• Cindy Zampa


PORTAL 52 - Week 26: Cheers!

I can hardly believe it, but week 26 has arrived – the half-way point! This is the milestone at which an optimist eagerly anticipates all that the next 6 months has in store, whereas a pessimist focusses on the fact that the year is half over. I might have a bit of both in me, as I see the half way mark as a good opportunity to reflect on what I’ve accomplished, while also look forward to what lies ahead.


To start with, the year has flown by, more-so than I’ve ever experienced before. For me, this is a good thing. It means I am having fun, I’m in the flow of things more often, and I’m completely absorbed in what I’m doing.

I am proud of having successfully reached this important milestone. At the start of the year, I was excited by beginning this project, but somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered if I’d be able to do it. That niggling doubt comes from self-awareness of historical patterns in my life. I tend to approach new endeavours with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy, yet somewhere along the way (usually about half to three quarters of the way through) everything wanes, sputters, and sometimes outright halts. I may garner just enough steam to push through to the end, yet completion comes with great difficulty. The PORTAL 52 Project has been different. The more paintings I hang on my wall, the more motivated and inspired I am to do the next one. I have more enthusiasm now than I did at the start and am already making plans for next year!

I have learned a lot in just 6 months! Not only am I more confident with my skills, but I’ve come to understand more about my personal creative process. I have more patience with myself when the ideas and creative juices don’t seem to be flowing; I know now that periods of quiet and stillness are just as important to my process as times when I have energetic bursts of creativity and everything flows easily. I percolate a lot in my process, which I did not realize before.

Collaboration with other artists in the Studio 52 group has been so beneficial for me. Artists tend to work primarily in isolation, so when all 5 of us committed to completing a painting a week, I think the accountability, feedback, and encouragement that we give each other is paramount to my success so far. When any of us is struggling, we have a sounding board. When plans get de-railed, the others have been cheerleaders, urging patience and perseverance. I have been 6 weeks ahead at times, and have fallen behind at others, but somehow it is all getting done, with pleasure.

Looking ahead:

Well, like I said, I’m already formulating plans for next year…..But before I get ahead of myself, I’d better finish this year first!

There are many types of portals, so I’ve got an abundance of ideas about WHAT to paint. Carving out the blocks of time needed to focus my efforts on creating has always been a challenge for me. Also, being patient with, or trusting my own process of distilling the idea to the actual painting of it, continues to be a struggle. The structured goal of this project has helped me grow in these areas immensely.

The surprising part of this project, for me, has been the urge to write about each painting in this blog format. I did not see that coming, nor did I plan for it when I considered the time it would take. It has been especially challenging since I also embarked, for the first time, on the steep learning curve of creating my website and blog. Having come through 26 weeks of writing about each piece, I do want to continue with this aspect so there is unity to whole project. Who knows, it may offer rich material for publishing a book in the future.

Whether you have followed me right from the start, or you’ve just joined me on this journey, I appreciate hearing your feedback, ideas, and the conversations that have been sparked by this project. We’ve come a long way, baby! So, for that, I say:

Here’s to the flip side, the second half...

maybe even the better half,


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