Goodbye, 2011

Thanks for your challenges and opportunities, your joys and sorrows. You’ve been a good year, tough, but far easier to navigate than your predecessor. 2010 was brutal. You’ve been gentler. Thank you for that.

On the personal side, my family handled a big transition as we cleaned and renovated Mom and Dad’s old house so that it could be sold. We, they, had lived in it for 36 years. I was sad to see it go, but good heavens it actually sold!

Mid-year, I lost my little dog Maddie at the age of 16. Her last few months were tough as her health failed. We had so many good years and she was a wonderful little buddy. I treasure those memories.

Around the same time  little Miss Cass came to live with me. She’s a sweetheart of an 18-year-old cat. Having her here has been a joy. She’s helping me type this by sitting on my left arm, so pardon any typos.

Art-wise, I got back on track. My art was put on hold in 2010, so it needed a serious jump start this year.

I began painting larger, which I’ve greatly enjoyed. I’ve painted so small for so many years that even a modest 12×12 inch format is challenging. I experimented with some new materials and techniques, and have thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some goals:

Develop a consistent studio practice

studio time tracker 2011 life needs artMy goal was to put in 10-15 hours each week in my studio. I didn’t get there, but developed a consistent habit anyway.

I’m big on tracking things, writing them down, which I didn’t do for the first few weeks of the year. Once I started writing down my hours daily, I realized how little time I was devoting to my art and began increasing it.

Since the beginning of September, I’ve averaged 8 hours per week. Darn good. I’m happy with that. I’ll take it.

Finish larger works

Colors and Lines, Pearl, abstract acrylic painting

I like painting small. My small paintings are wonderful. So why paint larger?

I want to begin entering juried shows and hanging work in public venues, and the small stuff just won’t work. They won’t make it into shows, and it takes a ton of paintings to cover the walls of an exhibit space.

So larger we go. I finished 13 paintings in the Colors and Lines series, plus 2 others.

Glass Tile Pendant Necklaces by Life Needs ArtAnd, I began to work smaller in the form of hand-painted necklaces. They were a big hit at the shows this fall. Although my 2-dimensional art is my first love, the necklaces were an enjoyable diversion.

In addition to the larger work, I:

  • took 3 workshops, mostly around art journaling and travel journaling. I want to begin taking my art with me.
  • sent 200 tiny paintings to Artomat for their vending machines
  • completed another sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project
  • finished 3 smaller 8×8 inch paintings
  • blogged 80 times, which is on par with previous years

Teach

I had wanted to develop a workshop and begin offering it to students, for many reasons. Teaching is a wonderful way to learn, too.

I haven’t put together a workshop yet, but have several ideas. I often get asked about my technique and am thinking about offering a class on that. We’ll see.

Get my art out “there”

Ah, yes. The eternal challenge for us introverts. My goal was to enter 6 shows this year, didn’t matter if I got in or not, just go through the exercise of applying.

I entered about a dozen shows, got in some and not others. And, I found 2 places who were willing to sell my art on consignment.

Several of the shows were arts and craft shows that turned out to be great, sales-wise. My sales have never been so good!

Plus, the exercise of getting ready for a show is really valuable. I’m getting skilled at the business of packing, lugging stuff, setting up a display, and talking to potential customers. Definitely worth doing.

All in all, I’m pleased with 2011 and will remember it fondly. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.

 

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