Another Year Gone

“Sunlight and Shadow”
Oil on Panel
18×24″
2007

Wow – I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2007! As usual, this year has flown by. The nice thing is that I can say that without feeling bad because it flew by while I was spending my time doing what I wanted to be doing, FINALLY!

Anyhow, I’m a goal person, and last January I posted what turned out to be somewhat ambitious 2007 goals for this first-time mom. Here’s how I did:

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.

Um, no.

This was a bit ambitious considering that my main accomplishment for the year was to figure out how to still paint while taking care of a baby. However, I do have representation outside of the Denver area now, so I guess I made the first part of this goal. In addition to showing at Angler Art in Denver, I’ve got paintings at Elkhorn Art Gallery in Winter Park now. This works out well since they’re just up the road from where Nate is building houses – if we end up moving up there in 2008, I’ll have a local gallery! I haven’t even tried to find representation out of state – that’ll have to be a goal for 2008.

2. Double my 2006 revenue from painting sales.

I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, but I’m going to say that this didn’t happen either. I definitely increased my revenue over 2006, but I know I didn’t double it.

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

DONE! I entered the OPA National and the Salon International. I got into the OPA show and won an Award of Excellence, which more than made up for the fact that I was rejected by the Salon show!

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

DONE! I participated in Estes Park Plein Air in August. Overall, I’m a little lukewarm about the experience. I think that if I do a plein air event in the future, it will have to have fewer artists and be in a better art market. I like to paint on location, but I don’t think I’ll ever be spending my summers participating in one event after another – these events are a lot of effort!

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.

Ha! Yeah right. Actually, I made some decent progress until I got a nasty IT band injury in July, which made it painful to even hike for the rest of the summer. It’s finally better, so I’m starting slowly, AGAIN.

2. Have fun and enjoy being a mom!

DONE! I did have fun this year, and being a mom has been such a blessing. I can’t even begin to express how nice it is to finally be living the life I want to lead. It more than makes up for the fact that I barely met any of my goals for the year!

Anyhow, normally I’d be a bit peeved about not meeting so many goals, but this year has been full of new experiences for me, and I had no way to know how I was going to handle everything. Alyson Stanfield always suggests taking stock of one’s successes at the end of the year, and I think this year is as good as any to start that habit. In no particular order (and mostly just to remind myself that I made some progress this year) here are my 2007 accomplishments:

  • Had work published in March ’07 issue of American Artist
  • In conjunction with the article, participated in group show at the Forbes Galleries in NYC
  • Sold all of my paintings in the show before the opening
  • Had the painting “First Light” accepted into the OPA National show
  • Attended the OPA show which was probably the most useful art event I’ve ever attended
  • Received the Utrecht Award of Excellence at the OPA show, which effectively paid for my art supplies for the rest of the year (definitely a bonus!)
  • Held my first solo show at Angler Art in Denver
  • Officially quit my engineering job at Washington Group
  • Visited New York City, Houston, Fredericksburg, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Estes Park, and Telluride
  • Maintained my sanity when we decided that 2007 was the year to quit both of our jobs and move, all while adjusting to being parents for the first time

Overall, it was a good year and I’ve learned a lot that I’ll take with me into 2008. Guess it’s time to start thinking of my goals for next year…

‘Tis the Season

“Forest Canyon”
Oil on Canvas
24×36″
2007

‘Tis the season to be busy!!

Aspen and I both caught a nasty cold last week, so between taking care of a boogery toddler and taking care of myself, there hasn’t been much time for the blog. Luckily, I did manage to finish all of my Christmas shopping, wrap presents, and squeeze in a short trip to the mountains. For the record, Christmas shopping is so much more fun when I don’t have a 9-5 office job to keep me tied up during the daylight hours!

I did manage to paint most of the day on Tuesday, and started a couple of larger paintings. I don’t enter a lot of juried shows, but the few that I do enter all seem to be at the same time of year, so I’m trying to come up with some good paintings to have for various show entries in January. While I was up at Nate’s parents’ house in the mountains, I finished up three 6×8″ studies for the Pay It Forward thing – hopefully I’ll get them packed up and mailed out before the New Year. Nate’s currently taking a few days off of his building work, so I’m also taking advantage of having him around and keeping the schedule clear so we can just relax.

Anyhow, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! This is such a busy time of year for so many people, that I think it’s hard for people to slow down and really enjoy the holiday. My favorite moment every Christmas is when they turn the lights down at church and we hold up our candles and sing “Silent Night” – all my worries and plans and goals fall away and I remember what’s important, and that’s priceless.

Pay It Forward

“Headwaters”
Oil on Panel
16×12″
2007

Yesterday was my lucky day! I managed to stumble across Lisa Call’s blog right after she posted her Pay It Forward post, and was able to be one of the lucky commenters to receive a piece of artwork from Lisa. In return, I agreed to do the same on my blog. This is one of my favorite things that is circulating around the blogosphere right now, and the rules are as follow:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

When you leave your comment, please also do one of two things: leave your post address or e-mail it to me.

So, I promise to send a small painting to the first three who comment here wanting to join in on the fun. In return, you just have to pay it forward!

Downsizing

I’ve been enjoying the freedom to do some smaller work the past couple of days. The nice thing about working small is that I can finish an 8×10″ or 9×12″ study while Aspen takes her afternoon nap, which means I can paint on days when I don’t have a babysitter! Also, working on small paintings is more fun and less pressure, since I don’t really mind if I have to trash a small panel or scrape an hour’s work.

As I was working on a couple of these smaller paintings, I took some progress shots just to prove that I’m not always as analytical and methodical about my painting process as I am when I work large.

This first study is a 10×8″ of some aspens in the fall. First step is a rough sketch in thinned paint. This study is mostly about color, so I’m not too concerned with the drawing.


Next I block in the general area of the yellow aspen leaves. This is probably the only time I’ll ever paint something other than the sky first! I just did this to make sure my yellow stays nice and clean.


Next, I block in the sky with thinned paint.


Then, the rest of the foreground.

And finally, I go back in with thicker paint and add texture and refine everything.


About an hour and I’m finished. This is just a study to see if it’s a subject I might want to do slightly larger, so I won’t do any more work on this one. I think it might work better in a slightly taller format so that I can exaggerate the height of the taller tree – maybe a 16×12″?

Downsizing

I’ve been enjoying the freedom to do some smaller work the past couple of days. The nice thing about working small is that I can finish an 8×10″ or 9×12″ study while Aspen takes her afternoon nap, which means I can paint on days when I don’t have a babysitter! Also, working on small paintings is more fun and less pressure, since I don’t really mind if I have to trash a small panel or scrape an hour’s work.

As I was working on a couple of these smaller paintings, I took some progress shots just to prove that I’m not always as analytical and methodical about my painting process as I am when I work large.

This first study is a 10×8″ of some aspens in the fall. First step is a rough sketch in thinned paint. This study is mostly about color, so I’m not too concerned with the drawing.


Next I block in the general area of the yellow aspen leaves. This is probably the only time I’ll ever paint something other than the sky first! I just did this to make sure my yellow stays nice and clean.


Next, I block in the sky with thinned paint.


Then, the rest of the foreground.

And finally, I go back in with thicker paint and add texture and refine everything.


About an hour and I’m finished. This is just a study to see if it’s a subject I might want to do slightly larger, so I won’t do any more work on this one. I think it might work better in a slightly taller format so that I can exaggerate the height of the taller tree – maybe a 16×12″?