Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Review, Affirmations and a GIVEAWAY

Happy 2009! I don't know about you but a brand new year always makes me feel slightly giddy and most definitely hopeful. We rang in the new year quietly here which suits me just fine. There's a certain pleasure celebrating in a quiet & reflective way, at least for me. I'm not one for resolutions either, I like to list affirmations or mantra words instead - I find them easier to embrace and put to work.

The year 2008 was a hard one for me. There were many good changes personally and professionally, but it also brought a life-changing decision and upheaval when we moved our family cross-country to the Southwest. Like anything new & unfamiliar it involved some uncomfortable feelings and emotions. And much like grief, I found that if I could just let myself feel it, I would accept it and move on. I still struggle with it some days...

**click to enlarge**

I took a look through all of my journals and around the studio at my creations for 2008 and made the mosaic above. It features some of my favorites (and apparently yours too from the feedback here & Flickr faves). As I added each one to the grid, I could see a pattern emerge -I need to do more of these! Certain things kept popping up: faces, hearts, legs & shoes, the color red, shades of blue & green, nature, birds, trees - very interesting... Most pieces & sketches make me smile while others have me asking myself "what was I thinking?" lol. In order to review and critique it properly, I decided to ask myself a few questions. I hope these questions will help you too if you're trying to evaluate your work:

What were my influences, ie. what was holding my attention at that time?

What made my pencils & brushes 'sing'?

Which pieces nurtured & replenished my soul?

Do I feel accomplished & proud of any in particular?

Is there a media that isn't working for me? Rather, where are my strengths?

What am I wasting my time on trying to master?
I was gentle with myself on this one as ANYTIME you are creating ANYTHING it isn't a waste of time, however I tend to be stubborn and keep at something even when I'm not enjoying the process of it any longer :>


One last thing, I am now officially announcing my GIVEAWAY starting today. All comments must be in by January 14th to be eligible. The GIVEAWAY will be the winner's choice of a fine art print (I'll have a few to choose from) and of course I'll tuck a few other goodies in. To enter, leave a comment and share an AFFIRMATION that's worked for you, or maybe one you're ready to embrace for 2009 (special note: please be sure to include a way for me to get in touch with you, otherwise I'll have to give it to someone else!) I'll also be posting this on Flickr for all my fine FLICKR friends there.

My wish for everyone in 2009 is that it brings YOU everything your heart desires...and more :>


Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Hey Laura and Happy New Year to you and yours. Of Course I made a bee line straight to your blog this morning! I love the banner and the mosaic off your wonderful paintings and illustrations. This is fabulous!
Okay, okay, here is my affirmation. I say it to myself all the time," I am grateful for the this gift that has been given to me. I 'm always greater than I think I am. I am super creative and inspired. I am happy and blessd to be doing what I love. I am not intimated by others peoples creativity, I celebrate and compliment them and in doing so I am inspired to find my own voice and share with the world what it is that I do and encourage others to do likewise. I am happy to me! "
Have a good one my friend!
my email contact is

studio lolo said...

Happy New Year Laura! This is a lovely post and I love what you had to say. The mosaic looks terrific too :)
As one who has low self-esteem, I try to embrace the mantra "I am enough." I think it says sooo much. This year I'm working on self-care. That's a hard one!
I'd love to be considered for the giveaway. I think you have my contact info, if not you can find it all on my website link :)

And yes...paint more ladies!!

Fotf said...

This post made for a very interesting read. My two affirmations for want of a better word for the start of this year are 'Beleive in yourself' some words of wisdom offered to me by my friends husband a surprising source lol! Also thanks to a coffee companion of Pooh Bears it is 'Do nothing, it's good for you' both of these are food for thought, to belive in myself and not be so critical and give myself time out for the things i enjoy rather than nothing which i am getting better at. Happy 2009 :-)

femminismo said...

Happy New Year. Love your art. Found you through Judy Wise.
An affirmation that works for me is: Love is my religion. - Rumi
jeanne in Oregon

Anonymous said...

My affirmation and WORD for this year of 2009 is ENJOY!!!
Life has thrown me a few curve balls this year...but I am going to be aware to ENJOY the little things in life!!

Anonymous said...

