As I move forward into 2020, I look back at this past year and the new challenges I said yes to in my work life that have helped me feel more optimistic than I have in quite a while. I did a lot of thinking but a lot of doing as well, and both were mostly behind the scenes. I only completed twenty leaves for my 100 Leaf sketch project but that's alright because they are twenty more than I had before. I think they were my baby steps to the next level of self-awareness about creativity and making art and how I want to make it and that was a very important milestone for me. Before making the sketches, I researched, observed and photographed trees and tree leaves and other plants. In the process I learned so much more about botany, tree symbolism and the ecological and medicinal benefits of trees and plants. The other challenge was, the Take the Leap/Legacy Journey workshop I took with Sonia Di Maulo this past spring. This experience helped me to really reflect on my deepest feelings about my life and my work, past and present, define what is most important and meaningful to me at this stage in my life and what my aspirations are for the future.
After a lot of reflecting, a lot of writing and re-writing, these challenges have led me to re-define a more simplified and specific direction that feels purposeful - to create illustrations of plants, primarily leaves, that celebrate their intricate beauty and design as well as their cultural, ecological and medicinal importance. Gradually I would also like to explore the life cycles of plants and trees as well as culinary topics in my illustrations. It's a concept that has been looming in the back of my mind for many years and I have attempted to begin several times but I wasn't ready. Now, as I continue making leaf sketches, I will also be creating more developed artwork in colored pencil + digital lines for my Etsy shop, FILARIO and we'll see where this journey takes me!