©Helen Klebesadel, The Watchers. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

Steven Sweeney mentioned he could not get the reviews to operate (hope that hasn’t transpired to everyone else). He required to add this:

I made the decision previous February, on the afternoon of a day in the office environment cubicle that started off as any other, to pick an uncertain regret more than a selected one. The latter would be to wish, late in existence, that I’d taken advantage of each my eager interest in and intensive coaching in drawing and portray. The previous “regret” involves strolling away from the bi-weekly paycheck, the wellness and retirement gains, the relative certainty of knowing what I would be “doing” every single day for operate. I moved all my dwelling room furniture to the eastern 1/3 of the area and transformed the other 2/3 to a portray studio–daylight lighting process, blackout drapes, easels, a year’s provide of paints, medium, canvas, boards, brushes and frames. I had provided my corporate employer six months’ recognize, so that I could appropriately prepare my alternative. In the 10 weeks now considering the fact that “retirement,” I have invested 80% of my times working with other folks’ difficulties (significant, not trifling), but the phrase is receiving out that there are moments when I won’t choose up the telephone or reply to your e-mail, mainly because I’m in my studio. It’s not a exciting minor pastime, it is my new vocation, my occupation, my perform. I will most likely miff relations and get rid of contact with some friends over this. So be it. Previous evening I made and printed new business enterprise cards.

I have joined a team of like-minded folks (Out of doors Painters of Minnesota) and will join a lot of of them in close proximity to the Canadian-Minnesota border in late January to paint plein air winter scenes for a week. (About this, a gallery owner, a plein air painter himself, remarked just yesterday, “You’re nuts.”) But most importantly, I know that I require to shell out a yr setting up up an inventory of higher-high-quality do the job, to evidence my talents as effectively as my intentions. I see countless paintings every working day that are “better” than what I at present create, and nonetheless they remain unsold. This doesn’t deter me. I’ve bought paintings in the earlier, and will do it once again. I have to operate smarter than I did prior to. Prints and take note playing cards I have produced from my paintings continue being pretty common, but I require to resource inexpensive suppliers of the components. Indeed, I’m sensation a financial pinch previously, which just signifies I have to transfer on modifying my priorities. In brief, I cannot do it all at as soon as, but I can do some thing just about every day, and “something each and every day” is the variation concerning do or do not. Finally, DVDs, books, workshops and lessons present information and facts and inspiration, but right up until I’m pushing paint all over on canvas or board with my possess fingers making use of my possess elements and abilities, I’m no artist. No matter if I regret the adjustments I’ve designed in the previous 9 months is mainly up to me. I can have the angle about it that I decide on. So considerably, so fantastic.
– Steven Sweeney