Battling Overwhelm with Focus

Suddenly I have so many things on my plate. Some big projects (which I'll be sharing later). Other plans and ideas that still need attention. An online class I'm taking...

Right now the garden is exploding with flowers. And I want to paint them all.

foxgloves, garden, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Before Matthias' surgery I was on a roll creating a small painting each day.

rose campion, botanical watercolor, rose campion painting, rose campion watercolor, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'd like to pick up that momentum again, but I've also been feeling the call to paint a larger piece. I hadn't painted one since the irises at the beginning of June.

And then there's the simple fact of summer itself. My favorite season. Time to be in the garden and revel in the sunshine and warm air, to soak up the days, savor them, to slow down and enJOY.

greyhounds, garden, rescued greyhounds, greyhound rescue, garden, sage, catmint, rosemary, strawberries, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

At times like this what I most need is to slow down. To focus. To choose one thing (at a time) and tackle it, crossing things off my list one by one. The rest will get done, one thing at a time.

I've also realized that it's very important for me to let go a bit and cut myself some slack, to take some time to sit among the flowers or to drink my tea and watch the hummingbird as it flits around the garden. Stillness is necessary for me.

Even with all my other projects and responsibilities, the most important thing on my list this week was to paint some coneflowers (you might remember seeing the sketchbook page where I tested colors on my blog on Wednesday).

So I got to work and painted a bit each day.

coneflowers, echinacea, watercolor, botanical watercolor, painting process, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Which is really the only way to get things done. Bit by bit.

I finished it yesterday.

purple coneflower, echinacea, watercolor painting, botanical watercolor, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'm so glad I prioritized painting this week. (I'll be adding these coneflowers to my shop soon).

I was reminded again of what a fitting choice INTENTION has been as my word of the year. I think being intentional about all of our choices makes even the most difficult times easier to handle.

Oh, and one more thing... If you've been eyeing my fabric on Spoonflower,

Summer Bliss, Summer Bliss Fabric Collection, watercolor surface pattern design, botanical watercolor, butterflies, garden, Spoonflower, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

you might want to check out the sale they're having right now. It's buy one get one fat quarters and it goes until July 14th.

Choosing which fabrics and how much to order is one of those things on my to-do list, which would mean that I'll soon have to carve out some time for sewing, too... It's never ending, isn't it?

Have a lovely weekend!


  1. Hi,
    I am like you...I need to focus on one item on the list too. I can get too overwhelmed. I can start trying to do the entire To Do list....when no, I need to focus.
    Good reminder today, thank you!

    1. Hi, Carla. Glad to know that focusing helps you, too.

      Hope you have a lovely week!

  2. Your coneflowers are beautiful, Anne! So glad you are taking care of yourself in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. Being out in the yard with your beautiful dogs and gardens sounds wonderful. I'm going over to Spoonflower now to buy some fabric! Thanks for the tip!! xx

    1. Thanks so much, Judy!

      So glad to have you cheering me on. Hope you like the fabric. :)

  3. I love that you're putting your artwork on fabric--it seems so perfectly suited for it! And that photo of your sweet pup in your garden warmed my heart.

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie! I'm hoping I can find some sewing time to play with my fabrics.

      The pups do love being out in the garden when the weather is nice and they certainly have a way of making me smile, no matter what else is going on.


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