Starting Studio Sabbatical 2016

With the new year of 2016, I am starting a Studio Sabbatical January 1st – March 31. It is my intent to set aside this duration of time to return to work in my studio with more focus, regularity, and intentionality. Through re-allocating a shift in time lost to my busy schedule, I aim to work out some new concepts that I’ve had in the back of my mind and sketchbook for a while. I look forward to working out these concepts on canvas and in mixed media. It is my intent to continue this conversation and share my process and ideas through more documentation, blog posts, and social media.

My goal is to shift time that has been spent on other pursuits to be re-centered on art ideation and creation. This will mean saying “no” to some side projects, design gigs, social get-togethers, and even to some volunteer work with which I’ve been involved. My hope is that by pulling away from the “noise,” I’ll be able to gather new perspective, complete paintings I’ve only worked out in my head, and bring to reality a host of new concepts that I’ve wanted to work through.

tea mug paint palette

The new ceramic loose-leaf tea mug and “Paris” Harney & Sons tea that I received as a gift – and my paint palette.

On this morning of January 1, 2016, I began my Studio Sabbatical. After waking, I made a simple breakfast and put on hot water for tea. I anticipated using a beautiful new ceramic loose-leaf tea steeping mug that dear friends had gifted me for Christmas. I sat, drinking my tea, taking in my studio, and pondering where to start.

I placed a blank canvas on my easel, selected my palette, began sorting the oil paint tubes I planned to use…then I ran into a delay. The majority of my paint tubes were sealed sticky and tightly, and no gripping method of my own resulted in successfully opening these paints. After briefly consulting the internet of things for alternative methods, I was able to open the paint tubes, squeeze paint onto my palette, then I began painting.

The perfect timing of the start of this Studio Sabbatical coincided with a request by a client for commissioned painting, so my first strokes were to a small canvas to be used as a study for this commission. I applied the colors in small dabs all around the canvas. Then, using the palette knife, I smeared colors together using the very viscous stand oil. Any time I mix colors directly on the canvas, I’m entranced at observing on the colors swirl and mix, in darks and lights, warm and cools, vibrant and pastel shades. I painted for the duration of the day, taking breaks occasionally to photograph the painting in progress or to get more tea. Dabs_Swirls

Today was only the first day of this journey. I hope that you’ll join me and interact with me through your feedback while I pursue this next portion of this sojourn. I’m both excited and anxious. I would like to express my deepest gratitude –to my friends, family, colleagues and clients– for your patience as I work to accomplish this personal goal.

If you would like to travel alongside this Studio Sabbatical journey with me, please follow my process and progress in any of the following ways:

Best wishes to you for a healthy, productive, artistic and joyous start to 2016!

Most sincerely,



2 thoughts on “Starting Studio Sabbatical 2016

  1. I admire your decision to make a process that will propel you forward in your artful direction. I look forward to following along. We met a couple of years ago at a Pawtucket Open Studio show. Your work is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your journey.
    It’s inspiring!

  2. As a ” closet” artist who never pauses long enough to start, work on, or complete anything that I have started, worked on and even completed in my mind ( ten times over) and with Pete being an old buddy I am drawn to this. How’s that for a run on? In short… I shall follow!

Thoughts, Comments, Questions & Responses:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.