Press Pause

Wildflowers at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Diana Willard

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire

After getting back from my short trip to Connecticut, I dove back into work and found myself -- for the first time since starting out this adventure -- stressed out about how much work I had to do, instead of how much work I didn't have.

It's scary to have actual deadlines suddenly, and thrilling to have a couple of opportunities to show my work coming up, but by Friday afternoon, I had completely worked myself into a state.

So it felt both good and completely irresponsible to take the weekend off for a long drive and hike and then (full disclosure here, of course!) a massive Pinterest session.

Sometimes, it seems, you have to press pause to be able to get started.

I hope you're all having a great week!

xo Diana

Topics: in the studio
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The Reservoir

the reservoir, diana willard

the reservoir, diana willard

the reservoir, diana willard

While traveling back east, I was able to deliver these paintings to a sick friend.

I came up with the idea and plan with my mom, created the paintings in a quiet frenzy in my studio, and presented them to her with my family.

It's not often I know the difference that my work makes in people's lives -- one of the great advantages of my time spent as a medical student -- but this was one of them. It felt good.

Have a great weekend, friends.

xo Diana

Topics: in the studio
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Art Process 10 // Cotopaxi Valley

cotopaxi valley, diana willard (detail)

I'm off to the east coast for a short trip! I grew up there and it'll be my first trip back in three years, so I'm pretty excited to get to see friends and family.

I'll be taking a short blogging break while I'm away, but wanted to leave you with some images of one of my recent paintings.

cotopaxi valley, diana willard (sketch)

I've been working hard to do more drawing and painting lately, and this one I'm particularly happy with. . . especially since it took me almost three months to make!

cotopaxi valley, diana willard

I based the painting off of two photographs I took during my trip last year to Ecuador. There was something about the expanse of land below us and the clouds beyond that really drew me in.

Unfortunately, that didn't translate easily into a painting for some reason. After doing a bunch of sketches, I jumped into painting. . . And got completely stuck! For months!

It took a lot of staring at it -- and it staring back at me -- before I impulsively decided to repaint the entire piece.

cotopaxi valley, diana willard

The orange was definitely an experiment. I was so frustrated with the painting that I initially added it to cover up some parts I was unhappy with. . . but ended up liking it so much I decided to keep it.

cotopaxi valley, diana willard

It's funny because during those months when the painting was hanging half-finished on our wall, and I was sighing about it, S reminded me that my favorite paintings are often the ones that take me the longest to figure out.

I'm happy to say this time that he was definitely right. Thanks S!

The original painting is available in my Etsy shop. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

xo Diana

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Little bits // 03

untitled work on paper 2, diana willard

Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.
R. J. Palacio, "Wonder"
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Friday Links // on self-doubt + vulnerability

Eucalyptus leaves

I've been having a bit of a meh week, which I'm hoping is due to being mentally already on an upcoming vacation.

But in the name of doing a better job focusing on the here-and-now, this set of links is geared towards the self-improvement, self-motivational, and self-empowerment end of things.

Some of the bravest and most open discussions of mental illness I've ever read, from a writer advocating living well with mental illness.

A couple of quick interviews with Danielle Krysa, writer of the blog The Jealous Curator, on battling self-doubt and creative blocks.

Somehow I completely missed the brilliant force that is Brene Brown. I was so glad to run across her amazing Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability via Design*Sponge's website, along with some other excellent inspirational videos.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo Diana

Topics: friday links
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