Last year at this time, like I do every year, I listed my goals for the new year. And in the name of accountability, here, in review, is how I did.
My goals included artistic, business and personal. I get all giddy thinking about listing my goals, books I want to read, movies I want to see, places to travel to... Setting goals helps me clarify for myself what my priorities are; it helps me organize my days, and strive towards finish lines. Without my lists of goals I would be like one of my Great Danes, distracted by every squirrel (or inspiration) I see, darting in one direction and then the next, but never really getting what I want.
I want to add that the biggest goal I achieved this year wasn't even on this list. I've had a long time dream of opening up my own art school. On September 5 I opened the doors to Cloud 9 Art School and it is everything I had dreamt it to be. I love my lists but wow the universe can step in unexpectedly and propel us forward when we work with focus and create relationships with amazing and supportive human beings. My husband's belief in me and his unwavering support helped all the pieces come together. So many friends and students offered to help in so many unexpected ways. I am humbled and amazed. Thank you all! The stars really lined up for me in 2017!
Below are the art and business goals I set for myself for 2017.
I want to get better.
How do I get better? I focus on specific techniques, materials, subjects or styles that speak to me and pursue them.
I definitely pursued this goal. I read many books, filled sketchbooks, took workshops, and pushed forward. I did not prioritize botanical watercolors like I had wanted to do so that is on the list for 2018.
I want to expand my boundaries.
I love watercolors, and sketching, and drawing. But I am inspired by all kinds of art and I wanted to explore creating beyond my comfort zone, to venture into new techniques, mediums and tools. There is simply too much joy in learning new ways of seeing and creating to limit myself to what I am comfortable with! All learning helps me grow as an artist. So I took on paper folding book art, explored writing and illustrating children's books, and worked in color pencils.
I discovered a list of great movies about artists. I wanted to see these all in 2017 and I did!
10. Basquiat (1996)
9. Frida (2002)
8. Pollock (2000)
7. Chi-hwa-seon aka Painted Fire (2003)
6. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
5. Seraphine (2008)
4. Andrei Rublev (1966)
3. Mr. Turner (2014)
2. Lust for Life (1956)
1. Edvard Munch (1976)
I have so many books on art, it's a mini art library at my house! I wanted to read several of them this year, including:
These are the books I actually read:
Painting Life with Life by Bev Jozwiak
Art & Fear Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland
Uno, Nessuno, Centomila by Luigi Pirandello
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Shut Your Monkey, How to Control Your Inner Critic and Get More Done by Danny Gregory
The Art of Botanical Painting by Margaret Stevens
Painting Vibrant Watercolors: Discover the Magic of Light, Color and Contrast by Soon Y. Warren
Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: Tools for Painting with Impact by Catherine Gill
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully by Charles Reid
Jean Haines' World of Watercolour by Jean Haines
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin Stead
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
So I will put When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put by Vivian Swift on my 2018 list.
I'll spend the next few days putting together my list of goals for 2018. This is how I love to start each year. Setting goals and coming up with a plan to put them into motion. I understand that this approach is not for everyone. You have your own temperament. Figure out what you would love to do this year and then figure out your own plan for getting closer to those dreams. Get better, get closer, get happier.
Happy 2018 to you all!