Already Blowing My Resolutions

“First Light”
Oil on Canvas
18×24″
2007

Warning – this is really just a rant!

I am so cranky right now. One of my goals for the New Year was to enter paintings in a select number of shows that I pick specifically because I feel that they provide good exposure for my work, and lines on my resume. The first deadline was for the OPA National Show, due today.

I wanted to do a new painting for the show, so I had my mom watch Aspen while I painted a few afternoons, and managed to rush through finishing the painting above. It’s actually a larger version of a painting I did last year, that I wished I had done a bit larger to start with.

Anyhow, I finished the painting two weeks ago, photographed it, had slides overnighted to me, and put together my entry last weekend. Because it was due today and had to be mailed to Illinois, and because Monday was a holiday, I was uneasy about sending it regular mail. Unfortunately, OPA uses a PO box so you can’t send your entry by Fedex or UPS, and they require that it be sent in a business size envelope, so I couldn’t send it USPS express mail. I settled for the best I could do and paid to send it by priority mail. I figured if I sent it priority mail on Tuesday it would be there by today no problem, right??

WRONG.

I just checked the tracking code they gave me and found out my envelope has been MISROUTED, and that they will try to deliver it as soon as possible. I paid extra to send the thing priority mail, and the freaking USPS managed to misroute it!!

So now it won’t get there today, and OPA will return it to me unopened, and I’ll be out $50 from paying for slides, paying overnight shipping, and paying for priority mail. Grrr….

So, that’s one show I won’t be entering this year – guess I’d better find another. I’m so mad at the U.S. postal service right now!

Already Blowing My Resolutions

“First Light”
Oil on Canvas
18×24″
2007

Warning – this is really just a rant!

I am so cranky right now. One of my goals for the New Year was to enter paintings in a select number of shows that I pick specifically because I feel that they provide good exposure for my work, and lines on my resume. The first deadline was for the OPA National Show, due today.

I wanted to do a new painting for the show, so I had my mom watch Aspen while I painted a few afternoons, and managed to rush through finishing the painting above. It’s actually a larger version of a painting I did last year, that I wished I had done a bit larger to start with.

Anyhow, I finished the painting two weeks ago, photographed it, had slides overnighted to me, and put together my entry last weekend. Because it was due today and had to be mailed to Illinois, and because Monday was a holiday, I was uneasy about sending it regular mail. Unfortunately, OPA uses a PO box so you can’t send your entry by Fedex or UPS, and they require that it be sent in a business size envelope, so I couldn’t send it USPS express mail. I settled for the best I could do and paid to send it by priority mail. I figured if I sent it priority mail on Tuesday it would be there by today no problem, right??

WRONG.

I just checked the tracking code they gave me and found out my envelope has been MISROUTED, and that they will try to deliver it as soon as possible. I paid extra to send the thing priority mail, and the freaking USPS managed to misroute it!!

So now it won’t get there today, and OPA will return it to me unopened, and I’ll be out $50 from paying for slides, paying overnight shipping, and paying for priority mail. Grrr….

So, that’s one show I won’t be entering this year – guess I’d better find another. I’m so mad at the U.S. postal service right now!

Here We Go Again – 2007…

“Before the Snow Flies”
16×20″
2007

Since I went to the effort at tracking my goals for 2006, and it seemed to do a decent job of keeping me on track, I think it’s worth the effort to outline my goals for 2007. I wouldn’t necessarily call these New Year’s Resolutions, since that brings to mind images of the hundreds of people who inundate the treadmills at the gym for the first few weeks of January every year. They’re goals that I intend to track and stick with, even if they don’t get completed within the 2007 calendar year.

Art Goals:

1. Expand gallery representation for my landscapes outside of the Denver area. Specifically, obtain representation in at least 3 of the following art markets: Scottsdale, Santa Fe, Jackson, Aspen, Breckenridge.

2. Double my 2006 revenue from painting sales.

3. Enter at least two of the following juried shows: OPA National Exhibition, OPA Central Regional Exhibition, Arts for the Parks, Salon International.

4. Enter and participate in at least one plein air event.

Personal Goals:

1. Get back into shape post-pregnancy – specifically, be fit enough to complete either the Steamboat Springs 1/2 Marathon or 5430 Sprint Triathlon in June.

2. Have fun and enjoy being a mom!

My art goals are mostly focused on expanding the market for my artwork. The first is going to be my biggest focus this year – the bottom line is that I need more than one gallery selling my work. To that end, I need to continue to enter respectable juried shows to build on my resume, and I need to spend consistent time in the studio to be able to support more than one gallery selling my paintings. The second goal is aimed at growing my business from a hobby to a career. I’m focusing on revenue rather than profit this year because growing my revenue means getting my name out there, which might require more resources initially (advertising, etc.). The last goal of participating in a plein air event is just a means of expanding my experience. I’d like to see if the plein air scene is something I’d enjoy participating in, and use it as a means to meet more artists.

As for the personal goals, I’d like to get my fitness back in the first half of the year. In 2005, I was in the best shape of my life and completed a bunch of triathlons and road races. I pretty much lost all that while being pregnant in 2006. I’d like to get it back mainly so that I can be fit enough to enjoy the things I love to do – I want to be able to climb a few 14ers this summer, which wouldn’t happen at my current level of fitness. Not to mention that being in shape gives me more energy to tackle everything else. The second is kind of general, but it’s just a reminder to enjoy my first year as a mom and spend some time having fun. Not everything that’s worth something in life can be measured!

