A Rest Day for Artists (And Nearly New Year Blues)

I love the couple of days after Christmas. It’s like having surprise days off.

No pressure for Christmas Dinner, no expectations on what you could, should or must do. It’s like a deep chill. It can be a nice time to reflect on what’s worked on your paintings and what hasn’t over the year.

Go back on your phone camera roll from 2023 and see where you went, what you sketched, or what you painted (Or what you wanted to paint but just didn’t get the time to start)

Also, take the pressure off and enjoy your inspirations no matter how quirky or obsessional they seem.

I’ve been enjoying photographing festive drinks! hic

Then December 28th dawned.

This period can start the stirrings of being a bit lost at sea. I call this the ‘nearly new year blues’

You start to put expectations on yourself for the year ahead.

What massive artistic brilliance are you going to have to ‘show’ this year? will you ever find your unique style? Or just even do the paintings you said you were going to do.

Everyone else seems to be super productive, it’s enough to crack open the Christmas chocolate again!

But having been here before, have faith. Every brushstroke you make, every line you draw and every new idea you jot down will carry your practice through.

Your journey as an artist is not defined by the destinations reached but by the courage to take action.

This year might not have brought you the goals you anticipated, but the worst thing you can do is get stuck in your own head, ruminating about what you could or should have done and, as a result, do nothing.

So, as you prepare for the coming year, embrace the unknown. Every artist’s journey is unique. Keep creating, keep exploring, and most importantly, try and remember this sense of calm and freedom you felt waking up on boxing day, it will serve you well in your paintings in the year ahead.

Now, all I’ve got to do is remember my own advice!

Have a fab New Year,


This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Karen Bohan

    Wonderful post – thank you! Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Will Kemp

      Cheers Karen, have a lovely New Year aswell!

  2. Mari

    I needed to hear this. Thank You Will.
    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.
    Mari C.

  3. Laura

    So glad you posted at this time to give me the opportunity to thank you for all the inspiration, guidance and fun this year for my artistic journey. And yes, I’m inspiried by the new photos too.

    Best wishes for the coming year.


    1. Will Kemp

      My pleasure Laura, thanks so much for reading and following along.

  4. Kim

    Happiness, Happens on these quiet days after the rush , so nice to read the kind words ,the insightful thoughts , thought for sure you were doing the drink for a painting , nice photo excellent really , seems your posts are always on par with where the mind is thinking , all the best to you and yours in 2024
    Thanks will

    1. Will Kemp

      Thanks so much Kim, glad you enjoyed it. Wishing you a fab 2024!

  5. Adelheid

    Happy New Year

  6. Sally

    Dear Will,
    I love it how you always say what we are all thinking! How do you manage that! Here’s to a productive year! Sally

    1. Will Kemp

      For sure Sally, glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Janet

    Dear Will,
    Thank you for your kind, wise and apposite words which offer both comfort and hope.
    All the very best for the New Year.

    1. Will Kemp

      Thanks Janet, wishing you a creative year ahead.

  8. Keith

    Happy and Peaceful New Artistic Year 2024 to you and your family. Thank you for your inspirational email and always. Continue with all your good work on behalf of us and enjoy the rest of your ‘break’

    1. Will Kemp

      Thanks Keith, have a great New Year!

  9. Sabine

    Thanks Will, such good words. And so timely.
    Thank you.
    Have a good New Year!

  10. Paige Camp

    Dear Will – What a wonderful letter to all of us you have invited into your life! Looking forward toward another year of your support, inspiration and sharing yourself. Wish you all the best.

    1. Will Kemp

      Thanks so much Paige, lovely to have you along.

  11. Rhonda Lisson

    Happy New Year to you also. I feel you must be seeing inside my head as your words have come at such a good time. I am looking at what I’m painting and wondering, what direction should I be taking and what has been successful for me in 2023, ???? Now to make a constructive decision.
    Thank you for all your help
    Rgonda Lisson

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