Posts Tagged ‘new year’


Don’t I love this activity of going through the agenda of the year ending and preparing for the new year!!

It is a ritual that I adore and if I can’t find time to do it before Jan 1st, I feel I am late somehow and cannot start the year properly.

Today I took 2 hours to please myself and go through last year’s entries and record thoughts and events from 2017.

Our trip to Australia, to be detailed later in my travel journal, my new incursion into the FODMAP way of eating because of years of problems, several notes and details about our little grandchild growing and becoming a little person with his brilliance, his quirks, his sense of humour and mannerism, his own take on the world already! Only two he is but so much to give to the world already, I hope he never doubts it, I wish happiness for him forever!

So I am ready for 2018, copied important thoughts and entries, got all the important birthdays in and am already planning the exhibitions, vacations, painting projects, challenges and explorations.

I wish everyone an inspired and artistic new year. Art is not only about painting, writing or performing arts; we are all artists that create our lives from day to day. We need to follow our instinct and intuition. We need to be open to the world, to ideas! We create our reality and we must decide to be the Main act in what is happening to us while respecting our loved ones as well as others.

For many years, I felt I was going with the flow and we must be able to do so because of what life is throwing at us, but we must also make up our minds about who we want to be, who we want to become, what we want to create in the physical world and in our spiritual world.

Be kind to yourself

Love yourself

Love your neighbour

Happy new year 2018 !

Hopefully by being the best we can be, the world will be the best it can be!!

With Love




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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair


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I know we are already 8 days into the New Year and I still feel like I have much to do to set my new year into motion.

Organizing the New Year for me is a big task and one that I love to do but one that I am agonizing over. Decisions decisions…

I am reading yet another book, this one’s title being a bit scary “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. So far I am not finished but I feel the book is pushing me into action already.

How do I want to organize my time in 2016 and still cope with all my obligations and pleasures? Included in pleasures are family and friends without who I cannot live and remain sane!

The War of Art is talking about resistance and procrastination and is a bit judgemental even if true for certain areas.

My main thing right now is how to find more time to paint. And everything is a choice isn’t it? So how do I fit creativity, thinking space, painting, writing, and everything else life throws at you.

One step I took over a year ago is book to get a new studio set-up, a place to reflect, a place to paint, a place to teach, a place away from my everyday life, a place to work.

It will be ready on or around March 1st and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to go there, have no phone, no internet, no distraction and paint, reflect, and paint again. Bounce ideas, brainstorm and create.

I hope I will be able to go there and forget everything else.

IMG_3485 IMG_3486

These are a few pictures of how it is at right now. There will be a kitchen with basic amenities to survive a full day of creating and painting and sharing because I intend to open this place to anyone interested in painting with me and creating together. It will be an “us” space for certain days of the week only tough.

The natural light is great and I’ll have a lot of track lights installed for when it is a little gloomy or dark outside. It will be facing a garden.

I can’t wait to move my entire studio in there. This is my dream coming true!  I feel very blessed !

Within the next 2 months, I should be able to work without distractions, teach and organise small shows.

Organizing the New Year or a new life? Life is ever changing and we must adjust. Impermanence is always part of the equation so lets be flexible. Organizing a New Year could change the course of your life. It’s all about making decisions and dealing with what is being thrown at us with some sort of plan.

Best 🙂


En français: enviroartfr.wordpress.com

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©2015 Valerie Fafard

Photo©2015 Valerie Fafard

Love, love, love December 31st and January 1st , the two days of the year when all hope is permitted, when all options appear open and everything seems possible !

The time when dreams can be made and when the will to take the necessary steps to bring them to fruition is alive! Ahhh the New Year, the best time of the year !

Time to look back and think about everything positive that happened during the year and think about where we want to go. The perfect time to reflect on life.

During the week before, I finished a great book by David Bayles and Ted Orland on the perils and rewards of art making and called “Art and fear”. I simply love this book, and plan on applying its wisdom to my art-making in the New Year and forward.


As artists, we are always pulled in different directions, pulled between what we want to do and what we THINK our audience wants to see. The book really brings home the contrast between our personal and emotional involvement in our work and that of the viewer who‘s appreciation of our work is not based at all on our motivations or history. Nor is it based on the time required to write an article, a book or paint a particular image. The main thing the viewer wants is to connect with the art in his/her own special way. But seeking approval, even that of our peers, is a trap since it puts a lot of power into the hands of someone outside of ourselves.

The book talks about the fear that invades us, that is ever present, the fear that transforms itself into procrastination, resistance to deadlines, irritation at a lack of time or at our materials, our surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others… Indeed fear of being open to outsiders, of showing ourselves raw, the fear of being too honest, the fear of rejection…

As we start this New Year, I want to forget about all these underlying fears, put them aside and move forward. I would like to learn to live with them, accept them but don’t let them control me.

The book is reassuring. We recognize ourselves in it, whether painter, sculptor, writer or performing artist. It talks about dry spells, a totally normal occurrence that happens to all of us. Unfortunately, we often tend to treat these as personal failures each time they occur, when we should simply accept them and continue with our art-making routine.

I know talking about routine is not very romantic but routine is what anchors our art in our day to day life. So for 2016, my plan is to get back into my routine of art-making and stick to it and not beat myself down if I don’t produce as much or as well as I would like.

