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New Year, Gentler You? Or nah?

I've always been a woman of extremes.

I like to push myself. Whether it's a workout, a party, or my career, I go hard. Pretty often, society backs me up on this. For example, how many coworkers have you heard boast about how they "Work hard, Play Hard?" Or, when's the last time you told someone they're "Killin' It!" and meant they're doing great? Was the term "Feel the Burn,' in terms of working out only an 80s thing? Or is that still around?

My point is, our society reinforces the idea that to get something done, and get it done right, the process has to hurt. If it's brutal? You're doing it right. Be aggressive. B.E. Aggressive!

But is that true?

Let's look at this like an artist, shall we?

On one hand, being gentle is key when it comes to painting.

Monet's Waterlilies

How many times, at one of our Paint Nights, have you heard me urge you to be gentle with your paint and with your brush? "If you're gentle and lay your paint down on the canvas, it will cover much more nicely," is something I say at least twice a class. (Although I don't think I say it that eloquently, ha, but whatever.) "Barely touch the brush to the canvas, go lightly, and you'll get those outlines you want," I urge again and again when we're putting final touches on our art. And yet, while I'm good at following my own advice on canvas, in life, I'm over here killing myself!

I jog, HARD, til I pull muscles. I insist on old-school methods at work, when there are tech advances that could easily do half my job for me. I tell our assistants "I'm the workhorse, you're the show pony," all the time! When I go out for drinks with friends, I throw down like some kind of frat boy at his first kegger. What's with that?! B.E. aggressive? It's more like I'm being an idiot!

But wait just a minute...If we look at this as artists, we can't discredit aggression entirely, can we?

In Art, there's plenty of room for being aggro. Think throwing-paint-on-the-canvas, think splattering-and-swooshing-and-beating-your-canvas-up. There are whole movements in art about being aggresssive. So, from an artist's perspective, agression is good.

Convergence by Jackson Pollack

What do you think? Are you more of a "Killin' It!" type? Or are you more gentle in your daily life? And what do you think is more effective? I honestly don't know.

Whatever the answer, I think it's pretty clear that my gentle side needs nurturing and some pretty serious attention. So, since it's that time of year, I've decided to make a resolution. In 2024, I will be more gentle in every aspect of my life. Let's see if I can balance out my aggressive streak, shall we?

I think that means adding Yoga to my workouts. Ugh. So cliche, but okay. Fine. I also think that means delegating more at work, and embracing new technology that can get things done for me. And obviously that means no more acting like a frat boy. Although, maybe every once in a while...

What's your New Year's Resolution? Do you have one? Comment below!

Happy 2024, everyone. I can't wait to paint with you again soon!



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