Important Update: Taking a Painting Sabbatical

I’m Taking an Extended Leave from Painting

Initially I wasn’t going to publicly announce my leave from painting, but after thinking things over, it seemed best to create a post in order to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. The last time I took a very short break from painting, I didn’t make any sort of announcement which then caused a few people to really worry when they couldn’t get in touch with me. I’d rather that not happen again as I expect this break may be a long one and I might not be easy to contact.

If you follow my work, then you are probably already mildly aware that my interest in writing has been growing over the past few years. If you know me very closely, then you know this is a gross understatement. The truth is, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with writing and it has steadily consumed more of my creative time with each passing year. What many don’t know is that I’ve been ghostwriting – a lot – since about 2010, mainly for fun and also to improve my writing skills. In 2015, I delved into writing non-fiction while learning the ropes of independent publishing which was immensely rewarding. Currently, I’ve spent the last year penning works of fiction under various pen names, finding my writing voice and experimenting in writing different genres of fiction.

At the beginning of the year, I thought I would be able to juggle continuous painting with ample time for my family while still being able to pursue my writing projects. I’d envisioned myself able to complete short daily painting sprints effortlessly with plenty of creativity left over to add thousands of words toward my writing goals. Ha! Needless to say, I was completely and totally wrong but it taught me a valuable lesson: The time has come to make some major changes.

Although my intentions are always good, I’m pretty bad about taking on more than I can handle and this time, I truly overdid it. Since 2015, I’ve experienced several spurts of feeling bled dry. It would happen any time I tried to make even the slightest bit of room for any new creative endeavor. In February, it became abundantly clear that I needed to make a cut somewhere in order to maintain sanity as total creative burn-out kicked in, yet again. Long story short, this time I knew had to make a choice and I’ve chosen to step back from painting, for a time, and focus solely on my family and my current writing projects.

What ‘s Changing

This decision for an extended painting break has led me to make some changes:

Does this mean I have quit painting?

No way. I could never quit painting, even if I tried — it’s what I do and have always done. If you follow my work here or on social media accounts, I will still continue posting whatever I’m working on, so that won’t change, but may become less frequent. To recap, I’ll only be creating new work when time allows with no plans to make paintings available for purchase for any person(s) for an unknown amount of time.

Commissions & Custom Painting Requests

As it stands, I have only one commissioned set of paintings to make for a friend that I’ll be completing around May of this year. After those are completed, I will not be accepting any custom art requests from any person(s) for an undefined amount of time. That said, I want to point you in the direction of two amazing groups with many talented artists that most certainly have one or more creators that can meet your needs for custom artwork. Check them out: Northend Artists’ Coop and Littlewood Coop

Artwork Availability

So this is a big one: At this time, I will not be offering artwork for shows, sales, displays, shops, etc. Currently, my plans only include painting for personal leisure or to create artwork for my own tutorial videos and workshop books that help others learn to paint. As for new work, I’ll likely only be sharing tutorial paintings or work that will remain in my private family collection from now until some unknown time in the future. Again, I do plan to continue displaying paintings both here on my website and on my social media accounts which will all remain active. At this time, all past paintings are no longer available. Prints and other products featuring my artwork are currently limited and most likely will be discontinued completely in the near future.

Art Shows & Other Art Related Requests

As for shows, I will not be creating any new work for or be participating in any art shows locally or abroad for an undefined amount of time and thus, invitation requests for me to participate in activities of this nature may be inadvertently ignored. Please know that this is not personal! Although I do greatly appreciate the requests to participate in shows, interviews, publications, teaching engagements, join art groups, etc — I will no longer be personally replying to requests of this nature. Instead, I will be auto-forwarding such requests to this post for clarification. If you find yourself here for that reason, please read the entire article.

Northend Artists’ Cooperative

What might seem most significant to those who follow my work locally, I’ve recently resigned from the Northend Artists’ Coop.

To expand on that, my leaving the NEAC was most definitely the hardest decision to make. I have been with The Northend Artists’ Coop in Yuma since 2011 and they have been a wonderful group. In that time, they have become like an extended family to me and I’ve enjoyed painting with them immensely. It is my hope that someday I may return when my plate is less full, if I am actively painting and if they have an opening when that time comes. To anyone who follows my work, please continue supporting these great artists – go to their shows, buy up all of their art and visit with them on Saturdays in Yuma, AZ because they are a wonderful bunch who do great things for the art community in Yuma, AZ.


How Long is This Sabbatical?

I’m not sure how long this extended painting break will last. Perhaps a few months? Perhaps a few years? Indefinitely? My guess is that it’s somewhere in between, but please know that I have not made this decision lightly. It’s taken me a very long time – years, to be exact – with much deliberation to come to the conclusion that I truly need this break from painting.

Why am I going into so much detail about this (some have actually asked)? My main reason for this is simple. You may be one of many who have followed my work for over fourteen long years now and you have a right to know.

Long ago, an artist whom I deeply admired dropped off the face of the planet with hardly a word to explain why she’d stopped creating her beautiful art. She just simply stopped one day with no more art. Myself and hundreds of others were all shocked and baffled that she had quit creating such fantastic work, but worse — we had no idea what had happened to her or if she was okay. To this day, I’m sure many of us still wonder and that is not something I wish for anyone who follows my work. Hopefully with this post, I have dispelled any worries or concerns.

On a brighter note, please know that A. I have not fallen off the planet. B. I am most definitely okay. And most importantly: C: I have not stopped creating. If you made it this far through my long-winded post, I hope you will find yourself as excited as I am, because I’m preparing for some really big things. While it’s true I won’t be telling as many stories with a brush and canvas, I will still be telling stories through written word and I can’t wait for what the future holds. I have a feeling many exciting things will unfold in the months and years ahead and when they do, I’ll be thrilled to share them all with you.

Until later,


2 thoughts on “Important Update: Taking a Painting Sabbatical

  1. I HEAR you, Carly. My writing has taken up a lot more of my time, as well. I’ve dropped out of everything else I’ve done here in Yuma for the past several years. I, too, am on ‘sabbatical.’ I understand and will miss your painting contribution to Yuma, but you need this time to do your other creative stuff.

    Best wishes to you, dear Carly. I look forward to seeing some of your writing when you are ready to share.

  2. Joan, thank you so much. I really appreciate your words and support. I enjoyed getting to know you through painting classes — you are a wonderful, kind person and it was such a pleasure painting with you! I’ll definitely be sharing my writing projects at some point, when the time is right and I wish you the very best with your writing and all that you pursue! 🙂

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