Sunday, December 30, 2012 one little word for 2013

Ali Edwards started the One Little Word phenomenon online a few years ago.  Until now, I have resisted the urge to follow along, but this seems to be the year that all changes!  Here is what she has to say about it :
One Little Word
What it amounts to is choose a word that will define what you hope to accomplish in the coming year, a modern resolution if you will.  After much thought, I have chosen mine:   BREAK.

This may seem a little strange in the context of what I just said, but hear me out.  There is a song by Matthew West called "My own little world" with these lyrics:

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, population: me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give 'til it hurts
And I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah, it's easy to do when it's population: me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world

Stopped at a red light looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign said, "help this homeless widow"
And just above that sign was the face of a human
I thought to myself, God, what have I been doing?
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
Oh, how many times have I just passed her by?
I gave her some money than I drove on through
And my own little world reached population: two

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world
My own little world

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
That I could be living right now

I don't want to miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Show me the greater purpose
So I can start living right now

Outside my own little world
My own little world
My own little world

I want my heart to BREAK for the injustices that I see around me each and every day.  I want to do so much more than I am doing right now!  

I also want to BREAK the mold artistically.  I am very inspired by artists around me, but I do not want to find myself falling into the trap of doing things their way because they have earned accolades or popularity for their style.  I was made intentionally, just the way that I am, and I want to be sure to remember that while I may admire another artist's work, copying their style is just that.....copying.  I need to focus this year on creating my OWN style, and embracing that uniqueness that makes me special!

BREAK......I intend to BREAK into the coming year and find my place in it!  What is your one little word?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013....Ready or not, here I come!

I had a lot of lofty goals for this past year with my art, and they all came to be! Not only did I set out to paint 52 watercolor portraits, I ACTUALLY FINISHED THEM! My ArtPrize piece turned out better than I could've hoped for, and the entire experience was indescribable!
As a first time artist, not only did I get a venue, but it was actually one of my top three choices! At least 200,000 people came through the venue where I was showing and saw my art! Like I said, AMAZING! The best part of it all was when Walter, one of the homeless people from my piece, came in and saw himself! Not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions, and each time, he brought someone else with him! His pride at seeing himself up there was awesome! He said to me that he has lived in Grand Rapids for years, and had never been comfortable enough to go into that building, but I made him feel like he belonged there!!!
After ArtPrize finished, I displayed the piece locally in another competition, and took First Place in the public vote and also won the Most Reflective Juried award! That was the first time I have won a competition with my art!
As amazing as this year was, I have some great intentions for the coming year as well! I have joined a creativity challenge for January, and intend to get focused back on art. I also am not finished yet with the portraits! They have more of a story to tell, and I am going to do just that by turning them into a book! I have interviewed two of the subjects so far, and will continue to do more until I have enough for my book! I did get some press in the local paper for my project, and hopefully that will stir up some interest in thing as well!
I hope to begin work on a series of mixed media paintings in the new year. I am also using some of my prize winnings to join a local artists guild, in an effort to grow as an artist and get some more opportunities to show my work! As I said, 2013.....READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!