year or when I did the original Gift Prolific. If I look back, in earnest, I can see that my life has changed very much since I was able to create paintings everyday. Now I have to-do lists that have to-do lists! haha.
One of the things that has changed is that making art is now my full time job. I have many commissions as well as show deadlines on my plate. While working on the Feb. Marathon this year I have pushed many of those clients an deadlines out of the way to make the daily paintings…And that is just backwards. To add injury to insult, many of days where I painted a daily painting, that is all the work that would get done. By the time I would finish with a marathon painting my energy and time to do other work would vanish. So I need to re-evaluate my priorities and flip this over.
For me, this isn’t really a failure. I made some great paintings. I sold a few of them! THANK YOU! And I am learning a lot about my time and energy management.
I would also like to state that this isn’t about them all selling or not selling. So far I have sold 4 of them and I consider that a huge victory! Last year they sold even quicker. Facebook has made several changes as to who sees my posts. I also am using ETSY to sell these paintings and many people aren’t comfortable signing up to buy a painting. One other factor in the difference in sales is that my life is different than last year. So are many people’s lives. Things change. I am ok with all of this. But I want to be clear that I am stopping mostly because I am overextended on time and energy. Not money issues.
The worst thing that I can imagine is feeling like creating art as a chore. That destroys all of the passion that I have for it. And, as I said before, this is feelin like a chore. So I need to step away from the daily paintings (at least in this capacity) for a bit. Thank you for understanding. And reading along.
I am giving some thought to making the paintings smaller and quicker to finish out the month….as I want to highlight the gifting part of this process. But I am still doing some thinking about that. Take care.
The Marathon has been on hold for few days. I am re-evaluating some things. Doing some hard thinking on how to make this work. I will post as soon as I can. Thanks for your support.
It’s Valentine’s Day. And we are not doing any of the typical stuff. In fact the last few years we have done some of the usual things that people do to celebrate the holiday. We have done the flowers…We have done the candies….We have even done an expensive restaurant or two. But this year we are doing none of that. Sort of. We are going out to get tacos! Our local tacqueria in Glen Park fits the bill well. We order and head for a table. One with all kinds of plates and empty beer bottles. As I am walking that way a bus boy springs into action and cleans the table. Just before he leaves I say ‘Gracias amigo!’ and hand him a $5 bill. It isn’t much. But he was working pretty hard. And by the look on his face people don’t tip him very often. He nods and smiles and scurries back to the kitchen. I don’t know….it just felt like the right thing to do. Now it’s Taco Time!
After our food and frozen yogurt in Glen Park it was really tough to get started on this piece. Once I did get started it just rolled out. I should say that I am not 100% sure that it is finished. But I do rather enjoy the simplicity of it. I am about halfway through the February Marathon. It has been tricky to say the least. And I am feeling like a night of self care and relaxing are in order. So I may take tonight off….Yes I will probably make it up. hehe. Thank you for reading along and supporting me. As always this piece is for sale in my etsy store….or you can message me.
The February Marathon is not doing as well as it did last year sales wise. I am not sure exactly why. I am having fun…and I really believe that the paintings are better this year. So we will have to see how the second half of the Marathon goes. Thank you. Take care. -joshy
About 2 weeks ago I was painting at Greg Keidan’s event that was a musical tribute to JJ Cale. I love doing the live painting gig. I always have a good time….and it really helps when the music is good. Anyway…like most of my live painting sets I set out an auction sheet and people bid on the painting that I am working on. At the end of the night I usually collect the cash and give the winning bidder the painting. Somehow or another I must not have been clear about that on this night and made a deal with the winner to collect the auction money during the week. It never worked out. I have never not had it work out. And certainly have never not sold one of my live pieces. So I guess that brings us to today.
Greg came over today to use his AAA Towing Privilege to tow my van to my mechanic. I had put out the call a few days ago and Greg offered to help out. So after he got here and called the towing service we hung out in my studio for a bit. Talking about art and work and stuff. After the guy came to tow the van I dug through my wallet to give Greag $40. He was politely resistant. But I insisted. I told him to take it and take his girl out for dinner or something…..and that I would have spent a lot more on the cost of towing my van. He finally took it. So it feels right that this painting represents today’s gift. It started at Greg’s event and ended with Greg hanging out with me for a bit. I think that is kind of nice and fitting. Take care.
As with all of the February Marathon paintings this one is for sale. Email me or check out my etsy store to purchase it. $125 plus shipping. This piece is 12×12 on wood panel.