An unexpected curly commission

I believe one of the best complements an artist can received is to be remembered. Even if she'd been following my blog or Facebook page, I had hardly posted any art last year. I basically took the year off. So when Jodi contacted me out of the blue to create a custom piece for her, I was rather surprised. It's been a 3-4 years since she contacted me for some art. Then I learned that she was expecting a little girl and wanted a Chester style piece for the nursery. Now that's an honor. As an artist, it's always fulfilling to know that your art is being displayed and treasured in someone's home, but it feels extra special that this piece will be in a nursery. I hope its cherished like a favorite children's book.

I haven't been asked to draw a girl with curls before and I think it turned out very sweet. What a great way to start off the new year.


Current Reading List

Here's what's stacked up on the bedside table:
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Here, There, Elsewhere by William Least Heat-Moon
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
Manage Your Day-to-Day edited by Jocelyn K. Glei
Pursuing Christ. Creating Art. by Gary A. Molander
Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson Marie Miller

Now I'm not reading all of these at the same time or just one at a time. I just finished two of them. Manage Your Day-To-Day is a collection of essays on routine, focus, and creativity. Again and again the book promoted harnessing the power of frequency and routine. Even something as small as 15 minutes everyday will add up. So every morning beginning January 1st, I'm reading a book instead of watching the news while I drink my first cup of coffee. I've polished off two books this month so far doing this.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost is hard to describe and flat out amazing. I enjoyed the themes and concepts that she explores. So much so that I'm considering exploring them in a few paintings. More on this later. 

I do have this tendency to read more than one book at a time. Instead of reading one at a time, stack of books will tempt me into trying just a few pages. Just to see what it's like and if I'm going to really like it. And then I can't stop and I'm reading three books at once.

I'm currently these three:
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Here, There, Elsewhere by William Least Heat-Moon
Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson Marie Miller

Permission to Speak Freely is one that I started and then probably put down because I started reading some addictive novel. It's a collection of essays. So it's easy to read a short essay and then switch to another book and switch back later. I am impressed with Anne's honesty and openness throughout the book. I find her whole concept of "gift of going second." By sharing your brokenness, your imperfectness, and your story first, it makes it a little easier for other person to share their brokenness.

I'm re-reading The War of Art because its been awhile and I'm feeling extremely stuck. I've become a professional time killer and I'm not making any art. I hate it and me for not getting back to painting.

Here, There, Elsewhere is another example of unfinished reading. I started this on vacation in October. I really enjoyed William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways and was hoping this would be similar. It's good but since it's a collection of travel stories, it's not as captivating as one epic road trip.

As you can see, I'm not reading any fiction at this time. I have a hard time finishing non-fiction books unless that's all that I'm reading. I've tried having one fiction book on the night stand and one non-fiction book, but the non-fiction book usually turns into a dust collector/coaster.