In the midst of the first quarter of this year, I've been spending time painting and working but also thinking a great deal about what this fabulous pursuit means to me - the 'why' question of my art. In addition, I've been envisioning a future - what I'd love to see if all things were perfect. As it turns out, we are in the process of moving to a wonderful home on a lake on Cape Cod. There is an amazing arts culture there and so much beauty. It is a great time to take stock and intentionally move in new directions.
As we've gone through the process of going through possessions, making decisions, packing some and giving others away, I've also thought about what in my art life can go. Watercolor paintings that were part of my early pursuit are now not something I need to keep - they have served their purpose as a teacher and guide to the place I am now. Here are some things I've learned through this process:
1. To move forward, you have to let go. You can't continue to carry all of your old stuff with you.
2. Building something new requires intention and effort.
3. A great deal of courage is required to let go of a place you have been for many years.
4. Everything comes with a set of choices.
5. There is great joy in new thoughts, new directions and new initiatives at any age.
6. Don't wait. There isn't enough time.
As with our home, all of these also apply to my painting. I paint because I love the process, the color, the smell, the meditative act of spending time quietly with a challenge. The outcome is secondary.
1. In order to continue to grow, I need to continue to try new approaches without fear (fear of waste, failure, lack of skill...).
2. If I want to have a different future in my art, I have to be very intentional with my time, efforts and outreach.
3. Working beyond my current comfort zone requires courage.
4. I have lots of choices. I can choose to paint each day or not, be a plein air painter or not, reach out to other artists or not, go to a workshop or not.
5. I love the joy I am currently experiencing with this lifelong pursuit
6. I'm not waiting. Life is very short and you need to create while you can.
So, I've packed up my studio for the move and will be posting new work very soon!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
I've spent time during the past week thinking about what my artistic goals for 2017. In my business life, strategy and goal setting has been second nature. In my art life, moving forward has not always been as intentional. Here are the key things I'd like to achieve this year:
- Participate in 3 Plein Air Paint-Outs (my first is scheduled already in January in DelRay!)
- Try to prepare my own panels
- Attempt representation by one gallery
- Teach or lead one workshop in oil painting or plein air painting with my local art association
- Become far more proficient in managing my social media platforms
- Complete a collection for a solo show
Quite a list, I know. A friend calls these 'BHAGs' - Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. However, I think if I plot this out to address pieces in different months this year I will come to the end of 2017 very pleased with the results.
What are your BHAGs this year?