Well January is gone and I missed all of my art goals for the month. The first painting: ‘Reflections in History’ is not done, nor is the book I’m only a hundred pages away from finishing. On the show and festival front I have mixed results. I was accepted into the Spring Bloom Arts Festival, which will be my 2011 show opener and second appearance, but I was turned down for a big Kansas City show in Missouri. I applied to two more fine art festivals, one near St. Louis the other in Columbus… still no word yet. I still am waiting on jury results from the Missouri Watercolor and Transparent Watercolor Societies Nationals as well as Splash 13.
Coming up fast is Sugar Creek and about three to four more fine art festivals I need to send applications out for. Lastly I have not even been close to drawing daily. I do have some legitimate reasons for not getting the painting done. I am working with a photographer to develop a time lapse video of me completing the painting I’m presently stalled on. I lost about a week to week and half because the battery died on the camera I have on loan. Had I had that in my hand I could have continued the photos and painting but I just managed to meet this evening to get a fresh battery from the gentleman. I should be on track to finish by Sunday.
Next up on the workbench will be a commission piece and a second swimming painting followed by a large batch of smaller works. Other than that, things are good. I’m a bit disappointed that in my first month I didn’t complete what I set out to do. I can still make good on this and press on with new art. Until then, keep the paint flowing on the paper.
Sitting back at my command post, ‘the studio’, I ponder over my mental battle plan for this year. Spread out on my table in front of me is the arsenal I will use. My first offensive opens with a 22” x 30” still life watercolor. Flanking this rests an assortment of Kolinsky Kayak brushes (See Paul Jackson if you want a set), two Tom Lynch porcelain palettes well oiled and ready, each loaded with Winsor & Newton Artist Watercolors. Nestled between the painting and the paint rests three large vessels of water. The rest of the room is a mess: receipts everywhere, extra paints, folders, notepads, sketchbooks, pencils and just about everything else that has something or another to due with the business of making art.
Late last year, I began to formulate how 2011 would be a more successful year for me. This meant I needed to produce qualitatively better paintings, which exhibited something more than a journeyman’s grasp of mechanics. All my paintings are personal, but sometimes I think they are lifeless and don’t hold the attention of a viewer near as long as someone who paints more compelling subjects. We’ll see how that goes this year. My first painting, “Reflections in History” is hopefully a step in that direction.
Other elements of my battle plan are to schedule myself three times as many festivals, and participate in several national shows. I didn’t get into the AWS National, but I am waiting on jury results for the Missouri Watercolor National, the Transparent Watercolor Societies’ National, and Splash 13. Later next month I will be sending something down to the Louisiana Watercolor Societies National show and later this year my art will hit the jury’s of the IWS and the NWS. That’s seven contents that I can think of. I fully expect to get into three maybe four, which would be three or four more than I was accepted in last year. 2010 was a year of member shows for me. I tried the MOWS and TWSA National’s last year and didn’t make the jury cuts. I’ll keep painting, and keep entering… eventually something will give and my persistence will pay off!
In Progress image of my first painting of 2011
So far I’m on schedule. I will have this new painting done in the next week tops, and I will move onto two other pieces and start my drawing commissions finally. I wanted to get more into the process of this painting I’m working on now, but that will have to wait until my next post. For now, you will have to settle for a photo.
I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions now for several days and wanted to try again to meet my own expectations for the coming year. Last year I made a resolution to paint one painting a month and read one new book a month. Both were met with marginal success. I managed only three books, but I did get nine paintings done, ranging from small illustrative paintings, a Christmas Card and five larger full scale works. Not bad actually, in light of the fact that one painting took me nearly six months to complete.
So, what is on my plate for 2011? Well again I want to paint no less than 12 paintings and read as many books. Also… I need to start drawing again, and I plan on keeping a daily journal, which means I need to draw every day. Ambitious? Perhaps. Manageable? Yes if I stay focused and keep my paintings down to a 16″ x 20″ size or smaller. On top of this, I received a new commission from a good friend who is a writer. I get to paint the cover of his unpublished novel which will hopefully see the bookstore shelves someday. The other commission is one that I’ve been sitting on for a long long time. This is a drawing project that will span about 12 individual pieces of work based solely on mythology subjects. It will help me get me back to my drawing roots. I am not 100% sure the customer is still waiting on me, but I’m going to complete the first drawing and present it to him and go from there. Hopefully it will re-spark his initial interests and get me back into a good drawing regimen.
My first painting of the year will be my third book painting, comprised of three from my own collection. I am looking forward to starting it and spent a lot of time planning the piece. The books were carefully chosen and I played with the composition quite a bit before I settled on the image I liked most. In addition this painting will be documented via time lapse photography, which will narrate the painting from its pale beginnings to the colorful end. I believe I will have something unique to draw people into my festival tent when the time comes. I plan on purchasing a digital picture frame so I can play the images in a fast loop during my art shows.
1st Painting of 2011 (Reference Photo)
This year should be pretty exciting and busy. I want to attend about 6 to 8 art festivals. I learned a lot in the first four I did last year and I hope my business keeps growing in 2011. I am going to give my studio until November 2011 to start paying for itself or I am going to pack up and move home and figure out a way to paint there. This will be difficult given we really don’t have a room for me to work in nor the storage space I need.
Lastly, I am waiting to hear back from the American Watercolor Society, Splash 13 and the Missiouri Watercolor Society on my exhibition entries. It would be pretty amazing to make the cut for the Splash Book and get into one of the nations premier watercolor exhibitions. More later…