Progress – 07/17/17

July 17, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 10,738 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  119 words

Writing month to date total: 29,096 words

Writing year to date total: 216,313 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted, for complete paintings, but I did practiced in my sketchbook.

Audio: I spent 5+ hours recording and editing audio.

Week’s happenings: My writing streak continues now at 40 days. This last week was a hard-won week too.

I took the week off from my day job as a bookkeeper so I could spend some time focusing on getting my branding done across my books. I’ve been doing that to the covers, but I hadn’t spent any time on the interiors in that fashion. I figured, “9 days, 14 titles equals 2 titles per day with a couple days left over for writing.”

Well, there’s a saying: Man makes plans and God laughs.

I managed to get 10 of the 14 titles done. That was still while writing and dealing with all the mud that kept getting slung at me all week. I still had to go into work (okay, I volunteered for that one because it’s an important client and things needed to keep rolling along, but it was only a couple of hours). My website got messed up by someone else’s hand; why do people have to be destructive? Grrr! Oh well. I’ve started rebuilding and it will be better than before. Plus, now maybe I’ll get all my websites hubbed together like I’d been thinking about doing. While I continue to hope that Loki cuts off their hands for their “handiwork,” they did spur me to put my thoughts into action. I’m taking my time at the moment – I’ve rushed before and not had a truly great fit, so I want to be sure this time. I had “discussions” with neighbors — when my “live and let live policy” gets stepped on, I will rise up. I had to help both my boys with college stuff. And I fought a war with these stupid bugs that come in my office every year and I’m declaring that my office will be free of the pests this year. I’m proud to report that I might be winning that battle.

I did get some reading done this week. I also had a lot of fun in Stacy’s morning water aerobics class. I swear, after I finish one of Stacy’s workouts, I spend the next two hours walking around and feeling like I have a completely flat stomach once more. Always a great core workout! (grin) I know it’s only in my mind that I’m skinny, but I’ll take that feeling. I’m going to miss those morning workouts. (bummer!) I also got to spend extra time with my kids. What could be better? Mowed the lawn; didn’t get to cutting down some very overgrown branches yet — really need to knock that chore off my list soon.  And I went for several walks and a bike ride.

While I didn’t feel real successful about last week, I can say that reflecting on it now reminds me that there is balance in it all. I “tended the garden” of my books and while I’m sure they still aren’t perfect, I keep moving them in that direction. I’m building. I want something that stands for centuries, not just a house of cards or a sand castle. I’m working toward a career that will last my entire life — I never plan on retiring from my art. I persist.

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Progress – 06/19/17

June 19, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 13.243 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,021 words

Writing month to date total: 32,296 words

Writing year to date total: 165,514 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 7.5 hours editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  This last couple of weeks have been amazing for writing. I am currently on a writing streak of hitting my daily word goals for the last 12 days. I feel like
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ACEO of the Week – 06/10/17

June 10, 2017
Evening Tree #5 020908

Evening Tree #5
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2008 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Space, trees, mountains. This is a very old ACEO I thought I’d bring up this week, but it is one I adore.

Maybe I should restart paintings like this. I’d be so much better at it now. What do you think?

In the meanwhile, keep looking up and dreaming. We’re here to create ourselves. Why else would we have this little bubble that we live in? What is the purpose?

Come closer and let me tell you a little secret several billion people on the planet don’t realize.

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ACEO of the Week – 05/20/17

May 20, 2017
Landscape #11

Landscape #11
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

 

Often, I’m very glad when I see ACEO’s go off to someone’s home. It cleans out my space and gives me the urge to paint new ones. This is one I wish I had kept. I still kick myself for not keeping this one. Maybe that means I’ll get inspired to paint a larger piece. We shall see, won’t we?

Trust me on this: if you ever see a piece of art you want, buy it before someone else does. You might regret not having that piece later. There are a couple works by other artists I wish I had. One piece I’m thinking of now was a beautiful gesha painting. The artist, a girl much younger than me, passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. Very sad. I think about all the art she had within her that is now lost to the world. And, I’m certain the gesha painting is far beyond my grasp now as I’m sure that if she still had it at the time of her death, there is no way that her family is parting with it now. Understandably.

And, if you have art (whatever that is: painting, writing, poetry, cooking, sewing, creating a loving home, taking care of your family, whatever – everyone has something that is an “art” for them) in you, don’t let it remain there. Get it out.

If you don’t think you can, check out last week’s blog for a reminder. Time is the commodity you are given in your life, but you have no idea how much has been doled out to you. Use it wisely. Imagine the possibilities. Then act. How you spend your time and what you give back to those around you is your rent for living. Make sure you give value for having lived.


