It’s Christmas Eve! Right now, it seems like Cincinnati will be having a mild, kind of warmish Christmas which is just fine with me. I can’t believe this is the second Christmas we’re celebrating during a global pandemic, but hopefully that helps us all feel just even more grateful for our family and friends.
I was looking through my recent paintings and this one felt a bit Christmas-y to me with the red and green like light coming through a stain glass church window. Anyway, I thought I’d share it since it’s a tad festive.
May you have a wonderful Christmas filled with all the people you love and the warmest of memories!
I have been loving the cooler weather here in Cincinnati. The leaves are changing in some areas but I’ve also noticed a lot of trees that lost their leaves early this year. Every spare moment, I’ve been trying to soak up as much sunshine as possible before the winter inevitably comes. It’s inspired a lot of my writing and painting, and I wanted to share my latest abstract landscape.
I have not done a great job at blogging in 2021. It’s honestly always been a struggle. I thrive more behind the scenes, writing and creating in private. But I still want to update occasionally so that I can stay accountable and build connections with other writers and artists.
Below is an abstract sunset landscape that I recently painted. Painting is a passion of mine, but even though I’ve sold some work and was featured in a gallery last year, it’s also something I’m deeply insecure about. I know art is subjective, and I know that it’s something I love to do, but it’s also something I long to keep hidden from the world out of fear of rejection. So, posting this and the other paintings on my website cause me anxiety, but it feels important to continue trying to share. I’m also excited about participating in another Inktober on Instagram in October, so I’ve been practicing more ink sketches.
This year has been more about poetry than prose. I’ve felt very inspired by nature and have spent a lot of time hiking and reflecting, and these themes have factored into my painting and poetry a lot. While I’m still working on novel #2, a poetry collection may be debuting sooner rather than later. And speaking of poetry, Ephemeral Elegies is still going strong with over 33,000 views in under 2 years. I’ve loved connecting with other poets and providing a platform for new and emerging voices. We’re always looking for new submissions too!
One of the main reasons I’ve been reflecting a lot this year is because I’m turning 30 at the end of this month! This has been an interesting decade filled with lots of highs and lows. I’ve learned and grown; loved and lost; created and reinvented. It was a time of change, and now I’m entering this next chapter of life ready to see what’s going to happen next. But before I get there, I did set a goal for myself of doing something I never thought I’d be able to do: run a half-marathon. I’ve been doing some charity 10Ks to prepare and I’m so ready for my birthday race to benefit Autism Speaks.
I wish I had more exciting things to share, but even small victories during a global pandemic feel more meaningful right now, so hopefully this post wasn’t too boring. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share what you’ve been up to this year in the comments section!
I don’t know about you, but when I think back a few months to March, I’m pained at the memory of naively thinking everyone would have to just quarantine for 2 weeks and then the world would go back to normal. Now, here we are, 5 months later, and everything is still crazy. Though some businesses and workplaces are slowly opening back up, everyone seems to still be on edge. It seems like almost everyone is scared or angry or a fun combination of both, which honestly makes me want to dig in and keep quarantining until it’s all over.
Yesterday, I thought I’d play around with paint again as a way to help me process what I’m feeling. I expected the result to be a variety of grey shades mixed with blotches of darkness, which is pretty typical for me. But for some reason, I kept grabbing more and more color. I realized that while my emotions are a bit chaotic and are overlapping in strange ways, this is still an exciting new season for me. I’ve been letting go of things and people that no longer fit in my life, and in some ways, the pandemic has been a bit cleansing. It’s allowed me to spend a lot of alone time with myself where I’ve been learning who I am without worrying about the performance version of me that the world has been seeing. I am so ready for the pandemic to be over so that I can start to emerge more authentically, and I wanted to share yesterday’s painting since it reminded me of this future.
An unseasonably warm February has put me right in the mood for spring. I’m so glad we got to skip winter almost entirely. This year is really starting to feel like a year of change and growth already, and the seasons seem to agree.
The Ampersand Project, the publisher that accepted my first painting, decided to make it a featured post instead of just using it to illustrate a story or essay. They really liked the story behind it, and (while obviously biased) I do too! Anyway, I just wanted to share.
And to wrap up this brief update, I just wanted to share that Ephemeral Elegies is going well – we’re currently scheduling our May issue, so feel free to send over any confessional poetry you have sitting around!
The first month of 2020 seemed to last forever. Cincinnati has had a very mild winter so far, which I greatly appreciate, but there’s something about not seeing the sun that really makes the days seem to all blend together. Still, January (and the beginning of February) have produced some exciting things already!
Two poems have been released already in February:
“The Vanishing Act” is now available in the February Aurora Issue of Down in the Dirt Magazine. This issue can be viewed digitally or a physical copy can be purchased as well.
Lastly, Ephemeral Elegies has celebrated its first official month! In January, we published 9 poems by some amazing people. I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback and volume of submissions. It’s looking like 2020 is going to be a very good year!
It’s been a new decade for a whole week now, and this has already been a great one! I’m trying to embrace the things that make me happy, even if they’re not things that other people support or understand. For me, that’s coming in two forms: Painting and Poetry.
I’ve always loved painting, but it’s a point of insecurity for me. I like abstracts, and I know that these are not super popular kinds of paintings. Still, I’m getting too old to avoid things I love just because they’re unpopular. So, I’ve set up a small gallery here as well as on ArtPal.
Regarding poetry, I’ve already been hugely encouraged by the volume of poets who want to join in the experience of Ephemeral Elegies (still open to submissions!) There are so many amazing poets who want to share, and it makes me want to share too. I’m feeling really confident that this is going to be a creatively productive year. This is the year that I’m going to take myself seriously as a writer and artist. I’m going to take risks and really work on removing the plague of self-doubt.
Thanks for reading and coming on this journey with me.