Last fall, I made a list of work goals for 2017. It's time for an employee review! Here’s where I stand:
1. Throw my own art show. Yep. This was the big one! It was a great exercise in self-evaluation (not every painting made the cut), self-promotion, testing hanging hardware, and using Excel.
2. Try new materials and substrates. Yep. This year was my foray into water media, which included a small traditional set of watercolors, plus water-soluble crayons and pencils. I’ve tried a number of different papers for these media, as well as different pastel papers and board, and the ever-tricky (for me) gessoed panel for oil paintings.
3. Go outside and do plein-air painting. Weeeelll. I did it once. Just once. BUT. I did start taking long "art walks" around town taking loads of photographs to bring back to the studio. I know. It's not the same at all.
4. Write more. Yep. I’ve written at least a monthly blog post (though trying for two), and I started my monthly newsletter in June.
5. Enter a competition. Yep. And I should get extra points for two. 1) Chicago Pastel Painters Biennial Exhibition 2) Pastel 100 sponsored by Pastel Journal. Results for both come in October.
6. Create a still-life table. Yep. And proud of self for making the poor-man’s version out of foam board and a couple of empty wine boxes (for height).
7. Paint new subjects. Yep. Lots of different kinds of landscapes and still-life items.
8. Paint a self-portrait. Nope. But I came close when I painted a still life of my favorite hat. I know. It's not the same at all.
A couple other tasks popped up along the way, which should have been on the goal list in the first place:
9. Began selling artwork on my web site. This was a natural result after hosting my show. At first I thought I’d sell quietly upon inquiry, but then I noticed all the artwork piling up around the house and the need to sell wasn’t so quiet.
10. Started a newsletter. After deciding to start selling my artwork, marketing became a new component to my practice.
11. Freshened up the studio. How many artist’s does it take to change a light bulb? One. How long does it take her to getting around to doing it? A year and a half. I’ve wanted to switch the overhead bulbs from soft light to daylight forever. I cleared off all the shelves and the table and restocked them according to, but never having read, that organizing book by the Japanese woman, labeled the storage drawers, took inventory, hung pictures, and got a lamp fixed. Yes!
12. Participating in 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta. I’m in the middle of it right now. Do look.
A Look Ahead for 2018
Paint a series
Have a long-range plan of painting scope.
Paint with palette knife again.
Practice, practice, practice.
Later is what?
After settling into various desk jobs, I always said I'd get back to painting later in life, and later is now. Again means that I tried once before. I decided to write about my painting endeavor, too, as a learning tool, an accountability tool, and to stay sharp in case I have to go back to a desk job. Again.
I love periodicals, and if I weren't trying to devote more time to painting I'd mail paper copies. Sign up here, and I'll conveniently send it (blog posts, sales, and new work) by e-mail instead.