Here We Go Again – 2007…

“Before the Snow Flies”
16×20″
2007

Since I went to the effort at tracking my goals for 2006, and it seemed to do a decent job of keeping me on track, I think it’s worth the effort to outline my goals for 2007. I wouldn’t necessarily call these New Year’s Resolutions, since that brings to mind images of the hundreds of people who inundate the treadmills at the gym for the first few weeks of January every year. They’re goals that I intend to track and stick with, even if they don’t get completed within the 2007 calendar year.

Art Goals:

1. Expand gallery representation for my landscapes outside of the Denver area. Specifically, obtain representation in at least 3 of the following art markets: Scottsdale, Santa Fe, Jackson, Aspen, Breckenridge.

2. Double my 2006 revenue from painting sales.

3. Enter at least two of the following juried shows: OPA National Exhibition, OPA Central Regional Exhibition, Arts for the Parks, Salon International.

4. Enter and participate in at least one plein air event.

Personal Goals:

1. Get back into shape post-pregnancy – specifically, be fit enough to complete either the Steamboat Springs 1/2 Marathon or 5430 Sprint Triathlon in June.

2. Have fun and enjoy being a mom!

My art goals are mostly focused on expanding the market for my artwork. The first is going to be my biggest focus this year – the bottom line is that I need more than one gallery selling my work. To that end, I need to continue to enter respectable juried shows to build on my resume, and I need to spend consistent time in the studio to be able to support more than one gallery selling my paintings. The second goal is aimed at growing my business from a hobby to a career. I’m focusing on revenue rather than profit this year because growing my revenue means getting my name out there, which might require more resources initially (advertising, etc.). The last goal of participating in a plein air event is just a means of expanding my experience. I’d like to see if the plein air scene is something I’d enjoy participating in, and use it as a means to meet more artists.

As for the personal goals, I’d like to get my fitness back in the first half of the year. In 2005, I was in the best shape of my life and completed a bunch of triathlons and road races. I pretty much lost all that while being pregnant in 2006. I’d like to get it back mainly so that I can be fit enough to enjoy the things I love to do – I want to be able to climb a few 14ers this summer, which wouldn’t happen at my current level of fitness. Not to mention that being in shape gives me more energy to tackle everything else. The second is kind of general, but it’s just a reminder to enjoy my first year as a mom and spend some time having fun. Not everything that’s worth something in life can be measured!

2006 in Review


“Sunset, Mt. Baldy” – Oil on Canvas, 24×36″. This is one of two paintings I’ve managed to complete since Aspen was born. I started the underpainting for it back in July – don’t ask me why I waited until now to complete it. Maybe I just wanted to prove to myself that I can still tackle a decent sized painting when I’m taking care of an infant?

I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve already! 2006 has gone by in a blur and now it’s just a few hours until 2007. Overall, 2006 was a great year. Looking back, it’s hard to comprehend how much my life has changed in just 12 months. Last year, I posted my goals for the year here – now it’s time to see how well I did here:

1) Obtain gallery representation for my landscape paintings

DONE. A good friend of mine knew the owners of a gallery in Denver that was on my short list of galleries to contact about representation. She stopped by the gallery one day and showed them my website. Apparently they were just being nice when they agreed to look at it, since they have people showing them the work of friends and relatives all the time, and 99% of the time the work sucks. But they looked, and they liked my work, and they told her to have me call them. So I did, and a couple weeks later I took in nine paintings for them to have a look at in person. They took all nine and sold seven within the month, and thus started my art career!

I’m really thankful not only to have obtained representation, but to have started with a gallery that does a great job of selling my work. Being able to have an income from art this year has given me the confidence to take a bigger leap in 2007 and make it my job.

2) Get a painting accepted to the Arts for the Parks competition or an Oil Painters of America show.

DONE. I had a painting accepted to the OPA show, which was a huge deal to me. I wasn’t able to make it to the opening, which was kind of a bummer, but my painting won an award at the show, much to my surprise.

I never bothered to enter the Arts for the Parks show. Over the past few years, the show has leaned more and more toward wildlife art and more photorealistic work, and I didn’t feel that my more painterly style would be very successful in the show. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t have a painting of a national park handy…

3) Find the right piece of property to buy in Steamboat Springs so Nate and I can eventually build the mountain cabin we’ve been dreaming about for years.

Well, we did buy property in Steamboat Springs – three lots, to be exact. But we won’t have that cabin anytime soon.

Our purchase of property morphed from buying a lot for a future cabin to buying three lots and building spec homes on all three (Nate’s big project of the year). At this point, all three lots have houses on them. One is completely finished, two still have some work to do, and all three are officially on the market. Hopefully they’ll all sell early in 2007. Maybe we’ll use the proceeds to build that cabin in the mountains someday – who knows…

4) Think about having kids (yes, think about it – I’m not committing to anything here)

DONE. Amazing how I went from “think about having kids” to having a 6 week old baby in the span of a year! I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and an easy birth, and now I have a beautiful little girl who has changed my life. Sometimes I think I could just stare at her all day. My days no longer revolve around me, and I’m fine with that – at this point, I can’t think of anything more important than taking care of her.

5) Swim 200,000 yards (swam ~80,000 in 2005, which wasn’t nearly enough considering that I love the water)

Not even close. I swam 35,000 yards this year, which means I only made it to the pool something like 20 times. Oops!! I’ll use pregnancy as my excuse – I was tired and busy and just didn’t feel like taking the time to swim most nights. I know, pathetic. Hopefully I’ll do better on the fitness front in 2007.