The Importance of Pushing the Pause Button

The importance of Pushing the Pause Button

I am an artist that pushes myself, which has served me well up until last year when I had to push the pause button.  It is a gift I’ve given myself and my creativity.

Stage IV Lockdown

The Stage IV Lockdown in New Zealand with the Covid19 Pandemic helped me determine to see this historic time as the birth of something new. I wanted to build something monumental as I grieved the 2019 passing quickly followed by the closure of my beloved business of seven years. I wanted to take my mind off the loss of my beautiful home crammed with stuff from our 3-storey former business (an old bank building…so it was big!)

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

 I launched my YouTube channel, Beverly Claridge – Creating Art Around Life On 26 March, 2020. The next 31 weeks I churned out a new video. I enjoyed exhilaration and exhaustion of the production. It helped me avoid thoughts on the pandemic and 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

Early November 2020, it was time to push the pause button.  

I embraced the New Zealand spring and Christmas-time summer, and started clearing our home from the business. I planted a container garden out front and my indoor plant collection swelled!  Opting for a stay-cation, we made time to be delighted by the song  the Tui and Bellbird frequenting the nectar feeder in our Kowhai tree outside our veranda door. 

Betty Boop roses, neglected during our business years, wafted their scent while bumble bees combed the lavenders for nectar.

We made short day-trips to the south arm of Lake Manapouri in Fiordland and, later, Mt. Cargill in Dunedin to be with family.

A Pivotal Journey

A late April solo autumn journey to Nelson  joined me 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 time to reflect on where to from here. One session with New Zealand artist Amanda Watson gave the push I needed to change my approach to my arts practice. It was time to get outside my comfort zone.

Basic knowledge of one approach I learned gave me confidence to create a new style of abstract work when I returned to my studio.  While representational art still has my heart, I’m  allowing for exploration of abstract. I certainly want to study it more and now have 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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