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

Steven Sweeney explained he could not get the feedback to perform (hope that has not transpired to any individual else). He wished to add this:

I made a decision final February, on the afternoon of a day in the business office cubicle that started as any other, to decide on an uncertain regret more than a selected just one. The latter would be to desire, late in life, that I’d taken advantage of both my eager fascination in and intensive training in drawing and painting. The former “regret” features going for walks away from the bi-weekly paycheck, the health and retirement rewards, the relative certainty of figuring out what I would be “doing” each and every working day for function. I moved all my living space furniture to the jap 1/3 of the area and converted the other 2/3 to a portray studio–daylight lighting system, blackout drapes, easels, a year’s provide of paints, medium, canvas, boards, brushes and frames. I experienced specified my company employer six months’ recognize, so that I could appropriately practice my replacement. In the 10 weeks now considering the fact that “retirement,” I have used 80% of my times working with other folks’ complications (critical, not trifling), but the term is receiving out that there are instances when I will not select up the telephone or reply to your e-mail, since I’m in my studio. It is not a pleasurable tiny pastime, it is my new vocation, my occupation, my operate. I will possible miff kin and reduce get hold of with some good friends in excess of this. So be it. Last night time I developed and printed new small business playing cards.

I have joined a group of like-minded folks (Outside Painters of Minnesota) and will sign up for lots of of them in close proximity to the Canadian-Minnesota border in late January to paint plein air winter season scenes for a 7 days. (About this, a gallery operator, a plein air painter himself, remarked just yesterday, “You’re insane.”) But most importantly, I know that I want to shell out a 12 months constructing up an inventory of higher-excellent get the job done, to evidence my qualities as nicely as my intentions. I see countless paintings each working day that are “better” than what I at this time create, and nevertheless they remain unsold. This does not discourage me. I’ve bought paintings in the previous, and will do it once again. I have to get the job done smarter than I did before. Prints and be aware playing cards I have produced from my paintings stay very preferred, but I require to resource cost-effective suppliers of the resources. Yes, I’m sensation a money pinch previously, which merely suggests I have to go on switching my priorities. In shorter, I cannot do it all at once, but I can do one thing every single working day, and “something each day” is the variance concerning do or do not. And finally, DVDs, textbooks, workshops and lessons present information and facts and inspiration, but until finally I’m pushing paint around on canvas or board with my have palms using my personal elements and skills, I’m no artist. No matter if I regret the variations I have built in the previous 9 months is mostly up to me. I can have the mindset about it that I decide on. So much, so very good.
– Steven Sweeney