What direction to take ... in 2010...

20100112 figure sketch.jpg

Hello –

Now that we are into 2010 some I am now comfortable with what type of resolution to make this year. Compared with last year where I made three resolution categories that each had a specific item or a list of things to accomplish. This year I am only going to define my goals by establishing two key words that will embody my decision making process and direct my actions. They are:

1} Growth: the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase

2} Inquiry: a close examination of a matter in a search for information or truth

Why these words? … Because after taking the big step last year to become a full time artist I realized that one of the most important factors to be satisfied with my work was to feel that I was growing in some way. It did not matter as much if the product is what I wanted or expected, but whether I gained something from the experience. Though sometimes I felt a nagging sense that all actions and projects must produce a “product” and at times it seemed to me that my sense of exploration and desire to learn was given a back seat for the more specific goals I had outlined.

Thus I want this year to be filled with growth, the gradual increase in skills and understanding of what a career in art making is all about, and where I allow my natural tendency to investigate further and to understand something in more depth is also given room to breathe.

I was inspired to pursue this method of making resolutions
by the talented Lisa Call and Anna T.
{15 min. study & detail}

I have been thinking about how to establish goals in 2010 for awhile and after yesterday believe using these defining words to give direction will work out.

Yesterday was the first figure painting class of the winter term. This term I will be exploring the differences in drawing the human figure versus painting the figure by taking a class in each. In the painting class we started with three 15 minute studies. With this one I used the gray ground to be the initial shadow mass and then started laying in the skin tone with variations in paint thickness and color temperature. After the timer when off, this sketch was scraped down and a new sketch was begun.

Happy New Year!

Slim sketch.jpg

Graphite Sketch of Slim

In the past few years I have come to view the holiday season as a time to take stock and be thankful for all that has occurred during the year. I also use the month of December to focus on friends and family. Now with the celebration of Christmas behind us and the commencement of a new year I have spent some time today and during the past week to plan and establish some new goals.

Typically this mental “cleaning house” also coincides with the physical cleaning and organizing of my desk and filing system. So I have been busy this week organizing and moving some furniture around all in preparation of starting the new year off well. With my house physically in order I feel am better able to commit to and take action on the resolutions I have set for the upcoming year.

Here are the main goals I am going to work towards this year:

* In 2009 I will dedicate time to the exploration of different techniques and mediums. Currently I focus primerily on painting with oils. I want to spend some of my "art" time exploring soft pastels, watercolor, drawing, and woodblock printing in addition to oil painting. I have already signed up for a drawing class with Robert Liberace this winter term at the Art League as my first action to incorporate this goal. I also spent my freetime today sketching instead of painting. The sketch above is of my kitty, Slim.

* In 2009 I will carve out more time to read. My current reading list is:
-The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
-I'd Rather Be in the Studio!
-Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting
-Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
-Civilisationby Kenneth Clark (the TV series is also great!)
-The Art Spirit
-A book on composition, maybe this on or this one

* In 2009 I will work towards transitioning my career focus to being a full-time artist. This is by far my most ambitious goal. As it will require me to organize my life in a manner where I take a break from the profession of architecture. I have the support of my husband, Steve, and my friends and family I have shared this with. So it is just a matter of getting everything together and being comfortable with the transition when it will take place.

Well, here are the goals set for 2009, I will evaluate the status each quarter to see where I am and to see how I may need to tweak the game plan as necessary. In reflectiong of 2008 I realize it was a challenging year for so many of us. I am hoping the past difficulties were just the rough part of the road leading to a smoother journey in the year to come.

What are your plans for 2009?