Questions for the New Year

Episode 267 · January 8th, 2024 · 31 mins 45 secs

About this Episode

It's once again the time of year when many of us make resolutions and set goals. We’ve talked about goals and plans at the start of the year in previous podcasts, but in this episode, we would like to recognize that sometimes having questions about what lies ahead is just as important. The nature of creative work means focusing on what we don’t know as much or more than what we do know. Most goals and resolutions are based on a logical evaluation of what we want to accomplish—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But today we’re going to talk about the importance of generating questions as much as we do goals and resolutions.

We base many goals for our life and work on assumptions about what seems like the right thing to do according to outside standards. But as artists we have a lot of independence and autonomy, and a big part of setting your own course is considering what’s right for yourself as an individual. It's also important when setting goals to leave plenty of room for the unexpected, and for exploring things you haven’t even thought about.

Underneath any practical goal or resolution is a question about why it is important. What is the motivation for making this resolution? Is it something you truly want, or is it instead something you simply believe is expected of you? It’s interesting to go to this deeper level with questions and see what you discover. You might find a clear and honest reason for your resolution, or you may discover that you lack a personal connection or motivation.

There is also a problem with setting precise goals and resolutions in an art practice in that there are always unexpected changes and opportunities. The conventional approach may keep you from exploring the more meandering path that many artists find valuable.

One of the joys of the art life is that you have the freedom to find the path that suits your own approach and focus. At this time of year it's good to give thought to what is right for you and get rid of any “shoulds” that are causing you grief. Goals and resolutions are best when they are personal and as flexible as possible, to allow for the unexpected.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
There are some important changes as 2024 gets underway! The big news is that Rebecca and Jerry have restructured their membership program and now you can join on a month-to-month basis with full streaming access to all features of the program. This means lots more flexibility for you--you can try the program out for a short time, or take a break when you need it. Live sessions will continue twice a month--and along with favorites like painting clinics, critiques, and guests, some new and exciting plans are in the works. Make 2024 your year to discover the excitement of working with cold wax -- or if you are already a member, to go even deeper into your painting practice.
For more info and to join CWA please visit

Please visit for more information as well as basic information about using cold wax medium.

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."

Also-- please visit to learn about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A few booking openings are still available in 2023, so please incquire if you are interested.

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