part 1: Making Space

In art our focus is nearly always on the subject of the piece. The whole point is that we are looking at the important part of the work. By contrast the space around it serves only to emphasize the creative expression. As a self-employed portrait artist, my job and my life come into close contact on a daily basis. Sometimes it is a trick to decide what is the important part. In my work I focus on my clients and their portraits. In my life I prioritize my family and friends, as well as activities that nourish my soul. Striking a balance between these equally demanding aspects of my life is a constant process. Making space for my people and my portrats sounds simpler than it is in practice, but when I do, I definitely reap the benefits.

In this process “rest” is the key concept. To me “rest” isn’t just lying idly in bed, escaping responsibility and ignoring the claims placed on me by my roles in life. Instead, rest is making space to just be. That means not stuffing my schedule to overflowing. It means leaving time in my week to play with my kids, go on a date with my husband, or visit with friends. It means planning when I will be at my easel or on a trip, and balancing that with time spent at home. All the while my focus is not on the space that is left around the structure, but without it, I would not be able to focus on all the different faces that are mine to care for.