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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Hello friends!

I hope you're having a great start to the new year. I don't know about you, but this time of year I feel tired. The lack of sunshine and vitamin D really catches up to me in January. I've been going easy on myself, taking rest when I need it and I do believe that it's better to do that instead of pushing through and getting burnt out.

Things have been very quiet in my studio so far this year. I haven't been taking on many commissions and I have been dividing my time between my new painting explorations and running my Etsy shop. My days usually include a nice walk with Bella, some painting, some printing and/or packing orders and then a good workout to finish the day before cooking something yummy for dinner. It's been very nice, I haven't felt quite this peaceful in a long time.

I haven't yet had the courage to download instagram back on my phone, every time I hesitate and decide not to because it feels like this strange vortex of a world that gives me anxiety. I've decided to just keep checking and posting once in a while from my computer. Being away from the app just makes me feel like there's less pressure to figure things out quickly with the direction of my work. When I don't have that external feeling of pressure I can create better work that also feels a bit more authentic to me, less influenced by things I see over there. My progress is doing well, but as you read above, it sort of feels like I take two steps forward and one step back. Some days I see a glimpse of progress while other days I feel like I've forgotten everything.

I've been learning about the importance of being patient with myself during this time. As an artist, there's a whole side of me that I feel I have overworked through client work, commissions, pushing content online... like I've created a wound in my relationship with my art and that's what I'm working on repairing. I'm slowly finding the joy in painting again, but some days I feel lost and it can be hard to stay patient and trust the process.

dog painting sabina fenn

I think the hardest part of this type of career is always going to be that there's no guidebook and no mentor (unless you're lucky enough to find one). Each artist's journey is so unique and different that sometimes you just have to trust that you're on the right path. At the same time, you have to give it your all for it to work out, so it's just one of those things where you dive in and hope for the best. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing with my time anyway, it's kind of cool to feel like a beginner again, in a way I feel like I'm connecting with my inner child and playing like I used to with paper maché and finger paints. So I keep keeping on, and hope that some day soon I'll be able to feel a bit of direction with my work but until then, I'd like to leave you with this little note I read in the book "Daily Painting" by Carol Marine: "We might never be rich but we would always have enough to live on if we did what we loved. And we would be happy." Until next time,

Much love from Matt, Bella and I Xox Sabina

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