looking back at my 2016 creative life…why does it feel like I never did enough?

The funny thing about being an artist—it just never feels like I’ve created enough. NEVER.  I needed to look back for some perspective if I’m going show some compassion toward myself and be my own best friend.  I went through my images month by month to remind myself that, although I can always create more—I’ve actually done a lot.

I think we all need to remind ourselves that we are enough…just as we are.


Here’s PART I: January to June 2016.

January: I painted this mural in the entryway of our home. It took me about 10 hours to paint it on New Year’s Day.  It brings me joy everyday as I walk into our home.  I’m eyeing other walls now and looking for some dates when no one is home for a long stretch.

February: These were a few of my favorite images from a trip to the Dominican Republic with my husband and daughters.  Oh, that blue…


March: I shot this image of my husband with our cat, Karen.  It is one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken.  Our cozy family life wearing great socks surrounded by color.  I worked a lot layering my photos with images of my hometown and two-lane South Dakota roads.  I wrote about identity.  I worked on my positive psychology coursework.  I worked with artist, Elizabeth Bunsen ecodyeing textiles and learning about that process.  I made a handbag that referenced the South Dakota two-lane image I like to work with for a group show in April at SEABA.

April: I went with Elizabeth Bunsen to assist with an ecodyeing workshop in the magical encaustic castle—an art space in Lexington, Kentucky run by artist Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  What a remarkable group of women!  We made beautiful things.  We laughed.  We cried.  My great nephew, Liam was born in South Dakota while I was in Kentucky.  My new creative friends celebrated with me.  What an experience.

Here’s the link to her space to see what other workshops are available.


May: My friend, Maggie and I took four teenage girls to Quebec City to see Justin Bieber as a 16th Birthday present to my twin daughters.  What a beautiful city and the false eyelashes looked amazing as they headed out to catch their Uber to the Videotron Centre.

June: I shot this image of Vergennes, Vermont that I love.  My husband and I traveled to Ireland for a friend’s 50th birthday. This photograph was taken in Innishmore.  I sold this painting “She Often had a Plan B” in the new shop below my studio: DEEP 6.  I found a group of amazing photos at a second hand shop.  I cleaned my studio.

 Next up, whenever I get to it—July-December.

Happy 2017 and I wish you a wonderfully creative year—whatever that is for you!

The benefits of novelty.

This weekend I wanted to feel like a visitor in my own city…I sought out some new experiences trying to see Burlington through a fresh lens.  This works anywhere…even in our own homes…change things up a bit for a fresh perspective.  It doesn’t have to be a huge change to make your brain happy.


Routine has it’s place and it’s convenient, but it doesn’t do much to spark our imagination or increase our problem solving skills.  Here is a great blog I found about this very subject.

Creativity Accelerators: Novelty, Unpredictability and Complexity

Accelerate your creativity by embracing novelty and complexity, and challenging yourself to stay relaxed and focused in the face of risk and unpredictability.

http://www.diygenius.com/creativity-accelerators/  (Sam Brinson DIY Genius blog)

“In order to create something novel and unexpected, we need to break the routine and insert some unpredictability, to look for the unknown and let our curiosity be our guide.”

My daughter, Willa and I went to see a POP ART Print Show  at the Fleming Museum at The University of Vermont—Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol oh my.  What a beautiful museum—it’s only 5 minutes from my home and I don’t go there nearly enough.

fleming museum lillibridge


Then we drove to Vergennes Laundry/coffee shop for a latte.  The light was as gorgeous as this french coffee shop is.  I also posted this on my INSTAGRAM profile. Follow me @ DAKOTA1966.



On Sunday my twin 15-year-old daughters, Lucy and Willa and I went to ONE DAY UNIVERSITY at the Hilton in Burlington.  If you’re unfamiliar with One Day University I highly recommend you check them out in your area.  We spent a chilly Sunday afternoon learning about intuition, the universe, classical music and Vermont politics by well renown professors from around the country.  I listened to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a fresh perspective from what I learned before I got out of bed this morning…talk about feeding the brain some novelty.

Your brain is like a hungry child.  It has to be fed…frequently.