First post of 2014. Here's one of my latest paintings. It's the largest I've done so far, 19 x 50. It was on the easel from late September to mid December. I haven't been able to decide on a title. I was going to just call it "Musket and Canteen", but my wife informed me that that was a lame title. She's right. So, it remains untitled until I come up with something cool.
There are a few things I'm excited about right now. First, and most exciting, I found out my wife and I are having a girl! Awesome :-)
Second, I found a great new podcast to listen to while in the studio. I'm very new to the iphone world, but I think that is what I like best about it. I love having great podcasts at my fingertips. My new one is Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership show. It's geared toward small business owners to help them become great leaders so they can more effectively grow their businesses. As artists, we are certainly small business owners and entrepreneurs. So, I've found it very meaty, so far.
One idea I heard that stuck out to me, is that small businessmen tend to isolate themselves. They don't do it on purpose, it's just the nature of the beast. They spend long hours working with their head down to meet certain goals and time just gets away. It's easy to lose touch with other people in your field and other people who may be philosophically like-minded. But, we need to stay connected. We need the fuel. We need to grow and stay fresh. Keeping in regular contact with our friends and colleagues is important cognitively and spiritually.
By nature, I'm a hibernator. I love to crawl in my cave and work. I rarely speak to my best friends. Hell, I moved back to Texas after living in the center of the center of the universe. As an artist, I think this is typical. But, it's not healthy. Isolation is certainly great for focus and deep thought. And it is necessary. But, I have to make time to communicate with my friends. I forget what a rush it is to talk to my artist friends who live hundreds of miles away. It's usually so exciting and such a release that we end up talking over each other while I'm pacing across the studio the whole time. It's like I'm actually refueling and engergizing through the frenetic exchange of ideas and philosophical commiseration. I get so jacked up, that when the conversation is over I can't wait to go back to work. Renewed! and full of vigor! And then I'm back in it. Working with my head down. Blinders on. Working hard is great, I, and perhaps we, just need to refuel more often. Let's fiill up at half tank, and not wait till we're running on fumes. It's far better for the engine and we'll get much better gas mileage. Okay, metaphor over.
One last thing about the EntreLeadership podcast. The host is one of Dave's team members named Chris Hogan. He signs off each show with "Grow your self, grow your team, grow your profits." I love that.