It has become harder and harder for me to stick to a routine, especially since my October 2014 accident. I feel pulled in several directions and love to get together with friends and see my family. Art-making takes time away from all this. It is difficult to balance friendships, family and painting/writing time, on top of all other obligations and actions that we need to take on a daily basis. After all, life is full of priorities and presents us with a lot of opportunities and challenges.

When you are doing something, engaging into any activity, you necessarily forego something else. I don’t understand people that talk about boredom. For me, there are never enough hours in the day or days in the week to do all that interests me, all that I want to see, all that I want to love !

So, following my reflection of the last two days, I decided that today is my organizing day. I have made a few decisions this morning:

No more e-mails, social media or reading the news first thing in the morning. From now on, I will leave all my devices OFF until I have accomplished something on my “To do” list. This includes painting and/or writing everyday. Phone calls until then, will be limited to what needs to be accomplished that day.

I am planning to respect my time and force others to respect it too.

I am planning to respect my art and I, by only doing art that I care about. I basically do this already but sometimes, the temptation to produce for a show and letting our guard down on our ideas can be strong.

Happy New Year to all and Good self-reflection!




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Ahhh the New Year, the best time of the year ! Time to look back and think about everything positive that happened during the year and think about where we want to go. The perfect time to reflect on life.


As we start this new year, lets focus on the art world and what we need to do to feel good about what we are creating and at the same time, move happily forward as an artist.

I am talking about Artistic Vision- What is it, how do we get it, how do we know it is the right one? As artists, we all like to experiment and try different styles and mediums. When do we know what is good TO us  and FOR us?

What is an artistic vision? It is basically what you are trying to do with your art, what you want to convey, that intangible that comes from within and makes you different from everybody else. Is there a grand theme or an underlying message that can tie your work together? You have to know what you want to say with your art. Do you want to entertain an audience, please yourself, change the world, become a great technician? If you don’t know, find out. Whatever it is you want, it is worth pursuing and it is worth knowing for yourself as well as your audience.

Vision is about insight. It starts with your heart, your soul, your intuition.  as Carl Jung said: “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

Take some time to think about your vision and write down all the ideas and things about your vision that come to mind as it comes to you, no order, no sorting, or record yourself speaking the words you hear or envision. Don’t edit or erase, don’t think too much, just keep on writing without worrying about what you write or why and keep at it until you feel everything has been written down or said. Discover yourself. Once you know where you want to go, what you want to say, who you are, it becomes easier to chose your subjects and your commitment to the technical aspect of your art will be renewed so that you can convey this vision.

This clear vision is what sets you apart from other artists and nobody but you can decide what this vision should be.


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Today is one of my favourite days of the year. This passage from old to new, this moment when time stops and we realise we are now entering the next year, one always full of hope and possibilities, the new beginning to the rest of our life.

Since I sometimes have a hard time living in the present moment and enjoying life without worrying about expectations and commitments or what I could have done better, I thought of writing about the importance of this today, but it will have to wait. Because on December 31st, when the clock strikes midnight, this moment it is all about hope, the future, the coming year, and the events that will surprise us along the way.

I see the beginning of the New Year as a promise of an expansion of the self, more growing, more learning, more steps on the road to life, a new adventure, cheerful anticipation.

On a more global note, I am still hoping for world peace and the waking up of our governments as well as individuals to act in a more responsible way to save our environment and our children’s future.

I love to take a moment to reflect back on the past year and take note of everything good that happened, the new friendships, the strengthening of some bonds, all the new ideas that were triggered by the many encounters that took place in the last 12 months.

Happy New Year 2014 to all, may life bless you with Love, Joy, Health, prosperity, Happiness and lots and lots of creativity!


I really enjoyed painting these two small artworks. They represent the present moment when it is literally bursting with energy, when it wants to break free, when it is out of control, life, birth, the other side of tranquillity, creation and letting go.

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With the Holidays fast approaching, excitement is filling me. It’s not so much the activities but the idea of renewal that I find the most appealing in all this.

I love the idea of shedding of old ideas, of old ways of acting that no longer fit with who I want to be, like an old skin is shed from a snake or the exoskeleton from an insect. In that sense, January always brings hope and a sense of possibility for me.

I love the childish trust in what’s ahead, the trust that nothing can go wrong that comes with the New Year, the sense of wonder that fills me.

New year’s resolutions, lists of projects, new agenda, all that time, a full year, stretching in front of me full of promises and surprises.

How can we keep this feeling alive day in and day out the rest of the year, how to scale it down to a daily occurrence that renews itself every morning, that is the question.

Shedding of old ideas, influx of new ones. Wonderful!

As we are now into the second week of December, the Christmas tree now up and decorated, hope fills me once again. I feel a little internal flame wanting to grow. It is now flickering weakly but I feel it strong even of it does need a little fanning, a little belief.

This flame, the essence of who we are, the essence of our creativity, needs to be looked after and protected. We need to pause and really feel it.

Believe in it! You and I can fan our flame and we will. Today, let’s act as though absolutely everything is possible as everything actually is, let’s listen to our inner self and let it fill us with a sense of purpose.

Today let’s decide to be happy and to listen to all what’s going on around us with a new awareness instead of travelling through our own internal murk. Let’s be aware of all these flames inside of people we encounter today.

Fan the flame. Today, I’m shedding at least one thing or one idea to take action toward my own renewal. I think I’ll probably give away some watercolours I don’t use.

I would like to know what you will shed today to make room for your own renewal.

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