2017 in Review and 2018: My Intentions

2017 Review

2017 was a calm and pleasant year in my personal life (as opposed to an exciting yet challenging year in my work life), for which I am so grateful. I wish every year could be 2017. I didn’t lose anyone this past year. (Not in 2016 either, although my mother’s death in late December 2015 was so close to that year that I felt its reverberations throughout those 12 months anyways.)

2017 was the year of REACH (my word). This applied mainly to my creating art. This was the first year that I applied a great deal of focus and effort in this area since I was a teenager. And reach I did! It was difficult to push past my insecurities and inner critic, and just start laying paint down on canvas. It was a reach to allow myself to fail over and over again. This painting in particular (which I can reveal now, as it has gone to its recipient) was very uncomfortable for me to create, and thus a definite REACH:

Acrylic Painting of Horse
Horse, 2017

I went to Mark Grice’s studio in Alton Mills to create this painting. I chose it because I knew it was going to be difficult for me to paint a horse AND in non-horse colours. I’m not good (yet) at so many things artists need to know and excel at, but with Mark’s guidance this painting came together. And Mizzus J loves it. She said it looks like Gavin, one of her two horses. What more can I ask for?

I finished out 2017 with this painting, completed yesterday:

Painting of Sunset on Lake Okanagan
Kelowna Sunset, based on a photograph I took on my last night there.

2018 Intentions

My intention for 2018’s art is to continue on my artist’s journey. I met an artist whose work I admired, at her studio in Bayfield 2 summers ago. When I asked her how to become a better painter, she said something that has stuck with me every since: “Just paint. Everyday.” Simple, no?

I have signed up for another online Mandala art course, hosted by Julie Gibbons: Mandala Days. Unlike Mandala Magic (the course I participated in, in 2017), this course is for creating actual pieces, not art journalling. Which is just up my alley, as I discovered this past year.

Other intentions involve:

  • Blogging – posting at least once per week on Ye Olde Blogge; find other like-minded bloggers/readers (my tribe, as it were) to connect with
  • Reading – increase reading for pleasure – my goal is 50 books. (I’m WidowBadass on GoodReads, in case you want to connect there)
  • Mindfulness – increase mindfulness in my life through activities such as meditation
  • Financial Security – becoming intentional about rapidly paying down the debt I am carrying on Chez Badass – debt I incurred by investing in much-needed improvements over the past 4 years
  • Intuitive Processes – become proficient at Tarot, because:

I believe that it is a good tool to help one develop and strengthen intuition and lead to insights – and help get in touch with yearnings/feelings that are buried deep within one’s self. So I performed a Celtic Cross spread at the Winter Solstice this year, to help me in planning for 2018:

Winter Solstice Tarot Reading 2017
Celtic Cross Spread, for guidance for the coming year

I was really surprised when the cards told me that:

  1. I have to focus on my health or ignore at my peril (5 of Pentacles) Having failed at this many times in the past 4 years, I didn’t want to write it down or even think about it as an intention for the coming year!
  2. I have the inner resources to do this. (Ace of Swords)
  3. I can come up with solutions, and to believe in myself and focus on success. (Page of Wands)
  4. My past is full of grief and regret and the belief I made wrong choices. No, duh. (5 of Cups)
  5. Renewing health; creating harmony and balance is the goal. (Temperance)
  6. Unresolved factor affecting my success – my inner “carb monster” (bondage); doubts that I can succeed. (Devil)
  7. I need to delve into why I haven’t been able to get any traction towards improving my health. (6 of Pentacles)
  8. Be the person others see you as: Adept, Reliable, Steady, Supporting. (King of Pentacles)
  9. Guidance, Hopes and Fears, Beliefs, Values – I am afraid of attracting attention from men as I lose weight and become fitter. I don’t want to have to deal with this. There. I said it. Valid or not, it is a fear of mine. (The Lovers)
  10. The outcome (when I am successful in achieving this goal) – Vibrancy, Energy, Cheerfulness, Self-assurance. (Queen of Wands)

So, an added intention for me for 2018 is to improve my health through self-caring activities including strength, flexibility and stamina-building activities, and nutritious food choices.

My word for 2018 is PERCEIVE. To understand, to become aware, to become conscious, to use intuitive judgement.

How about you? Care to share your thoughts?

Rock on,

The WB















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  • Hi Deb,
    I think someday we’re going to have to meet face-to-face because, well, because two women who share the same intentions, fears and processes just should.

