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Art Goals 2008

I really enjoyed formulating my Art Goals last year and decided it was definitely worth doing again.  The contemplative/reflective part of the process leads me to question what my BIG Goals are, and this year I had to write about many facets of this question in the Eric Maisel creativity exercises that I'm doing.  At the moment I can say:  1.  I've always liked to make things; 2.  I love to preserve memories; and 3.  I want to say "I was here, this is what I cared about, this is who I was."  

My other major passion is sewing/quilting/textile surface design and I should have a 2007 Progress Report and 2008 Goals for "works in textiles" as well as "works on paper."  But I don't.  Each year these two circles of interests intersect a little bit more and this year I did calligraphy with acrylic inks on canvas fabric, painted a Santa Claus with procion dyes on silk, and converted a few quick dancer sketches into a silk collage - which still has to be quilted.  I also made quilts, pillows, and gifts for my grandchildren.

My 2008 Art Goals:

1.  Continue doing a daily sketch and a weekly EDM Challenge.  These are the "morning pages" and "artist date" equivalents for me (which I also continue to do since 2003 when I worked through The Artist's Way - which then led in 2005 to sketchbook drawing and watercolor painting).  My goal is still to post a blog entry twice each week: the EDM Challenge and 1-2 other sketches done during the week. 

2.  Work in Progress:

a.  Continue my figure drawing in the Michaelangelo Sonnet recycled book - I only have a few more blank pages.

b.  Continue to play and experiment with images from my London photos for my recycled Eliz. I book. 

3.  Focused Project:  Fill up my 1929 NY State Tax Report recycled book.  I have lots of NYC sketches in my Moleskine journals and I'd love to return to the same sites with my New  York journal.  

In the NY recycled book I want to:

a.  Continue to work on my "10 blocks from home" series. 

b.  Create a travel sketchbook as if I were wandering the city as a visitor.

4.  Finish all 52 weeks of the Maisel Creativity book.  I'm on week 31 and I have no idea where this work will lead - but it is fun! and enlightening! 

5.    New Skills: 

a.  FACES:  Last year I decided that I needed to learn how to draw figures better.  It was great fun to spend time in the Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and sketch dancers and nude figures from photos.  But now I really need to spend time drawing faces and bought a fun book for myself to work through over the next year.

b.  TREES:  Even urban landscapes have trees and I have paid little attention to sketching and painting the trees in my world.  Even though we live right in the middle of the city, I have several dozen trees that I can see from my second floor apartment windows and many of them are beautiful flowering fruit trees each spring.  I also live several blocks from Central Park.  Can I make myself sketch/paint more trees?

c.  LEARNING FROM the MASTERS:  I really enjoy recreating works from the masters as a way of learning how they made their works of art.  I always sketch at least one piece from each new exhibit I attend, either drawn "live" or from a postcard from the exhibit.  Yesterday I sketched one of Lucien Freud's portrait etchings at the current Museum of Modern Art exhibit.  In 2008 I will continue to do this and perhaps even purchase a few more books of drawings from specific artists for inspiration.

6.  Bookbinding:  I bought another unloved book from a curbside "old book" table this fall - this one is square.  Instead of filling it with many different types of watercolor paper, I will try to settle on one brand and type of paper to fill it. 

7. Attitude Adjustment:  I love books and therefore imagine that most of my art work will be small - and in sketchbooks.  But my daily sketchbook has become more of a visual journal and I find that I'm not willing to take big risks - and be really playful on those pages.  Yet I do want to keep a more traditional artist's sketchbook.  There are 4 of Seurat's sketchbooks in a glass case at MoMA as part of the current Seurat Drawing exhibit and every page has been digitized for review.  I love them and want to develop that same sense of experimentation in sketches.  My solution for next year is to carry my large Moleskine watercolor journal for my daily journal pages and to carry loose sheets of sketchbook size paper for PLAY!  I can then date them and just throw them into a folder - maybe never to be looked at again.  I have 4 Conte pencils that I want to sketch with and this may be the way to get myself to really play with them. 

I look forward to continued inspiration and learning from the art community at Everyday Matters and extend wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and artistically productive New Year to each EDM member. 


