We launch this year's challenge and invite you to learn, then teach, a new art skill this year.
Blog for Bleeding Heart!
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I have big, exciting, and difficult news for you today.
And the end of June, I will be leaving Bleeding Heart Art Space and my position with St. Faith’s Anglican Church as Arts Chaplain. I will step back for at least a year. I may then have the time, capacity and desire to return, but those decisions are for another time and context.
Today, the heart of it is this; I’m tired and I may be in the way.
To survive and thrive, Bleeding Heart Art Space must be a team-led, community-driven, supporter-funded movement disconnected from any one person.
I have hope.
Tattoos are a personal form of art, often containing meanings that go deep beneath the surface.
My story starts at the young age of sixteen, when I got the first of what would eventually be four tattoos. I had known by around the age of twelve that I wanted a tattoo one day, maybe because of seeing my father’s forearm tattoo daily, my love of art, or the beauty in the ink. Whatever the influence or reason, I knew that I wanted one, which led to getting four before my nineteenth birthday. The reasons behind my tattoo choices ranged from wanting a daily reminder of ‘balance’, to a tribute for the passing of a dear friend.
Everyone has their own reasons for deciding to get inked, and sometimes, as we grow and change with time, our reasons can shift as well.
This leads me to my current tattoo journey – getting them removed.
Our Small, Slow and Beautiful Retreat is less than 2 months away and we've got some big news today.
First, we have decided to cancel our dedicated painting option. We are sad to do this because Jennifer Berkenbosch, our guide for the sessions, is awesome. The short story we didn't have the registration numbers we needed to proceed and we'd rather cancel now than wait and perhaps still cancel last minute.
This change gives us an opportunity to refocus on our Poetry Workshop with Stephen T Berg, and retool our 'open retreat option' into something much more exciting - a brand new Creative Retreat option, at the same low price!
Before we ever opened a gallery, we were a movement. We still are, and this is our Manifesto. Our reason for existing. Our map.
Thanks to all who read the Manifesto for this video, and to every artist who has shared their beautiful work in our space(s) over the years.
Way back in January, I issued a challenge. Myself included. Make something this year. Make something that will challenge you. Make something you can finish. Make something you'll share when this year is over. Just make something.
In the making, I thought, we'd grow as artists. The deadline, I thought, would pull us onwards and upwards together. I've been surprised along the way. But I've been right.
Even though I am not going to finish my project on time, I am right about this challenge. I've grown. I've accomplished more than I would have otherwise.
The surprising bit? I've grown in other ways. Not just in the straight line of this project, but laterally, into other projects.
But enough about me. This is the December check in. So those of you who made commitments, it's almost time to post the final score. Just seconds left in the third period. It's time to take stock, adjust, and finish what you can before the clock ticks out. How is your project coming along?
As usual, four questions;
It's time to take stock, friends. Time to look at what we've accomplished this year and say 'that's good', or 'I need to push through a little harder now'.
I need to push through a little harder now.
In January I made a commitment. I wanted to record a 6 song EP this year. I started with a whole album, then pared that back. I thought 6 songs was doable. Perhaps even easy. It has not been easy.
The sand is nearly drained. There is just one piece of pie left. I want to savour it. I want to make good on my commitment, for my sake and yours. I want to show us both that goals can mean something - that they can pull us forwards to unexpected and joyous destinations.
Many of you began this journey with me in January. Many of you said, 'yes, I'm going to complete an art project this year.' We set goals, and I promised you a party to celebrate and share. Regardless of how we've done, there will indeed be a party.
Since January, a lot has happened. While I've picked away, more slowly than intended, on my EP, I've traveled and written much more than in the past. I've been part of great projects like Bridge Songs. My church has moved homes. The Bleeding Heart Art Space has found a home of its own. Between these exciting events, in the tight spaces, my art is still breathing, if sometimes just barely.
Today I am taking a hard look at my progress and deciding whether I can make that goal or not. I am going over what I've done. I am being realistic and giving myself heaps of grace. I am checking in with the rest of you.
So, is your project coming along? Please share by answering the following questions ...
The outlook may be sunny or gloomy as today's October skies, but either way, don't give up. Don't be hard on yourself. Heads up and all that.
We can do this. Together.
It's time again for a check in. Some real-deal accountability for our 2014 Grow Your Art Challenge.
Summer was nice. The sunshine brought a lovely bit of relaxation, but the leaves are turning friends. That means our year-long project is nearly 75% done. That means just 3 more months until we gather to celebrate our accomplishments (even our incomplete ones).
I don't say all of this to scare you. I say all of this to scare me.
I'll fill you in on my progress below, but let's just say I need this accountability at least as much as any of you. This is that time in the project where things seem a bit impossible. Rocky is down and bloody on the mat. Things are looking bleak.
But then ...
But then the crowd chants, slow at first and then louder. Raucous. Roaring. 'Rocky! Rocky!'
Then hope rises.
I'm looking for the hope of the crowd today friends. Maybe you are too. We can do this thing. I'm not licked yet.
I'd like to hear where your project is at. I'd like to encourage you to join us, still. 6 months is still enough time to surprise yourself.
As we move towards Spring, the Grow Your Art Challenge has entered its second quarter.
A quick recap for those asking 'what on earth is the Grow Your Art Challenge?'. Some of us set out together to pursue personal art projects during 2014. We set goals we felt were realistic and attainable, and we vowed to keep each other posted on our progress (be it inspiring or less-than). As a group, we would hold each other accountable.
And that is why we are gathered here today. To keep one another in check. To ask, 'How is your project going'.
Please post your progress below, addressing these four questions;
Yes indeed! If you would like to join the Grow Your Art Challenge, make something this year and party with us when it's all over, just post your intentions below. You'll find a more detailed primer on the challenge here.
In January, we launched a bold challenge – the Grow Your Art Challenge. It's the kind of challenge with great potential to change you, because it's the kind where you could fail. The challenge is to set an art goal for 2014, evaluate that goal and make sure it is doable, then share that goal with a community that will hold you accountable.
So how are you doing this month?