City Nights 2 (sold)
7″ x 5″
oil on canvas panel
First off, I want to thank all of you for reading. Thank you for making room in your overstuffed mailbox for me, for responding when something hits home whether you agree or you see things differently, as well as for your referrals to those who may be interested in my work and what I have to say. I know it’s a privilege, and I couldn’t make this work without you.
Like most years, 2009 had many ups and downs. Though the economic climate was especially down, I have come away for the most part in one piece. (Not counting a recent hand injury from trying to wrestle boneless, skinless chicken thighs and losing. Not to make light of it, a hand injury may not seem like that big of a deal, but as an artist and massage therapist when you are told by your doctor to go see a hand surgeon, it can be alarming.) I learned a huge amount this year, and although I’ll spare you all the specifics, I’m a better person for it. Here I’ll review my 2009 goal and how I did in living up to it.
Last year, instead of a bazillion specific resolutions, I chose a theme for the year that would address many areas in which I’d like to grow. I have a tendency to comfortably rest after every spurt of growth I make in my art career. After I stay, rest, and get comfortable, a rut tends to form. The longer I stay in the rut, the deeper it gets and the more difficult it is to pull out. This is why I chose ACTION as my guide word for 2009. <– (click the link to last year’s post for more details)
“… my Word of the Year is ACTION to help me build courage and connections. When faced with indecision, waffling, or when I’ve become comfortable on a plateau and not wanting to move from my comfort zone, I’ll look to ACTION to help move me in the direction I need to go.”
–Tracy Wall, ArtStrokes – Tracy Wall’s Art Blog, 1-5-2009
This year I have taken specific productive actions: finely tuned my painting style, invested in my art career with higher quality supplies, started updating my own website, ramped up this blog with more posts and more art production, created Facebook Fan Page, tried a new outdoor exhibit, took out-of-state and Denver area workshops, joined Daily Painters of Colorado, and started reading about other artists in history who’s work I admire.
In general, I have a much better idea of what it’s like and what it will take to make my art my career. It’s more than just a set of tasks. A lot for me has to do with feeling that I can and will really do this; a different mind set. It’s funny, you can read about all the nuts and bolts and have the ‘to-do’ lists written; but until you actually do what it takes, it’s all just rehearsal. Well, my life’s not a dress rehearsal, this is the big show! OK, enough psyche stuff.
I have a much better picture now of not only what it takes to be a successful artist (by spending time with those that already do it), but of what I need to do to make this MY life. Sounds on the surface like they are one in the same, but it’s a whole different animal to visualize it happening to you.
I feel my painting has grown by leaps and bounds. I’m so very happy with how my work is progressing, though I always seem to wish for it to happen faster. I have taken a few extra shots of courage and have witnessed that this is all a process. Miss one step along the way, and you may find yourself at a destination you’re not looking for. But sometimes that’s ok, and maybe it’s where you should have been headed in the first place. As far as connections, I feel like I have more than I have ever had. I have become acquainted with professional artists and have started to see how they work through the professional day-to-day. Many of these connections may be on a surface level to start (i.e. Facebook, etc), but you have to start somewhere.
I am so very happy with the direction my work is headed; I’ve got lots of ideas new to me that I can’t wait to try. Next post I’ll reveal my theme for 2010.