Word of the Year: Balance

Not napping this year!

Last year my word of the year was “Nap” and for good reason. I had been in transition. I needed time to rest, to play and to figure out the next stage of my life.

2016 will be the year that I hope to take off with confidence on a new journey. I have given myself the time to figure out what I want to work on creating, where and how much I want to contribute to the larger community and (hopefully) how maintain happy, healthy me!

The key to my success is my word of the year:


A person with good “balance” can distribute their weight in such a way that they can walk a tightrope. This physical balance requires the circus performer to place themselves at high risk and requires complete mental and physical focus on a single task: to get from one side of the rope to the other without falling.

Finance balance

Finance balance

An account adds up the debits and credits to arrive at a value. When you pay your bills you have invoice and check to pay the invoice. You “balance” your books you bring these two sides into equilibrium.

In art “balance” is one of the principles of design. It refers to the distribution of visual weight. There are three types of balance. Symmetrical, radial and asymetrical.

flower Symmetrical balance is visual weight distributed equally along a single  axis like the wings of a butterfly on either side of it’s body. Radial balance is weight distributed evenly from a single center point like the petals of a flower.

Pieter Claesz (c.1597–1660), Still Life (1623)

Pieter Claesz (c.1597–1660), Still Life (1623)

In asymmetrical balance the visual weight is unequally distributed. It’s lack of even distribution makes it desirable in a composition because it provides increased visual interest. In art, balance is more desirable when it is not providing stability.


My life balance  feels right when my time is asymmetrical.

Some days are balanced with portions of creative activity, volunteer hours, reading, and a long walk. Other days are devoted to a single activity or nothing at all. Yesterday I watched football with my husband, meditated, did a little yoga and completed a book.

Today I am writing this blog  and giving myself time to sit back and look at a recently created composition. Tomorrow I might be in my studio creating all day without a break or taking a long hike. My balance is achieved by taking care of myself first. If I need to take a day off; I do it. If I am full of energy I take advantage of that too.

This year I want to balance my life with larger variety of artistic endeavors. I have to carve out time this year to make more sellable products. Items like scarfs using my own designs. These require short burst of work for an hour or two at a time. I am selling these at my local galleries gift shop where I work a couple of days a month.

My large art quilts are not priced for the average buyer and I cannot produce enough of these kind of items to sell and to enter in shows. This year I am going to be finding a cost effective vendor to create stretched canvas reproductions of my large quilts. These small items will be for sale at my show in April and maybe even an Etsy shop sometime this fall.

Other ways I am going to balance my artistic life is to take sometime in the fall to attend another week long workshop. This I am thinking of Jennifer Day in Santa Fe New Mexico. She is an outstanding thread painter. It’s a skill I need to work on.



So while other people talk about balance as working less and spending more time with family or taking more time to get healthy and less time on social media. My balance is all about taking full advantage of retired life. I am opening to many opportunities and I am going to listening to beat of my own drum.

Just following my bliss wherever it leads keeps me in balance.

Until next time……