Laura: Happy New Year


And make your dreams come true. Webs like yours have made me to dream and feel the pleasure to know incredible people, who do beautiful things. And...Just for an instant, i thought i could do the same. The life is like a tree, every year born new leaves, and change a little, to grow.
I like to grow, and change and born again.

Thank four your art


K said...

Happy New Year, Laura!

My affirmation is, Be yourself!

Hope you have a great and creative 2009, my dear friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura! I love your mosaic (and your header!!!!), and your post really resonated with me. Introspection and reflection are important, but not always easy. We need to do that, though, in order to grow. I hope that you are adjusting to your new home and that life if showing you its beauty every day.

I chose two words for 2009 - listen and reach. I need to really learn to listen to and trust my inner voice, because it guides me from my soul. I also want to really listen for who people really are - go beyond the surface - so I can make deeper connections with others. At the same time, I want to reach... within, out, for, beyond... stretch myself in every way. Whew! It's going to be a great year!

Happy New Year to you! xox - Carla

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog through a post on Constanza's. Your work is just lovely and this mosaic is breathtaking. I'll be back...

As the art world is still quite new to me I have to keep reminding myself that it's an ongoing learning experience and "I think I can"!

Happy New Year
Renee (nayski on flickr)

PeregrineBlue said...

Oh Laura what a beauty of a message for us all. I'm glad you made the mosaic too, I got the idea from Cathy Cullis (November Moon)and it always surprises me to realize what we have accomplished when you see all the works together like that. You have definitely grown as an artist and Laura is in every piece. we all have different ways of expressing what we see.

Mantra, affirmation for this year

Be Gentle with Yourself

Thinking of you beautiful woman.

valerie walsh said...

you should feel really proud of these beautiful images! I live by: don't just look, see :) Happy New Year to you!

Anonymous said...

I'd feel so blessed to have some your magnificentr work -- i can only hope, that one day I can sketch like you! I felt so fortunate to meet you this year, and look forward to contiuing our friendship!

I have a whole journal of mny favorite affirmations... Hard to pick one!

One that is off the beaten path however, is I often tell myself this: It's inevitable: I will fail. But I see failure as an opportunity for growth, and don't view it as a negative thing.

Knowign in advance, and reminding myself that I will fail -- gives me permission to do, without guilt... and makes it quite easy to move on to try another way!

Now how do I rig this drawing...

Heather B. said...

Happy New Year, Laura!

What a great idea...I love the grid of 2008 projects. AND your blog was looking so good I had to copy you.:)!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my studio.

My affirmation is - You know it's in you! My word for this year is BELIEVE.

I would love to own a print of your work.

Best wishes,
Heather B.

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hi Laura ~~ **Thank You** for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a nice word.

LOVE your artwork!! It is fabulous. I especially love the top left and the striped socks! The third down on the left looks like my SIL, Stacy.

My affirmation is to look for positives in life and good things in others. Smiling is contagious!

Have a lovely evening,

Anonymous said...

giveaways are always much fun!!! ;-) as is the beginning of anything new, like a new much to look forward to!
this year i am trying and hoping to make myself a light... to shine and be lighter with my thoughts, words...

thank you so much for joining in my art journaling for the month! your work is beautiful!!!! can't wait to see your color pages. ;-)

Anonymous said...

how fun ..thanks for the chance to win a print ..

~ my new year affirmation ...

to be more and more totally authentic to who i am .. me ... just simply me ... as it comes it happens I AM

♥ milliande

Anonymous said...

I love your work! I found you through Misty's challenge. My affirmation is as always "Stay in the present moment".

Lunara said...

Hello,! This is a very interesting post, love it, i think you are a special person, well my affirmation is: "Tu vida es una obra de arte" this means "Your life is a piece of art" (something like that, my english sorry hehe).. well, i wish you a very wonderful year too, and i think it will be..

Nicole Austin said...

i like the questions you asked of yourself, i will have to meditate on those. i think that asking questions like that of ourselves and our art are a great way to move forward. i hear you about trying to master a new technique or style...sometimes what we want isn't always what we need! it's good to know when to move on or to put something aside for later. ;) i think my affirmation for 2009 regarding my art will be to do a little something artful each day.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! My affirmation is I am the Abundance and Ease that Spirit is.

artlover said...

Thanks for allowing me a chance to win your print.
My affirmation is to live in the moment, and accept experiences thru life 'as is' in that moment.

Mariette xox