For a change, this morning my mind is blank.  Empty.  

I think I am in that in between moment.  Life Limbo… Between a week of vacation last week and a week ahead of normal everyday life.  Between living in the moment and the reality of everyday life, full of to-do lists and appointments to keep. Between a week of only plein air and a week ahead of studio painting.  Between painting for the sake of just observation and emotion and painting with purpose to push observation and emotion to the next level.  

After a week of clearing my mind of anything that resembled the daily status quo, I spent each day with no plan at all except to paint what was in front of me, find a good spot for lunch and take the dogs to the beach as the day turned into evening.  Now I am back in the land of having more to do than there is time to do it. You know the place.

Not to mention, it is suddenly cold outside!  As if that doesn’t just put my mind in neutral.  Saturday it was 80 degrees but somehow overnight, winter blew in.  That sends me straight into hibernation mode.  That doesn’t lead to much production. 

Getting back into the groove is always an adjustment.  Even if you love you what you do, coming back from time away is still a battle sometimes.

The trade off is the fresh energy and outlook it can provide. Working too long in any one direction can feel stifling and drain the creativity right out of me. Time away, spent outside is like refilling that well. The trick is trying to channel that new energy into my studio work and not rebel against it. It is easier to do if my work in the studio is a similar to what I have been painting outside…. a whole lot trickier if the plein air and the studio work are different subjects, different emotions and a different focus.  

Hence, that blank, unfocused feeling as I drink my coffee and think about the day in front of me. Trying to put a plan into action. The unexpected gift in this moment, is the uncluttered mind. Heading to my studio this morning without a previously unfinished, problematic painting staring down at me from my easel is definitely a lovely feeling.

Blank may be good after all.

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I am a landscape painter living and painting on the Georgia coast. Painting and writing is a way to reach out and share my observations, my experiences and my inspirations with you. It is how I tell my story and the story of the wild, beautiful landscape where I live.

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