Redefining Edges

April 11, 2016 2 min read

In art, edges give a piece shape. They are commitments to ideas. Without edges one color blurs into the next and into the next. That can be beautiful, sure, but it lacks shape. It lacks form.


My mother’s death has redefined our family on a basic and technical level. We are now a family without a mother. It has redefined the family business: CCP no longer had a reviewer, a writer, or a graphic designer. It redefined how we want to spend our time: We are planning things and building things in my Mom's name that two months ago were nowhere on our horizon.


In all of that redefining, we each have to create new shapes for ourselves. There is a lot to take on and it’s easy to take on more than we can handle. More than we feel good about.


As an artist, this can be particularly challenging as our time is our most precious commodity. If we have limited and random time to create, we don’t always do great work. We need space to expand and to think and to move around in thoughts and inspiration. Inputs and outputs. As our time gets carved way, so can our life blood. We need to have a life that doesn’t drain us in every direction. We need to have energy for our art.


After being a full time artist for just over half a year, I’m heading into this change hopeful that it will help me set schedules and be more focused. Suddenly my day will be shaped by morning painting hours and afternoon Creative Catalyst hours. I will be an artist but also a graphic designer and writer. I will need to set clear boundaries and check in to make sure that my life doesn’t move too far away from my painting practice. More change in a sea of change. And as an artist, a daughter, and again an employee, life is beginning to take new shape as we can begin to define ourselves again.


How did you redefine yourself as an artist after a big life change? How did you weigh the importance of your art and the importance of other needs that arose because of the change? Tell us in the comment section below.


Kelly Anne Powers is a mixed media artist living in Portland, OR. You can see her work and learn more about her at her website:

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