#6. Looking back & stepping out

Turning the corner. Out with the old and in with the new. Making resolutions…? Nope– no resolutions. Instead, I’ve decided to adopt one word for 2014 to sort of underpin how I want to live my year. My word is “ACCOUNTABLE”. So, being accountable is what I want to focus on– accountable to self, others, my art, my daughters, my doggie, my home, stepping up the learning curve, finding joy, and finding a way to do more in terms of service. Not sure exactly what, but it will involve my art. Basically, being accountable, in my life, every day.

Though I did manage to read a couple of books, I haven’t watched even one Netflix movie in the past several months– not since I began delving deep, doing research, taking some e-courses, and making the commitment to create this blog as a part of my art practice. It’s the Blogs of Others that did it. I’m continually amazed at what’s out there, who is saying it, the energy and information and creativity that is being shared and spread around, for free, essentially. I like the concept of free culture and questioning copyright, although I need to find out a lot more. I’ve allowed myself to become inspired and kicked in the butt by The Blogs of Others.

The Blogs of Others that have been circling me these last months include stuff about





expanding  horizons







letting go



and lots more.

And blogging.. .the opportunity to share, spew, show and tell, read and be read, respond and be responded to, spark and be sparked, find and be found.


“What Really Matters”  2010. graphite + gouache on Fabriano paper, mounted on linen. 36×28″

©2013 Karen Rand Anderson

#5. Getting all creativelike

I am extraordinarily grateful (dare I say indebted? ) to the amazing Leigh Medeiros. As a truly gifted artist, writer, blogger and more, this woman somehow manages to do all of the above while also inspiring and empowering other artists with boatloads of brilliant advice, ideas and support. For instance, if you have any issues with time management (duh) you may want to read this blogpost. (I printed it out and put it on my fridge. And in my studio.) She conducts inspiring interviews with remarkable artists  and writers. She offers online and on location classes  and also fabulous free information.

If you are an artist seeking a little support and connection, some great advice and inspirational tips, I highly recommend that you sign up for Leigh’s All Creativelike Newsletter and you’ll begin to see what I mean. Her energy and ideas are contagious.

Image“The creative life can be a challenging one to walk with its lack of road map, constant detours, speed bumps and potholes, but along with those tough moments come the most inspiring, energizing, life-changing experiences a person could ever dream of. That’s why the creative life is the only kind I want to live. And I want to help you learn to live yours to the fullest too.” Leigh Medeiros

Honestly, I can’t figure out when, or if, Ms. Medeiros sleeps. But her advice, not to mention her unflagging support of the people with whom she connects and cares about, is priceless. I’m just giving credit where credit is due. Thanks, Leigh, for the terrific and inspiring possibilities you bring to light for the rest of us, and for providing some sort of artist road map. (How DOES she do it??)


image/manifesto ©2013  Leigh Medeiros

#4. Cleaning it up

Every so often, we need to clean it up, the mess. Maybe your studio is your kitchen table, your basement or garage, a corner of the living room, a loft, or a space in an old mill—it’s wherever you make your art. My studio has been all of these places, and I am one of those notoriously right-brained artists, whose work is, for the most part, all over the map (more about that later) and also all over the floor, walls, and every available horizontal surface. I revel in my creative process, which includes but is not limited to drawing, painting, gluing, wiring, tearing, twisting, building, sawing, sketching, stitching, hammering, and writing. Until suddenly—there comes a point where things are getting lost in the creative mess. Like tools and materials, self-confidence, motivation and vision. Focus, intention and drive. 


This is, I kid you not, my studio in process of being cleaned up and reorganized a few weeks ago. 

As artists, we (some of us) love our messes, but when they get out of hand,  well, one has to clean them up in order to move forward. Move things around, rearrange, pitch, let go. Put the old work away to make room for the new. It’s a challenge, at least for me—letting go of old work, past mistakes, and people who are no longer part of the picture. But when the cleaning up thing takes place, it’s amazing what happens…  new ideas, new people, new work all begin to show up.   


Embarrassing…!! But that’s why I’m here, doing this– putting myself into a new and courageous place. (Just getting into the studio is pretty damn courageous, especially when it looked like this. )

Is your studio practice fueled by headlong creative onslaught, or focused and preconceived concepts? Are you organized and methodical in your art approach, or energetic and spontaneous? (I guess it’s fairly obvious which one I am.)


Truth be told, I would love to have little elves come in once a week and tidy things up in my studio. But then, they probably wouldn’t know where to begin, and I probably wouldn’t be able to work in such an organized space. (Hmm. Food for thought.)


My faithful studio assistant, Theo.