Pushing the pause button

Pushing the Pause Button

The importance of Pushing the Pause Button

Pushing the pause button was a gift I gave my self a few years ago. I am an artist that pushes myself, which has served me well.  There are extraordinary times when it is mandatory.

Stage IV Lockdown

The Stage IV Lockdown in New Zealand from the Pandemic made me determined to see as a time to birth something new. Building something monumental seemed to help grief I felt with the loss of my mother, which was immediately followed by closing my beloved business of seven years. It might also take my mind off the loss of my beautiful home which had been crammed with stuff from our 3-storey former business (an old bank building…so, there was lots of stuff!)

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 the exhilaration and exhaustion of the production. It helped me avoid thoughts on the pandemic and my grief.  

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 set aside time to be delighted by the song of 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 nearby lavenders.

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 reunited 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.

The benefits of the pause

The pause was an excellent decision, personally and artistically, because I gave 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 stopped to think about what I really wanted in order to live meaningfully I could then decide the art practice I really wanted going forward.

encouraging others

Helping others create an arts practice they love is something I really want to do.  In particular, I want to encourage 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 to make art they love.

Note Dated November 2023:  Click here to go to my YouTube Channel to learn practical ways to help you create art you love around your hectic life.

My mother with my brother, Sam, and me.
Downstairs Gallery in My Now Closed Business
My Channel Page on YouTube in 2021
The front entry to my studio
My studio looking out towards the verandah
Amanda Watson at afternoon session
Experimentation at Amanda Watson workshop

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