The Importance of Pushing the Pause Button

Pushing Myself

I am an artist that pushes myself.  I think this trait has served me well up until last year when I had to push the pause button.  This has been possibly the greatest gift I’ve given myself and my creativity.

Stage IV Lockdown

The Stage IV Lockdown in New Zealand due to the Covid19 Pandemic helped me determine I would look back upon this historic time as the birth of something new. I wanted to build monumental “thing” as I grieved the passing of my mother in 2019 and soothe myself over closure of my beloved business of seven years soon after her death. I also needed to take my mind off the loss of my beautiful home that had three stories of our business crammed into it. 

My Mother Me And Brother Sam - Beverly Claridge, Artist
My mother with my brother, sam , and me.
Inside Gallery - Beverly Claridge, Artist
Downstairs gallery in my now closed business

Launching My YouTube Channel

On 26 March, 2020  I launched my YouTube channel, Beverly Claridge – Creating Art Around Life

So, for the next 31 weeks I churned out a new weekly video. Jumping into it headlong, I enjoyed exhilaration and exhaustion. It helped me NOT think about the pandemic, or my grief.  

Beverly Claridge Youtube Channel 1 - Beverly Claridge, Artist
My channel page on youtube
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The front entry to my studio
Studio Showing Verandah 4 Scaled E1625801303955 - Beverly Claridge, Artist
My studio looking out towards the verandah

Pushing The Pause Button

Then, early November 2020, I knew in my heart it was time to push the pause button.  

I chose to embrace our New Zealand spring and Christmas-time summer in a lovely and simple way. I began clearing out our home from the business in earnest.  I also took up container gardening and increased my indoor plant collection by alot!  Opting for a stay-cation, we made time to be enchanted by the Tuis and Bellbirds frequenting the nectar feeder in our Kowhai tree right outside our veranda door.  We delighted in their song.  Betty Boop roses wafted their scent while bumble bees combed the lavenders for nectar.

We made short day-journeys to the south arm of Lake Manapouri in Fiordland as well as  Mt. Cargill in Dunedin to be with family.

A Pivotal Journey

A solo autumn journey in late April to Nelson saw me join up with artist friends at Atelier Gallery for an event called Majesty. It proved to be a pivotal point for me.  The time in the car alone with my thoughts gave me ample time to reflect on where to from here. One session with New Zealand artist Amanda Watson gave me just the push I needed. I had to change my approach to my arts practice. It was time to get outside my comfort zone.

Basic knowledge of one approach I embraced gave me confidence to create one of my first abstract works after I returned to my studio.  While representational art still has my heart, I’m loosening up enough to allow for exploration of abstract. I certainly want to study more about it and now have some tools with which to play.  You can see my explorations by clicking here.

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Amanda watson at afternoon session
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Exploration results

The Benefits of The Pause

It has proven to be an excellent decision, personally and artistically, to give myself permission to take a breather.  The extent to which I believe it has reinvigorated my creativity will be shown in future posts.

Most importantly, I paused to reflect what it is I really want in order to live my life in a meaningful way and decide the kind of art practice I really wanted going forward.

My Great Desire

One of my great desires is to help others succeed in creating an arts practice they love.  In particular, I want to help those who, like me, have a life filled with family, jobs and challenges, AND find it difficult to get to the easel AND want to know what to do once they get there. I want to help them create an arts practice they love.

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