the end of cvp… and onto the academy!

this is not really a review or even wrap-up of the 12-week online class cvp (creative visionary program) but rather it is just my now what? kinda post. i think it’s gonna take me a while to be able to really assess how i feel about the overall program and how i did with it, because i’m still doing it. i got behind, skipped over a few assignments here and there, and have not finished my final series… so i still have a ways to go. life got in the way – well really, work got in the way, mostly. my pet biz has been really busy and i’ve had an uncharacteristic amount of overnight sitting, which i don’t really like doing but which is financially very lucrative so sometimes i say yes. but when i do it, i’m not really living at my house and therefore not able to spend time in my studio cuz i’m being paid to spend my time with clients’ pets. hopefully july will allow me to get back into my home studio groove. but all this is to say, i’ll do another post at a later date about how i feel about the class and my progress.

a few shots from my art instagram (@artbymagsdotcom) from the past few weeks

but yeah, cvp is over. last week was the last week of classes and the wrap-up call was this past tuesday. i have access to the materials until march of next year though, so i can go back over anything i haven’t finished or feel i need more work on. i haven’t really done that so much with the last class i took, find your joy, which i lose access to in august right before she offers her free class and the 2024 version of find your joy. but i don’t really feel i want to anymore. i think i’d rather keep the momentum i have going with art2life and cvp. like i feel like i’ve found my community that i vibe with. i tried fletcher’s community art tribe for a some months before i took find your joy and while i appreciate all that it offered (masterclasses in all kinds of things, group challenges, members’ studio tours, etc – just tons of content plus a facebook group), it seemed mostly based in the uk and europe and i just never felt quite like it fit me. art2life is based in california and while there are people from all over the world involved in all the art2life courses, for whatever reasons i just feel more at home in this community.

there is also a membership-type community with art2life like fletcher’s art tribe – it’s called the academy. but it’s only available to those who have gone through cvp, which somewhat limits the membership. (i think they said there’s about 1800 in it currently.) it’s sort of the next step, and a way to reinforce what we learned in cvp and also keep in touch with the coaches and community. and unlike cvp, where we did not get any one-on-one feedback other from the other cvp students – we are taught how to critique ourselves – in the academy you can get feedback from coaches on weekly calls. there’s also another perk called the studio (which can be done separately for a lower fee if you don’t want to be in the academy) where you basically can dial in to a 24/7 available zoom to paint with other artists, which i think is pretty cool. painting is a very solitary endeavor and it can get lonely; not everyone can afford a studio in a space with a lot of other artists, and not everyone lives in a city or area where there is a thriving artist community. so this offers a way to connect to and grow a community of other artists who are working with your same vocabulary about art, because we’ve all taken cvp.) nick wilton himself – the art guru at the helm of art2life – even makes appearances in the studio painting for hours on end with others.

i wasn’t initially thinking i’d sign up for the academy because i feel like i still have so much work to do to “finish” cvp but i went ahead and signed up today for at least one month and if i feel like it’s just too much or i won’t really use it or i’d just rather wait til next year, i can cancel within 30 days and get my money back. i mean, i do really love the idea of it and look forward to checking it out to see if i think it will help me stay focused, stay on track, and keep painting. but i also haven’t made much of a dent in the cost of cvp which i put on my paypal credit hoping to pay it off within 6 months to avoid financing charges – it’s due at the end of september. so adding another monthly art charge on top of all that i need to come up with to pay off cvp… well, it doesn’t seem smart. but hey, i didn’t know how i was gonna pay off find your joy either and i managed to do it without any financing fees. so maybe i’ll pull it off.

i just need to get painting, need to actually finish some things that i can put up for sale. because i did recently sell an abstract piece i made in 2023 on etsy. it was one of my favorite pieces i’ve ever made in an abstract style and i even submitted it last year to the art2life online art show. (it was not selected. but that just goes to prove that rejection from a juried show is not an indication of a piece’s worth.) so i know there is an audience out there for my abstract work. i just need to fight through the resistance i’m experiencing to actually finish.

