January Goals Update

“November Sunset, Indian Peaks”
Oil on Canvas

So, I didn’t do very well at meeting my art business (and other) goals last year, and decided that to make my goals this year I need to check my status every month. I know it’s boring, but I’m doing it here because it makes me feel more accountable, so bear with me. It’s the last day of January, and here’s where I’m at:

1. Get my work into three more galleries.

I sent out a couple of packets at the end of last week, and have made a short list and long list of galleries to contact in the coming months. I’m hoping to make more contacts in February – I was busy meeting other deadlines in January!

2. Complete 100 paintings.

This month I completed nine paintings which puts me right on track for this goal – 1 24×30″, 1 18×24″, 1 16×20″, 2 14×18″, 1 12×16″, 1 11×14″, 1 9×12″, 1 8×10″. One of them is probably destined for the trash pile, but that’s okay – it was a learning experience. So – 9 down, 91 to go!

3. Sell enough work to pay our mortgage.

So far so good on this one. Just gotta keep the paintings selling on a regular basis (see goal #1)!

4. Update painting database and financial records monthly.

So far I’m behind on this one. I got through about 80% of my 2007 accounting this month (starting from scratch) and made a spreadsheet for 2008. I have all of my earnings/receipts organized for this month, so I just have to enter them in my spreadsheet to see how things look this month – I’m planning to get this done early next week.

5. Race in a minimum of three 5k’s.

I’ve already changed my focus here and decided to train for a sprint triathlon this summer instead. I get bored just running, and then I quit, so I’m going to do the tri thing to keep me interested. So far so good – I was even disciplined enough to go to the pool last night in a snowstorm, when I would have been much happier going to bed!

In general, I think I’m doing pretty well so far. Knowing that I’m going to watch these goals monthly has really helped this month with my productivity.

In other news, I just found out that I got two paintings accepted into the Salon International show at the Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio in April. I’ve got another opening to attend the same night, so I won’t be able to attend, but I’m jazzed to be a part of such a high quality show!

Tomorrow I’m off to Estes Park for the weekend to scrapbook and hang out with some friends. This will be my first time leaving Aspen at home and going somewhere on my own – Nate and I have gone on a couple weekend trips without her, but this is the first time I’ll have some quality girl time since she was born! I’m excited to get her baby book done so I can stop feeling like a bad mom…

Under a Big Sky

“Study – Big Sky”
Oil on Panel
12 x 16″

“The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still — and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one’s feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud. Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it. Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.”

– Willa Cather

I love this quote because the words say so beautifully how small everything can seem under a western sky.

This painting is a small study I did from a relatively bad photo I took while I was out running one night this summer. This photo doesn’t do the painting much justice, but you get the idea. It’s a typical Denver sunset – amazing for a few seconds before the colors fade. I’d eventually like to do a larger painting of this – probably a 30×40″ or 36×48″. The movement in the clouds just captivated me.

Caught Up

“Clear and Cold”
Oil on Canvas
14 x 18″

For the first time in months, I feel like I’m caught up with everything. I’m finished with show entries for now so the pressure to paint a masterpiece is off and I can experiment a bit. I delivered a batch of paintings to my gallery in Winter Park on Friday, so now my galleries are stocked for a while and I can spend some time just painting what I want to paint.

When I’m painting to a deadline I tend to paint things that I’m 95% sure will turn out well, which is a really effective way to stunt my growth as an artist. Now that I don’t have any deadlines looming, I’m working on some paintings that are more of a challenge for me, and might end up being dismal failures. I just have to tell myself that I learn something every time a painting ends up in the trash heap!

I’d post some of this newer stuff as I go along, but I’m just too lazy to shoot and upload photos of my paintings on a regular basis. I tend to wait until I have a pile of paintings and shoot them all at once. This is, honestly, probably what keeps me from doing the whole daily painting thing. I just don’t think I could deal with editing photos EVERY day! How do you guys who are daily painters do it without tearing your hair out? Do you have a designated spot in your studio where you photograph your paintings? Do you just have more patience than me?


“Dream Lake”
Oil on Canvas

In an attempt to be industrious, I varnished a whole batch of paintings in my master bathroom this morning. It was too cold to do it outside, and I didn’t want to stink up the whole house, so I figured I’d do it in a small room where I could open the window and close the door to air things out. The problem is that when I went to take a shower an hour later, the bathroom was forty degrees from having the window open and I had to freeze my butt off getting in and out of the shower. Maybe next time I’ll have the foresight to take a shower BEFORE I take over the bathroom with my stinky varnish and paintings…

Something New

Oil on Panel
24 x 18″
This painting isn’t really my usual style. See those BLADES OF GRASS in the foreground?? That’s what we call DETAIL.

I don’t do detail.

Well, not normally anyways – this painting called for a bit more than usual. I typically try to indicate things like blades of grass with texture and color changes, but I had to pull out the palette knife to get this one right.

Sometimes doing things different is good. I’m sure I learned something from this one!