Barbara A. Lewis - Artist/Naturalist

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Time To Climb A Mountain

Posted on January 3, 2015 at 1:35 AM

"You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain."

~ Tom Hiddleston

  Wow! It's another new year! Time to reflect on the old year, make plans for the new one - notice I did not say make resolutions. I stopped making those a few years back when I never seemed to get them all accomplished! Now I make "plans" for the new year and as you know, plans can change! All kidding aside, I started purging things in 2014 - saying goodbye to things I did not need in both my home and life - negative things and people that were inhibiting my goals, organizing and making sense of the things that were cluttering up my life. After being sick with a dreadful flu most of December 2014, followed by weeks of bronchitis and facing a new health concern, I realized that I had been dealing with way too much stress and it was robbing me of my joy and health. Change is never easy, but both Dave and I started tackling the things that were dragging us down and have a solid plan in place to make 2015 a great year financially, physically and spiritually better. Like Tim said in the above quote - we never know what is around the corner, but we will put one foot in front of the other and keep climbing that mountain!

  One of the first things we tackled was getting a grip on a timeline to complete our home repair/improvement projects. We have several remodeling projects started in our house and were both getting tired of tripping and sidestepping over clutter/tools, etc. So we are taking on one room at a time and COMPLETING the project before moving on to the next one. We actually managed to get our entryway and front living room decorated for the holidays. After spending holidays away from home for the last several years, it was nice to sit by our fireplace and enjoy the decorations and just being home for a change.

  I managed to get rid of a lot of old papers and files that were sitting around in totes and reorganize our filing system where it makes sense. It was amazing how much paper clutter that had accumulated in boxes and totes. Whew! Now everything that comes into our home is immediately addressed and taken care of. No more paper clutter!! Next we will be tackling finishing up our master bathroom. We are tired of huddling over the single sink in the other bathroom - time to get back to our larger, double sink master bathroom! Most of what it needs is elbow grease and effort - the largest expense will be putting in a new shower/tub combination. We kept trying to work with the old one, but it is too dated and worn out. I joked with my husband that we could pretend we are house flippers on our own home - keeping cost down, but modernizing and getting it ready for the market!

  My personal "mountain" to climb this year is to focus on getting healthy. The recent health concern is a wake up call that I need to get fit and remove alot of the stressors from my life. Already I can see a big difference and plan to continue my progress this year.

  Other changes that I have made is to not to take on too many things outside my regular full time graphic design job and free up more time for my studio art work. I have very specific goals for growth in my art this year and look forward to taking the steps to achieve them. Now that my studio is more organized, this will make it a lot easier. I now know where everything is and can work more comfortably. Among those studio goals will be to keep up with my blog and website better. I will be posting up news and photos of my latest works and shows and hope to inspire other artists this year.

  Some awesome things are happening first part of the year. I had two pieces accepted into the 40th Miniature Art Society of Florida show taking place at the Leepa Rattner in Tarpon Springs Florida. The show will be on exhibit from January 15 - February 15. I am looking forward to meeting other miniature artists at the artists reception. I have been inspired and encouraged by so many of them! I am continuing to take lessons from Annie Dwyer  who will be demonstrating miniature painting techniques during the show - Annie also has pieces in the show and her work is fantastic! My good friend Jean Kerrigan also got her first entry accepted into the show this year - so happy for her!! I remember last year when my first ever miniature was accepted into the show and how thrilled I was - the show is not easy to get juried into - there are over 800 entries on average from around the world and some amazing works! I consider it a privilege to be in the show and feel humbled when I look at the incredible works from other artists!

  I am also getting more involved in the Pastel Society of Tampa Bay - an awesome group of pastelists who I have learned so much from! Their regional show "Possibilities in Pastel" takes place in February and I am looking forward to entering that show as well. They also do a lot of plein air work which I have not had much experience with - I mostly work in my studio. So for Christmas, my wonderful husband gave me an entire plein air pastel setup - folding chair that doubles as a backpack on wheels, new field easel and pastel box, a set of high-quality pastels, and two wonderful reference books on pastels by Maggie Price and Richard McKinley. I am so blessed to have a husband who encourages me in my art endeavors and supports my artistic dreams!

  I am off to a great start for 2015!  I will report my progress as I go - and I think that this time next year I will be able to look back and see that I have indeed climbed a mountain and the view is fantastic!!

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