Such commendable goals, Shirley. I find myself reading YOUR goals and thinking I wrote them!! LOL We really do need to meet! I love especially the preservation of memories and to share who I am and what I love -- I think these are the reasons I still focus on sketch journals and have little excitement for 'gallery' work ...

I so look forward to seeing your work progress next year ... as I've enjoyed it for the past two years! Happy New Year, Shirley -- may we each meet the goals we set!


I loved to look at your drawings with the subtle colors last year. I'm looking forward to see more of them.
And your goals inpire me. Maybe, when the weather is better I will go around my city as a visitor. It could be great to do this during lunch break. Anyway... I wish you a prolific year with lots and lots of beautiful drawings.

Thanks for sharing your goals, Shirley. I am struggling to express my own goals fr next year, and yours are a real inspiration. I have enjoyed your drawings often over the past year, and really admire your style.

Great goals Shirley. You have me re-thinking some of mine. I just found your blog a few months ago. It will be great to follow it through the year.

Shirley, thank you for your example in goal-setting. I find it helpful to see what others are committing to. I look forward to seeing what you do in 2008.

Wonderful! Good luck with your goals AND thanks for posting them .... I've got to do that. You're an inspiration!

Interesting to read your goals. I also did the morning pages some years ago. I still do them from time to time when I have 'issues' to resolve. Then I stop again when the issue is resolved. I just find that the 45 minutes it takes me to do the pages slows my start to the day. Time better spent drawing. Hmmmm. Maybe I should blog some goals too.

Really great goals. Thanks for posting these, you have given me more to think over concerning my own 2008 art goals. I enjoy seeing your work here and look forward to what you do in 2008.

Your goals are wonderfully specific and I'm sure you'll accomplish everything on this list. I'm looking forward to another year of your wonderful drawings, and, I hope, to meeting up again.

Great goals, I´m sure they will keep you focused on what you want to do. Thanks for sharing them, it really is interesting to see the goals people are setting for this new year. I´ll be posting mine too, in the next few days.

I'm excited about following your artistic journey through your blog. This year has brought me much creative growth, in part because of the wonderful inspiration I have found from my online art friends. I think for me a goal would perhaps be to meet more online friends in person; imagine the creative energy from such a meeting! A most joyous and prosperous New Year Shirley!

Hi Shirley. Like you I enjoy painting and drawing *and* working in textiles. Also like you I find that these areas of interest merge more and more. Allows for some interesting work, huh? I would love to hear how you find yourself progressing through your list during the year. I am so glad to have visited your site. Thanks for stopping by mine as well. My goals are split across both my blogs. Peace. Deborah

You have a lot of very detailed goals and I'm sure you'll do very well with them all. Keep up the good work!

A great list of goals, Shirley and an inspiration. I've loved watching your art evolve over this year and would very much like to be able to take a leaf out of your book. Not one of your 'good' ones of course, I'm sure that would be risking life and limb. ;) Your plan to overcome not being willing to take risks in your daily sketchbook really strikes a chord with me. I've decided to try and address that problem this year too.
Loved your recent collage of Big Ben. Have a wonderful year and I will enjoy following you from across the pond.

Hello Shirley!!!! What a great list of goals ... I might have to steal some of your and make them my goals. I've forced myself to do life drawing classes this last few months as I have very little confidence in my people drawing skills. I feel like I'm slowly getting there, and faces would definitely be the next step ...

Maybe I should write it all down the way you have ... hmmmm something worth thinking about ...

ps Thanks for the lovely comment on my 'announcement'...

Happy New Year - and good luck with your art goals!

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts! It helped me so much in writing my own goals for this year. I am also very interested in the Maisel book, but since I just ordered another one on Amazon two weeks ago, it will have to wait a while :-).

Shirley - it's no nice to get to a blog and find myself enjoying just reading ABOUT the goals never mind seeing the end-results! I'm looking forward to seeing what you achieve this year - your growth is ever-onwards and ever-upwards.

Wow. I LOVE your art goals. They are well thought out, challenging, and yet still do-able!

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