a new painting and an old painting and tinkering with little bits

The other day I wrote about the joy I felt working in my studio, being fully present as I painted. I've been thinking about that. About how right it feels while I'm painting.

botanical painting in my studio

Even if a painting isn't going well, that doesn't matter. What matters is the paint and the paper and connecting with whatever it is that I'm painting. Plants. Flowers. And yet, I'm always so quick to fill my time with other little bits. Yes, they're often necessary little bits (updating my website, fine tuning my shops, connecting with other artists, writing this blog, doing research...), but I think I need to shift the scales a bit. Paint more. Do other stuff less.

Balance. That's always the key, isn't it?

It's so easy to get out of balance. Get carried away with a project or task and ignore everything else. The last few days I've been working on redesigning the banner for my painting shop. I haven't been happy with any of its incarnations. This one is better.

nasturtiums Etsy banner Anne Butera

But I have to slap my hand to keep from continuing to tinker. I've been obsessed. Does that happen to you, too?

Today I'm sending out one of my paintings to its new owner. I created this one quite a while ago.

painting table orange tree

For the first time I feel very sad saying goodbye.

watercolor painting calamondin orange tree houseplant portrait

This one is special to me and the plant on which it's based is no longer with me. Citrus in pots have fascinated me since I was a child. I have a strong memory of visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden as a child and seeing an art show with embroidered or woven tapestries of intricate potted and walled gardens. The image of orange trees in pots imprinted on my psyche, shaped part of my aesthetics. Combine that with the actual growing of citrus in pots (from a fairly young age) and a connection it recalls to my great grandmother and this painting becomes so much more than what you see here. I am thrilled to know that it's going to a new home where someone will (I hope) love it as much as I do. But I will miss it.

It makes me even happier about my choice for the cover image on the book I'm making. Yep. I'm actually binding a book for my Make & Do challenge. Check back on Friday to see it (fingers crossed that everything works out in the end... it has NOT been easy).

I hope you're having a good week and surviving the snow if you live somewhere blizzardy!


  1. I don't know why but I love your color sample strips as much as your paintings - the same way I like a loom when it's set up for weaving (almost better than the finished woven item) or knitting still on the needles.

  2. I totally get the "balance" thing, Anne. Boy, it's easy for me to spend too much time tinkering little bits until I get to the place where I begin hearing that ugly knocking sound of an off balance washing machine. Only it's not the washer, it's me! Ouch! Your citrus painting is so happy. I love it. Your banner is great, too. xxx ~ Nancy

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy. What a wonderful analogy. Wish it didn't happen, but ah well, can't be too hard on ourselves.

  3. Great, new banner, Anne. It looks good. I know exactly how you feel about sending painting away. I always feel joy and sadness at the same time. I am trying to find more time for painting as well and letting myself to have that time is so important and always when it happens I feel so much better, fulfilled and nourished. Have a great and creative week!

    1. Thanks, Aga. We have to do what nourishes us. I hope you're finding time for more painting. Your paintings are so beautiful.


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