In many of my art groups, we each pick a Word of the Year. It’s not a resolution. It’s more something to aspire to, maybe something we are working on or need to remind ourselves. Last year my word was Fearless. While I didn’t make as much progress with that as I had hoped, I still made SOME progress. And that’s what it’s all about. No pressure. Just a little nudge or reminder.
This year my word is Breathe. It’s to remind me to relax and stop worrying so much. It’s become a bit of a mantra for me, dating back to my decorative painting days. I used to take a weekly class in decorative painting. During class, I’d frequently hear my long-suffering teacher saying, “Raine…breathe.” It turns out that I had a tendency to hold my breath while I was painting…especially fine details. After a while, the students decided to help out and, sure enough, after a while one of them would say, “Raine…breathe.” And we’d all laugh. (Which got me breathing!)
So the word has deep seated meaning for me. It reminds me not only to literally breathe, but to relax more. I need to learn to enjoy the process and relax into it, rather than focusing on what the finished piece looks like. I need to let go of perfectionism. After all, that’s just a trap. There is no “perfect” anything! As long as I’m having fun, that’s what matters.
Here’s the first page in my new journal. I played with a new calligraphy pen to write my word, accenting the letters with a bit of white. A little washi tape and some color from a couple of Inktense Blocks. A few thoughts on what my word means to me, using my new fountain pen. And I’m calling this page done! (click on image to enlarge)