ACEO of the Week – 05/13/17

May 13, 2017
Tree House 0906 #3

Tree House #3
3.5″ x 2.5″
colored pencil on paper
©2006 Dawn Blair
Not for Sale

I thought I’d have a major throwback this week. I’m always saying how much someone can progress if they just decide to do something and then do it.

It really is that easy, whether you want to gain a new skill or change your life.

Two step method:

  1. Decide — nothing happens until you absolutely make up your mind to do something.
  2. Act — you must take action on that decision. Even if you don’t know the whole path, start. Do what you can where you are at with what you have.

Google exists to give us answers. When you hit the question of what to do next because you’ve hit your limit, search. Searching is still taking action, but don’t stay in search mode for too long. Get just the answer you need and move on. Don’t expect to have all the answers at once. Some times you have to swim around in the waters to see how it feels. It stretches your comfort zone slowly, gently.

Equally important, but is something that develops naturally over time, is when you decide that you DON’T want to do something.

So, why does this ACEO merit being the ACEO of the week? Because it shows you and me how far I have come as an artist. I mean, look at that waterfall! Atrocious! I have learned so much about that, and about painting water since then. I didn’t just have the knowledge; I learned and I practiced. I now get regular comments about the water features in my newer paintings. But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t first decided that I wanted to learn to draw. Yes, my request was that simple. I wanted to know how to draw. Then I acted by taking a class. Then I decided I wanted to learn to paint water better. I read books, I took another class where water was a primary feature of the painting we were doing, and I practiced.

Look back at this blog to see where I was just 4 years later.

Or a painting from around that same time.

While it’s hard to not be jealous of someone as you admire and where they are at, just know that the only thing that separates you from them is that they had made the decision to act much sooner than you and then put the time in. You could be there too. They might even be willing to show you the tricks so speed your own journey along. Don’t let another moment get away.


Make Me an Offer

June 21, 2016

I’m trying to clear out some older artwork to make room for new art. That means you can get a good discount on some of my older work. Currently on eBay:

Tree of Life #2

Tree of Life #2 8″x10″ on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

 

Comet on the Skyline_Dawn Blair_2015

Comet on the Skyline 8″x10″ acrylic on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

 

#4114002 acrylic 8x10

#4114002 10″x 8″ acrylic on canvas Dawn Blair ©2014

 

Yes, there is a list price of $75-$85 on these if you want to make sure you get your desired piece, but you can also make a lower offer if you wish. I will accept reasonable offers.

Get in there now because if someone comes along with a decent offer, your artwork might vanish.

Trust me, as someone who kicks myself for not buying a college student’s dragon painting I saw several years ago, wishing you owned a piece is nothing but a false dream.

More pieces will be added soon. I am even tempted to auction off some of my larger pieces.


Is your life sad?

April 18, 2016

Last week, I was talking to a reader who is very excited about the next books in each series and was wondering when they were coming out. She asked me how I find the time to write while also working full-time. I laughed and told her it was because I didn’t have a life.
She looked at me and said, “That’s sad.”
Suddenly I was taken aback. I could see how someone might consider that a sad condition.
The truth of the matter is that we all get 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no “do overs.” And, there is an expiration date on the package and none of us can be exactly sure when that will be. But when you and your neighbor each have 168 hours in a week, the two of you can spend that time in radically different ways.
Now as I stood there in this moment, I realized that yes, there are some choices I make consciously so that I can have the time I need to create. I quickly explained that there was nothing I’d rather be doing than telling stories. I trade the hours of my life to do that so that I hopefully can bring joy and entertainment to people. If that means I miss out on many of the things that other people do, I can live with that. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to tell stories. Even when I was younger, I was trading all my “free time” to do that. I was always writing.
Now my stories have expanded into other mediums when I have the time (here I’m talking about painting and drawing mostly, but I am trying to also squeeze in time to produce my stories as audiobooks — yes, it really is happening!) and I am grateful that in do so I’m chasing other dreams I had as a child but that I didn’t realize I’d had until I was older. That could probably expand into more explanation, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet here. Suffice to say that art and audiobooks aren’t on orbits far out from what I was thinking about when I was growing up. The more I review my life, the more links I see.
My challenge really is getting all the tracks of my life to line up rather than being like LEGO pieces scattered all over the floor. I’m still working on getting it all snapped together, but each day I feel closer.
So how do I find the time to do what I do? Fifteen minutes a day on some projects. Deciding to make time for others. And lately, a calendar to make sure I really do make the time. You do only have those 24 hours in a day and you have to know how you will spend them. If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you whether it’s a spouse, your children, your TV, Facebook, etc. It is your life. Do you really want to hand the reins to someone else? When you reach the end of your life, will you be happy with what you traded your days for? That’s a question only you can answer.
For me, dedicating my life to my stories, to my creativity, to my imagination, is the most valuable thing I can do. I love every moment of it.