A 2023 recap

I always wanted to do these end-of-the-year-recaps, including goals for the new year and what not. But winter often isn’t my best season. This year however, is not so bad so I figured I’d make good use of that!

My depression isn’t really related to any particular season, but the dark and cold winter does make tired and inactive. I once had this magical fantasy about moving to a cabin somewhere in the vast nowhere-ness of Norway, until somebody pointed out that I probably wouldn’t survive the 1 hour of daylight in the winter there. 

This winter was a little different because we had that amazing project planned, together with Janneke and here three choirs. Not being able to bury myself actually kept me going for a bit longer. I should probably give myself some credit as well; after all, it wouldn’t have been the first time I’d pull the plug from a commitment. So a pat on my own back is fair enough. But overall, it was many factors working at once.

Koosje <3

One of those small factors, was an even smaller cat that joined our lives. We had an opportunity to adopt the 12-year-old Queen of Purs, Koosje. And I’m ever so happy that I didn’t over-think that for too long and just said ‘okiedokie’. After living cat-free for many years, it’s just amazing to have another cat following me around the house.

Going live!

I also did my first livestreams! I was so in doubt about that and really not sure if it was something I could or even wanted to do. But I know myself, and if there’s even a single thought about ‘maybe….’ then I need to at least try it. It took a lot of preparing but everything went just fine. And how amazing was it to be “live” with you, my followers and students! I can’t get over the awesomeness of that haha.

Live demo, click on the image to go to my livestreams!

Creating a body of work

Yeah, that was a thing. It’s one thing creating works, and a whole different ballpark creating a consistent body of work. I figured I would just work my butt off. But you guessed it, it wasn’t that straight forward. You know those little voices that kindly offer their doubts about your latest work? They turned themselves into a choir and sang songs of doubt and “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!”. I really underestimated the impact of that. But in the end it was a good lesson to learn, and something I might write a little more about in a future blog.

"Vox", oil on panel

My first exposition

Or even better; my first time showing my work outside of the internet. That body of work was obviously for the project I worked on with Janneke: “A Whisper of Hope”. A whole array of new things presented themselves; framing, packing, moving, hanging and of course, showing. Oh and let’s not forget selling! Because as much as I would love to work and live in a world where money doesn’t exist, it does and it’s important. I feel like selling most of my works also made me more confident in the style that I had established in these works. People responded to my works with very personal words and stories. Everything just fell into place.

I’m so happy to have YOU

Yeah, that needs to be said at the end of this yearly recap. I know the words ‘grateful’ and ‘blessed’ are used a lot in online posts. It’s easy to be every expressive online. And difficult to really communicate how you feel, because you can’t really see me in real life. But I’m gonna give it a try anyways. You, my readers and followers and students, are the foundation of all of this. I’ve often felt that with my mental problems, achievements are limited. And some of them are. But others are not, if you know how to take the correct detour. Without people who understand you, it’s very difficult to see which way to go to get to your goals. Through the online art community I’ve met SO many people who were more understanding and supporting than I could ever imagine. Every time the world feels way too scary, I try to think of that. That little piece of ‘world’ we’ve created, where we create, share and care about each other’s emotional state. I’m looking forward to being a part of that again this year, and to thrive through your friendship and support. I love you!

3 thoughts on “A 2023 recap”

  1. Thank you for these thoughts, Sabra. Though I am a poet, not a visual artist, I’ve felt many of these same anxieties while sharing work with the world and believe they are signs of the sensitivity and vulnerability that make the work resonate with the audience.

  2. Thank you, Sabra, for sharing! I am glad 2023 was a mostly ‘up year’ for you with a number of ‘firsts’ and successes. Onward and upward as the saying goes! 2023 started out tough as my son had an accident and needed serious spine surgery that could have gone very badly. When your son says to you ‘look out for my family if I don’t make it’, it is not good. Happily, despite the trials and anxious moments in January, it went OK in the end and he is doing fine and back to himself. His wife was pregnant thru this, but they now have a healthy little girl besides their little boy. Also, in January, I had to have a little heart procedure, which also went fine, SOOO- gratitude was my key thought in 2023!!! It was hard to get going on art last year, but I did take a wonderful class and got a few paintings I am proud of done. I am hopeful that this year will bring more inspiration and less procrastination!!! 🙂 I guess I am at the point where I need to find confidence in my own style and just do it! I wish you a wonderful productive New Year!!! I too am grateful to have you and other teachers and our wonderful sharing caring art community– a solice in this crazy sad chaotic world. HUGS!!!

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