Blue and Green Abstract

In the studio: an almost-finished painting sits on my easel

For the past two weeks I’ve been focused on administrative tasks with my art business. The logical left side of my brain kicks into gear when that happens and limits my creativity. I don’t mind switching back and forth though I prefer to be creative for the majority of my time.

However, when the switch occurs I liken it to shifting gears in a car – I can’t jump from first to fourth gear, it needs to be gradual. I can’t go full speed on my left side then switch hours or even a day later to my creative right side. I need some priming time for both.

This might be normal for most people. Or maybe not and I’m just an oddball! What i know is after years of fighting it, that is how my brain operates and I don’t resist. When I need to be numerically-oriented or strategic for a week, I should not schedule painting days. When I need to be creative, I should stay away from numbers and strategic notions. It is a simple rule and easy to follow.

This week has been a painting week. The time flew by, but I’m thrilled with the work I accomplished.


Newest Painting on my easel by Cortney North Fine Art


There are a few more touches I want to add, but overall I think I’m in the finishing stages. Lately I’ve been trying to finish my paintings slowly – giving my eyes time to see and absorb. I have a tendency to want to push through and finish even if I’m getting tired and/or hungry. What I’ve learned is that I’m happier when I space out the painting over days, if not weeks. This develops a fresh set of eyes each time. Initially I thought I wouldn’t find my ‘groove’ with the painting again. As though once I’m in the painting zone I couldn’t get back. This isn’t the case, which surprised me. I move right back where I left off and find myself making better choices with the painting’s structure. The value of trying a new approach!


Bluebirds in Ohio by Cortney North
Outside the studio, I’ve been reading and enjoying the fabulous Spring Ohio has been experiencing. I meant to include this bluebird couple a few weeks ago (maybe even a month ago?) and it was missed in my line up. Our trails have an abundance of bluebirds and their color was so striking against the blue sky. These two did not want to move when we came close. That was fine with us! I’m happy to take pictures of their cuteness.

As for my reading life, I picked up a new book while strolling through the library: Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. Her books have come up in conversation or have been mentioned over the years yet I have never read one. This book was sitting happily on a table in need of being taken home thus I indulged myself. So far it is intriguing, but I’m not too far in – maybe 1/6th of the way through.

There have been some heavy moments in my life lately, so I’m slowly working through the other 2 books on my nightstand: ‘Station Eleven’ and ‘The Cloister Walk.’ Both books entered into serious moments right when my own life ventured down that path and I needed to give them less time. Hopefully ‘Where We Belong’ will be a good in-between book.

As for the remainder of the week, we’re looking at work and then some Friday night fun. I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I try to have dinner and movie on Friday night. Most of the time we’re exhausted from the week and dinner looks like a quick meal from Trader Joe’s or pizza – nothing fancy! This week it’s our favorite Shrimp with walnuts and vegetable gyozas. I love both of those items! Our movie is hopefully going to be Florence Foster Jenkins. It hasn’t arrived at our library for pick up, so we might be watching Limitless – or going to bed early. Extra sleep seems like such a treat that I may have a vote in for that!

Regardless of what we end up doing, I know our Friday night will be great and our weekend will be relaxing. It will be much appreciated and we’ll be refreshed for the next week. I think next week is another painting week too so my creative right brain gets to be at full speed for extra days! Let the celebration begin now!