THANKS, ALISON! / by Carolyn Wright

If you are reading this blog post, you can thank Alison Kolesar.


Not because it is by Alison (it’s not) and not because it’s about Alison (it’s not, exactly), but because on Friday morning at 8:30 I am going to talk to her and she is going to ask me if I have written a blog post.  


And I am going to be really disappointed if I can’t tell her that, yes, I did write AND post a blog.


You see, Alison is my current accountability partner.  Each week we call and speak with one another about what we’ve accomplished the previous week in our lives as artists.  We can complain, kvetch and confess (last week, I confessed that I had not met the goal I’d set of writing a new blog post). We encourage, empathize, and egg each other on in this journey, continuing to become the artist we each hope to be.


I’ve really benefited from accountability relationships like this over the past few years. First, it was a group of five of us who met monthly in a friend’s studio.  We shared meals and wine and goals, and they inspired me as I fulfilled a massive watercolor commission.  After a year, as that group reached its logical end, another group gathered, just four of us.  We met monthly, rotating houses, sharing tea and dreams.  Among the many tangible goals they helped me reach was putting up a cohesive solo show at NIH.


Still, this type of partnership is more than just checking off a to-do list.  When I try to describe what these relationships have meant, I am tongue-tied (if you can be tongue-tied on a computer); so I turn to the thesaurus, and that’s where I find all the words--literally, ALL the words under “encourage”: applaud, comfort, console, energize, galvanize, gladden, goad, just to list a few. I think the best description is “spiritually support”.


So, many thanks to past partners (in alphabetical order): Joyce, Kris, Lane, Leigh, Lori, Lynn, Mary.  


And now, on to working with Alison, which looks to be the most rigorous collaboration yet (weekly meetings! no wine!) After over 30 years of friendship,we’ve just begun this new phase. I’m looking forward to it!