hopefully july and august will be a bit kinder schedule-wise to my art endeavors. it’s such a hard balance, wanting to scale back the pet biz so i have more time for art but also needing the pet biz to not just pay my bills but also fund my art endeavors. but the pet biz takes me away (literally) from my art endeavors. this is the struggle i’ve been in for the past decade or so with my art, but i’m closer than i’ve ever been to figuring it out and i feel better armed with art knowledge than i’ve ever been. i just need to buckle down.

so that’s where i’m at right now. i will at some future point go into much greater detail about the cvp program itself and my experience with it, and now that i’ve signed up, i can also tell you more about the academy after i’ve experienced it for some time. but for now, i’m just trying to get through the rest of june and my heavy petsitting schedule. and hopefully get back to painting!

here’s to finding my joy!

i just posted about this on my art instagram page but figured it was worth blogging about as well. i’ve been working this past week on a free taster course (yes, yet another one) this time from artist louise fletcher, who is this lovely british woman and brilliant painter who is about my age and only recently in the past several years became an art teacher and successful artist and now teaches this yearly online art course about (re)discovering your joy in painting (or whatever medium you create with). i have thrown financial caution to the wind and signed up for the full course.

if you’ve been following my art insta or reading this blog then you know i’ve been listening to louise’s podcast art juice (which she does with artist alice sheridan) for quite a while now and i joined louise’s monthly art subscription group called your art tribe about six months ago. louise offers so much free content on you tube and via art tribe there are monthly masterclasses on various topics and techniques, art challenges, studio tours from members of the group, and there is a very lively facebook group specifically for members. it’s been well worth the monthly subscription charge and being an art tribe member got me a good discount on the 12 week find your joy course, which made it easier to take the plunge.

my biggest issue with my art is that i’m too much in my head about it and i psyche myself out a lot, i think. i can’t get out of my own way. which, frankly, has often been my problem in life in general. and a lot of what louise’s course is about is mindset and just remembering what it was like as a child to play with abandon with paint, to learn how to keep that free-ness and suspend self-judgement and not allow that negative voice in your head to limit you. and that is exactly what i need.

as many of you know, i’ve been a maker and creator of various kinds of art and craft and design for most of my adult life, having finally in college come to the epiphany that i didn’t need to be innately gifted with artistic talent (by societal standards) to be an artist. i will forever be grateful to my art professor marilyn murphy for that and for setting me on what would be my lifelong journey as an artist.

i’ve had varying levels of success with different things i’ve done. i’ve sold a LOT of work over my lifetime and have had a lot of people support me, for which i am so grateful. but in the past few years i’ve felt like i came to somewhat of an impass and though i’ve kept painting and making art off and on, trying new techniques and styles, i haven’t been satisfied with any of them and haven’t really felt like i’ve had anything worth saying with my art. hell, most of the time i don’t even finish what i start working on. it’s been an endless process of trying new things, starting pieces but not finishing very many of them or not being completely happy with what i do finish. and frankly, most of the time, not really knowing what it is i’m trying to accomplish or say with my art.

so i have decided it’s time for some help. i’ve done so many free online classes over the past few years with various instructors and while i’ve learned a lot in fits and spurts, i need a deep dive. when i did the paid spark course from art2life last year, i thought that’s what i’d be doing but it wasn’t deep enough for me apparently and i couldn’t afford the more expensive CVP class that went deeper following spark. so i’ve been puttering along. when louise’s free taster course came up, i knew i needed to do it to see whether i thought her longer course would do me any good. i didn’t go into it thinking i would take the longer class. but, after just the first exercise, i was ready to sign up! no hemming and hawing this time, no worrying about how i will pay for it (i mean, i am worried but i didn’t let it stop me). i just signed up and i’ll figure out how to pay for it in due time.

i’m still trying to complete the exercises from the 8 day free class as i was dog sitting last week and wasn’t able to spend time in the studio as i normally do. but i should have time in the next few days to finish that up and get to the pre-work for the paid class, which officially starts on the 18th. so stay tuned as i’m sure i will keep posting about it either here or on my art insta as the 12 weeks progress.

and as i mentioned in the insta post, if you feel moved to support me on this journey, there’s a ko-fi button on this page or feel free to just use venmo or paypal. i’ve already taken the financial plunge so it’s not dependent on people supporting me but i know i have folks in my life who like to support my creative journey so if that’s you, i will humbly accept any financial support anyone wants to offer.

here’s to doing scary things! whew!