|Lighthouse Park, 12x9, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki|
I have a few new sketches to share and some ideas about finding new opportunities to enrich our creative experience.
I looked back at art projects and events where I had participated over past years and noticed patterns of coasting by inertia, entering the same shows and repetitive events. Doing the same thing over and over can feel like a tradition or a ritual, even a matter of loyalty. But, I noticed that at some point my creative contribution gets depleted. There just isn't anything I can add or learn, unless I venture away from (my) beaten path.
At first it feels a bit scary to throw oneself out into the world, meet new people, get exposed to new environments. It's unnerving to be in a place where I don't know anyone and nobody knows me.
But this anonymity has its advantages. There are no preconceived expectations, and there certainly are no agendas to navigate. It's liberating to be a new gal on the block. People are generally kind and patient with a newcomer, and there lies a chance to learn new things, and maybe even shine.
I've done this several times and each experience was extremely invigorating and educational.
|Beach Patterns, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki|
Two years ago I wanted to do some plein air painting in the beautiful Okanagan. I stumbled into The Bear Valley Highlands workshops and signed up without knowing a single person there. Luckily, artists are one of the easiest people to befriend! The event was a fantastic experience. I made new friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a weekend in a gorgeous setting.
This year I decided to check out our neighbors in the south and this time I stumbled (I do a lot of stumbling) into the Pacific Nothwest Plein Air event. I submitted my application and was thrilled to be accepted. This is what I will be doing in the first week of August. Painting the stunning Columbia River Gorge scenery in the company of some top notch painters, followed by a month long group show in the Maryhill Museum of Art. in Goldendale, WA.
Taking risks has its rewards! I can't wait to meet new art friends and get inspired by the Columbia Gorge landscape.
Reconnecting with old art friends and making new ones is one of the best aspects of a creative life. The upcoming plein air painting season is a perfect opportunity for that. I hope to see many of you, my old and new friends, in some of the paint-outs this year.