Beach Palette, acrylic, 24x30

I was wondering if everyone else sometimes gets overwhelmed and bored with all the bureaucratic stuff we are told we must have - resumes, diplomas, statements, memberships, submissions, titles, approvals…the list goes on and on. But there are many contrary examples of people accomplishing their goals, maybe even more likely, without any of those things – burdens, time wasters, distractions? How come a drop-in clinic doctor is always able to help without a six page form I had to fill in for my family doctor?

We are cultivated to follow rules and eventually we may end up missing them and seeking them to save ourselves from the perceived frightening uncertainty.  This is a serious thing that can stifle a creative person and it’s not always easy to shake off.

I remember coming to a revelation one late night that it was entirely up to me to decide what kind of artist I want to be. The more rules I avoid the more interesting choices I can make! Sounds like a duh thing, but it really was an eye opener for me.

So, I can respectfully choose not to enter competitions, shows and events  which take time from my painting, even if everyone and their dog will be there!  It is up to me to decide when to go to my room, and how long to stay there. Even the best food won’t taste good if it’s crammed down our throat. Happiness is in making our own choices.

And in case our choice looks scary, no worries. Steven Pinker wrote that people have an amazing ingrained ability to justify their deeds and perceive they have done well, no matter what happens with them. According to him, we will all eventually be happy, whatever we choose to do. He didn't say at which point this happiness will occur though. I guess that’s up to us to discover.




  1. Some of the non creative stuff is necessary but some of it we let into our studios forgetting that we may not really need it. It's figuring out what we really need that is tricky.

    1. That is so true Cindy. On one hand it's great to be a part of a good community project, on the other hand we need to know when it's too much. I get bogged down when administrative stuff becomes overbearing. One can only jump through so many hoops before getting exasperated. Then it's best to just go back to the studio.

  2. "So much to do, so little time!", your last words on this Blog which I read to the very end of old posts today. That's like my own mantra these days. Tatjana, I greatly enjoyed reading your entire Blog and am so impressed by your writings and accomplishments. Barring nasty weather, I do plan to make the bus trek from Kitsilano to your Oct. 2 art opening. Reading through the entire Blog and seeing more of your paintings there, I can certainly see Robert Genn's influence on you--you were fortunate to have that close association with him. Best wishes for a successful exhibition!

    1. Susannah, thanks so much for reading - it's great that our thoughts connect. I am looking forward to meeting you!