    We’re in very different places in terms of art. Oh my gosh, I love your pieces. I am such a beginner and such a control freak. I’m literally, for the first time since kindergarten (which I don’t remember) putting my hands in paint and spreading it around a page, exclaiming, “Oooh, I love that colour!” Huge, absolutely huge, for me but I do admit to despairing that I’m never going to get any further. I need to keep remembering what the Bayfield artist said, what every artist (including every writer) says: Do it every day. I so want instant results.

    By the way, I totally get why you don’t love art journaling. I do think that art journaling is for people like me right now because nothing matters too much. Going to canvas would be too threatening. But for you… keep going, Deb. Keep going.

    I don’t want to turn this comment into another blog post so will leave out the million and one other connections I’m making to your post except for this one – I too am working on intuitive processes including oracle cards, the I Ching, and becoming proficient at Tarot. I’m using the Alistair Crowley tarot deck along with an out-of-print interpretive book that I special ordered by cultural anthropologist, Angeles Arrien. I find it incredibly helpful. Today, I’m placing an order through Amazon for a book that looks really fabulous. Have you heard of the book The Creative Tarot? It can be used with any deck of cards and it provides interpretations related to your creative endeavours.

    Love your word. Looking forward to following your journey through 2018. Happy New Year, Deb.

    • Hi Karen!
      Agreed – we will meet someday, face-to-face! How can we not, as 2 such like-minded spirits? 🙂
      I have not heard of that book but I’m going to search it. I am currently using Joan Bunning’s Learning the Tarot and Rachel Pollack’s 78 Degrees of Wisdom, along with my Radiant Rider-Waite deck – all purchased through Amazon. I also have another deck on order: Goddess Tarot, as female archetypes and goddesses are an interest of mine, especially as artistic inspiration. A good friend gave me a set of Mandala Oracle cards, and I am working with them also, from time to time.
      Looking forward to following your 2018 and beyond journey as well Karen. All the best to you!

  • Last year as I was reading January blog posts, I encountered for the first time the concept of a key word of the year. Then I read your comment to Karen Hume’s post with interest, followed by this post. I love your 2017 word, and more importantly, what you’ve done with it!! Wowzer! Reach you have!

    btw – you can practice your tarot reading on me anytime. I will happily be your guinea pig 🙂

    • If you don’t mind me having to dive into a book or 2 to ascertain the meanings of each card, we can do it whenever you want Joanne. I also know a very talented, accomplished reader who can do it over the phone. She is a fellow blogger who did a great read for me a bit over a year ago. She charges $50 US. Email me!

  • Wow, that sunset piece is stunning. I love it. I love that you’re reaching with your art (one of my goals for this year).

    And I love that you shared your reading with us! I, too, want to work on taking better care of myself this year. The back half of the year was so full of transition that I let my health/eating slip as a priority, and I know I will feel better if I pay more attention to this.

    This is the second time I’ve commented on a post with my word, so I need to just do a post. Mine is vulnerability. I make a face every time I type it, so you can see I have quite a bit of work to do in this area. Happy new year!

    • Thank you Akilah! The colours are even more vibrant IRL. I need to learn to take better pictures but I take most of them with my iPhone, so there’s only so much I can do. 🙂
      Vulnerability – scary word for me. I look forward to reading more from you in 2018! Happy new year to you as well!

  • Congrats on the art work. Yes, painting is like playing an instrument or using a muscle. The more you use it the better you get… And of course if you enjoy it then it totally makes sense to do more of what you enjoy. Wishing you a wonderfully creative and healthy 2018.


    • Thank you Peta! I keep thinking about Bandu’s family. I sent you some $ for them, but it was under my real name so you probably won’t be able to connect it to the Widow Badass. I hope they are managing. So sorry for your loss of a good friend.
      Wishing you a creative and healthy 2018 as well,


      • Thank you Deb for your kindness and generosity to Bandu’s family. We will post an update soon. They are coping. Life goes on of course.
        A wonderful 2018 to you too.

  • Wow! I’m so impressed with your art! Such different techniques too. I hope you’ll keep sharing your creations. It inspires me.

    My list, once I make it, will look a lot like yours. I’m getting a slow start on the new year. Still haven’t drawn my tarot card for the year. Still don’t have a word. I’ll get there though. Happy New Year!

    • You will get there and I hope you share, Reticula. I’m playing around with the art, trying new things from time to time. Don’t know yet if I will ever evolve into a “style”. Probably not as I am very much a dabbler in all things. Happy New Year to you too!

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