Goodbye 2021. Welcome 2022! Leaving 2021 behind feels like a good thing. Even though it felt like turning a page back in January 2021, this year there are a number of things I will be doing different that will, regardless of what happens in the wider world, lead to a richer, more engaged art practice.
Let me state that I don’t do “Resolutions”. That word, to me, implies hard and fast measures in which you either succeed, or fail. Where-as “Goals”, or “Intentions” suggest the possibility of a continuum on which you can make any level of progress leading to success, while being flexible to allow for change.
So to kick of 2022 I want to start with my “Intentions” for my art practice for the coming year. In this post I will introduce those intentions that will guide my choices this year and I will expound with more details on many of these individually in future posts.
- Growth Over Production: As an artist it is easy to get caught up in trying to always produce “finished” paintings. Paintings intended to show and to sell. This year I want the overriding focus to be on learning, exploring and skill building, instead of trying to make every painting a salable masterpiece.
- Bring The Outdoors In: Over the years I have ignored the practice of painting en-plein air (painting outdoors) despite knowing the benefits it can bring, even to my studio practice. Re-engaging with outdoor painting will provide me a number of benefits to my work. Plus, I just like being outside.
- Work On The Fundamentals: Deadlines are great, but they focus you on completing paintings for sale. Quality comes from practicing what you know, working on the fundamentals such as drawing, color mixing, brushwork, and only by spending time on these fundamental skills can real improvement take hold.
- Stretch The Boundaries: This one is perhaps counter-intuitive. Instead of focusing and perfecting what you know, it focuses on getting outside your comfort zone and allowing yourself to learn from alternative methods, approaches, tools or perhaps mediums, that will lead to new insight and growth. For me this might mean painting in a different style than typical of my work, or a different medium, or perhaps tackling different subjects.
- Color Exploration: I have always struggled with my color palette. Some colors I love and will likely continue to feature on my palette, but others, such as red, I am constantly struggling with which hue to use and when. I will likely simplify my palette somewhat this year, and will definitely explore different color choices with the intention to both learn what they can do and to hopefully arrive at a base palette that anchors my work.
- Manage Opportunities: I’m creating a submissions/opportunities calendar this year to focus me on a few venues and group shows that I want to showcase my finished work. I don’t want to chase every opportunity available. Without a solo show scheduled for this year, look for me to focus on a few venues and shows. It will still be a commitment to a lot of finished work, but I will have more time to consider and plan for each opportunity.
- Engage More: In addition to a submissions/opportunities calendar, I also intend to create a social media calendar. I’m still putting the finishing touches on this one, but I want to start sharing more on a regular basis with my fans. This will include three primary venues: this blog, facebook and instagram. If you are reading this and not following me on Facebook or Instagram you might consider doing so now 🙂
- Commitment: I am committing more time than at any prior point in my art career to the development of my practice. This means I will be doing more education, painting more studies, experimenting more, and spending more hours on my craft. I will likely produce fewer ‘finished’ works than in past years, but hopefully all the intentions I have set above will lead to a higher quality result.
Look for more details on these intentions, along with other topics, in future posts. You can follow my progress and see both works in progress and finished works along with other aspects of being an artist I hope to share on Facebook and Instagram. I am forever grateful for your interest, and happy to answer questions or engage in conversation.
May your 2022 be productive, rewarding, and filled with health and happy times. Thanks for accompanying me on my artistic journey.