Monday, February 2, 2009

Goals Update (January)

First Red, 2009, Oil on Cradled Panel, 6x6

On Sunday I was feeling kind of sad as it was the day I would have headed to Vermont to start my second month long residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Maybe it's just as well that I decided not to go this year as I have much to do for the next few months and last year I got a bit off track after I returned. But when my tween daughter was glaring daggers at me during some sort of fit, I couldn't help but think how I would be almost arriving in Johnson, with my car loaded with art supplies all ready to focus on painting and to enjoy great food and company as well. Sigh.

Ah well. The tween fit passed eventually and I was able to spend much of my day actually getting some things done in my own comfy studio. I'll go to Vermont next year and it will be fine. I will even have a few more shots at getting a full fellowship, so that is good.

At the end of December I posted a few specific goals and while I haven't been working as much as I hoped (many kid related distractions!) I did pretty well. I thought I'd go through the list, maybe the public humiliation will add just a wee bit of pressure on me in February. I am going to borrow from Stacey here and list my goals (in italics) and then explain what I actually did.

I will finish 20 figurative paintings on panel in January and hopefully at least 15 of them will be good enough to send out in order to pursue new representation.

I sure didn't do 20, but I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish. The People You Know series is tough and each painting really takes a lot of energy. I finished up three pieces that I had started in 2008, one 22x30 didn't work out and I finished three pieces (2 18x24 and 1 12x24) that I am very happy with. I have five pieces ready for color glazes right now and will finish them up this week. Three of them are mid size, one is 24x36 and the other one is 30x40, so the larger scale has slowed me down a bit too. If the five turn out (no guarantee!) I will have fourteen presentable (in my opinion) paintings that I can start sending out. After I gather up my nerve, that is.

In conjunction with the figurative work I will do at least five monochromatic underpaintings on gessoed paper each week, of the figure, with the intent of leaving them as is, meaning no color glazes.

I have had the prepared paper all ready to go, but never did get to these. Part of the problem is that I don't have enough room in my studio let them dry while leaning vertically (the paper is taped to a piece of masonite as a work surface) and the other problem is the distraction of the dang computer. Heh. Will be working on a solution to the drying problem as I really want to do these. Actually I NEED to do these.

I will continue to paint 5-10 small paintings per week to sell on my other blog.

I did twelve this month. Not bad but I should have done more, because as soon as I posted eight of them, three sold right away. How much more motive does a girl need for crying out loud?

And even if it kills me to do it so early, I will put together all my tax info from 2008 by the end of January. It actually doesn't take that long, it's just one of the things I really tend to put off doing each year until the very last minute.

Ick. Didn't even touch the pile of receipts. Will try again to tackle that one in February too.

I will also spend an afternoon each week or so, working on some collage ideas I have which combine my painting with the photographs I have been collecting for the figurative work. I did some of this in college and it was something I never really pursued after. So naturally, that's all I can think about doing now. heh. Anyway, this is just a fun thing to do, something I didn't do enough of in the past when I had so much going on.

I did one small piece that I kept seeing in my head, but it didn't really do what I wanted. I either need to think about it a bit more or do a few more and try to figure out what I want to do. This thinking part would be easier without the computer too.

And because no list of resolutions goals is ever complete for me without including losing a few pounds and exercising more I will add that as well. I have let my exercise go in the last few years and even more in the last few months, so that along with a recent issue involving Lindt dark chocolate truffles means I need to get out for a walk each day at the very least.

While I didn't specifically put it on the list, I was planning on eliminating sugar and flour from my diet. I did pretty well with this in January, not perfect but enough to feel so much better each day. Unfortunately I kind of bailed on walking everyday even though it always makes me feel so good when I take the walk. I went out a few times but it was so cold and even though I do actually own warm winter clothing I mostly stuck with the "too cold outside" excuse. I had some other options for exercise, like the awesome spin bike in my studio, but neglected to get it together to do that either. Will keep trying though.

This month I really must grow up and stop with the excuses. I have a show in April to prepare for and I really have to get started on that. Also I know that my outlook will be so much more positive when I can start getting my goals accomplished.


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

GROW UP? oh no!

Barbara J Carter said...

Hi Tracy,

I'm really enjoying your blog, and I appreciated the peek into your goal-setting for the year. It takes a lot of courage to put that all out there!

It sounds like you may have set the bar a bit high for January. I suggest celebrating your accomplishments - of which there are many! - and allowing your goals to be more manageable for February. (Yikes, do I sound like some kind of life coach or what?)

For the exercise, the thing that works for me is having a TV and a DVR in front of the exercise equipment (treadmill in my case). I set the DVR to record all my favorite shows. The rule is, I only get to watch those shows when I'm exercising. It works!

Good luck,


Tracy said...

I know, Gary, sad....

Thanks for the input, Barbara.If I had been rushing around and working like crazy and still didn't accomplish my goals for January that would be one thing and I would agree with you about setting the bar too high. However, I spent way too much time on the computer and wasting my days away NOT painting.

Normally I don't make such specific goals. I decided to try it because I have been uncharacteristically unproductive in the studio for the last 6 months and I felt it was time to try something new to get motivated.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
i enjoy reading your blog, you write well about the ups and downs of your art life. thanks

Casey Klahn said...

My wife bought the Wii stuff, and I was a non-believer. But, now, the Wii fit has become my last best hope to stay out of the fat farm.

I may write a post for all of my artist friends who need some studio health tips.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that I absolutely love your landscapes and I am saving my money!