40 Works In 40 Days – The Halfway Point

Hi. It’s March 19. It’s the last day of winter 2015. I actually just realized that, just now. Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Spring: a time of new beginnings and life and color and warmth. Why is spring always so symbolic to me? Is it to you? It’s like a weight being lifted, like the winter is this long, dull, tough journey, and every year it’s a drag, but every year we emerge on the other side.

I remember where I was at the beginning of last spring. Heartbroken after the end of a relationship, trying my damnedest to enjoy the things I look forward to every year in the spring: walking in the woods, visiting the magnolias, photographing the whole beautiful process of the world waking up again. I was biding my time until going on a week-long cruise with my mom, which was incredible, and I came back home anew… the pain of heartbreak dulled, and life carried on.

So what’s going on this year? A lot of things are different. There is no heartbreak. My little business continues to grow, but there are still hardships. I don’t know what I was expecting as far as how I would be able to manage selling art as a career financially. I knew it was going to be hard, but I think I only expected it to be hard the first year. This is year three (WOW), and it’s still hard. Better than before, but still something that’s on my mind all the time. Will that ever stop? I don’t know. Will it change my faith in what I’m doing if it’s a continuous financial struggle? Nope.

What’s going on this year, on the last day of winter? I’m halfway through my 40 Works In 40 Days project. I’ve allowed myself to take my time, and not force the inspiration when it’s not there. Inspiration can be a fickle creature, and I’ve learned that you have to be patient with it, cultivate it. Maybe I’ll make the 40 In 40 project a yearly thing, something to help pass the dead of winter. Because it really flew by. It felt SO agonizingly long last year. The heartbreak situation may have had something to do with that. Who knows. But alas, spring always arrives. We always get through it.

Okay so enough rambling. That happens a lot in the spring when my head is in the clouds. Such an inspirational time… No really, must stay on track. 40 Works in 40 Days. I’ve learned a lot of new things, and here is a mini trip through the first half!

It started like this:

Find prints HERE.

Because really, what are we waiting for? Why do we tend to wait for this non-existent “perfect time” to start something? “I’ll wait til Monday,” or “I’ll wait til the beginning of the month,” or “I’ll wait until it’s exactly 30 days away.” I do it all the time. Why not start now? I was overjoyed when someone purchased the original of this piece. She included a simple note with her order; it read “Thank you passing on your inspiration.” It made my day, week, month, year.
After a few days, I decided to create some bohemian ladies, one of my favorite things to create:
“Mermaid Hair” prints are available HERE and the original is still available HERE.
“Of the Forest” prints are available HERE and the original is still available HERE.
After having fun with these, I got an idea. I wanted to use book pages and pretty paper, with themes (think: stars, flowers, etc.) to create their hair. After literally pacing around my apartment trying to figure out how to create the idea in my head on paper, when it seemed like I had done something similar before, it dawned on me. Make them like a stained glass pattern. My dad does amazing beautiful wonderful stained glass. Lamps and windows in my parents’ house, handmade by him. He taught me stained glass when I was younger, and while I enjoyed it, my patience is MUCH thinner than his. But now, I have figured out a way to incorporate his inspiration with my own work in these lovely ladies:
Stella (above) came first. She was the idea that started it all: a bohemian girl with starry hair. 
(You can find prints of Stella HERE and the original is available HERE.)
Since I created a Stella, I had to do an earthy Terra. Then came Flora (with flowery hair), then Aqua, made of water. Odessa came next, named after the word “odyssey” and her hair is made of maps. Flora is my favorite:
She is busy and bright and colorful and everything my college professors would have rolled their eyes at and gagged on their Starbucks over. And I love her. (Find prints of Flora HERE and the original is still available HERE.) I am going to create a friend for her, named Violet. Violet will be made of all purpley-bluey flowers. I actually have plans for about 10 more of these ladies, all with themes. Bringing them to life is so far my favorite thing I’ve discovered while doing this project.
After a few days, I wanted to take a break from the ladies. Making patterns for their hair, cutting the paper out, then putting them together like a puzzle is fun and even kinda zen, but I needed to switch to a looser process for a while. Of course, I gravitated towards the stars and creating fictional cosmic scenes:
“Often Wander Always Wonder” prints are available HERE and the original is still available HERE.
I also finally created a piece that I dreamed up two years ago, while I was bartending during a very slow night and doodling away on receipt paper:
“The Center” prints are available HERE and the original is still available HERE.
There are of course many more pieces that I wish I could talk about. Perhaps I should be better about blogging (how many times am I going to say that??) and I can talk about each piece in more detail. My goal is to be finished with this project by the time my mom and I leave for this year’s cruise: April 17. We will be visiting Aruba, Grand Turk, the Dominican Republic, and Curacao, and I know the inspiration from those places will be begging to be released. I keep looking over at my little pile of originals and smiling. It seems that for once, I am going to finish something I started :)
Happy last day of winter everyone! We made it. Now onto spring. Life is good.