This last week I kept taking the next step, and then the next, in regard to my endeavors, and the local marketing of the cards too. (Oh, man! I used the “m” word and I didn’t fall apart into a thousand pieces or see lightning or anything!) Interspersed amongst work for clients, I am involved in the process of designing gift items to feature on that site as well as the cards. This is a labor of love, and so the ideas are flying.

Still, at the same time, as an artist, I seek balance. My natural tendency in design is asymmetrical balance. I thoroughly enjoy taking several disparate components, and fitting them together in a way that “balances.” It is a visceral response in my being, inherent in my personal sensibilities. I’ve taken and taught many classes that discussed things such as composition and design principles, yet this core aesthetic is more base than anything I’ve learned in school or otherwise. It’s like the way the body naturally seeks homeostasis – things just need to be balanced.

Nature has that kind of balance. You look around a meadow, a forest, or a mountain, and you can easily perceive the natural order and beauty. There may be near perfect symmetry in an individual component of the whole composition, but not in the big picture. Nature doesn’t put one tree on this side of the valley, and the same size and shaped tree in the same place on the other side of the valley. Still, it always balances out, even when perfectly imbalanced.

I seek that same balance, that same beauty in my life. Being self-employed, I have a tendency to overwork… a lot. If I don’t think about it, I can easily slip into a schedule that doesn’t really support my total well-being. When I realize that I have been sitting at the computer for 12 hours straight, it is time to awaken to other activities which support my other aspects.

This month, I took on a new activity in support of that balance. I once again started painting with a friend, painting purely for the joy of entertaining the Muse. There is something very fulfilling about sharing that activity with another artist. I bounce off her ideas, and she off mine. The synergistic effect on our artwork is energizing and fulfilling. This time, instead of painting side by side however, we are doing an asymmetric experiment.

My friend lives a long way from here, so she mailed me 4 painting “starts,” and I am doing the same for her. When we have moved them along to a point that we feel is momentarily “balanced,” then we will send them back to the other to either simply work on again, or complete. I have visions of a “teeter-totter” show that will display in both our cities. I suspect it will fuel my sensibility.