« Rice Mice | Main | Christmas 2008 »

Art Progress 2008

Progress on My 2008 Art Goals: This was my second year to list my goals - and it is now time to reflect on my progress (written in bold type).

1. Continue doing a daily sketch, a weekly EDM Challenge, and two blog postings per week.

I did at least one drawing per day for another full year, sometimes more than one. I missed 3 EDM weekly challenges. And I averaged at least 2 blog entries per week. My contact with the Everyday Matters art community is both my continued inspiration and the source of my knowledge. My online friends are even more delightful in person and I was thrilled to spend time with several again this year.

2. Work in Progress:

a. Continue my figure drawing in the Michaelangelo Sonnet recycled book - I only have a few more blank pages. I completed this recycled book and now I am filling another recycled book with figure and face practice drawings.

b. Continue to play and experiment with images from my London photos for my recycled Eliz. I book. I only added drawings on 2 pages of this recycled book. I am working from my London photographs and just forget about them when I sit down at night to fill a journal page.

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. I only added paintings to 10 pages to this journal this year. I find that I am more likely to use my Moleskine daily watercolor journal when I am out sketching in New York City.

In the NY recycled book I want to:

a. Continue to work on my "10 blocks from home" series. None done. Why not? I really loved this idea, and frequently intended to take an hour to walk 10 blocks and then sketch. But I didn’t! It was too hot, or too cold, or raining. But if these were important to me, I would have finished this series by now. Maybe next year I need to set a deadline for completion. I’m much better when I can focus on a project in this way.

b. Create a travel sketchbook as if I were wandering the city as a visitor. I have many urban sketch pages in my Moleskine watercolor journal. I take it with me when I leave our apartment and frequently sketch "what is in front of me." These are more likely to be visual journal pages than finished drawings/paintings of NYC landmarks.

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

I finished the entire year-long creativity program and for my big creativity project during weeks 44-52, I sketched all of my previous homes, made floor plans from memory, and wrote an essay about each house or apartment. This was a wonderful project and I’m extremely pleased with myself for finishing this book. I think the major benefit of the "course", which included lots of writing, was to further beat down my internal critic. The exercises that I did in weeks 1-43 were totally for and about me - my ideas, reflections, exploration, and creative play. And then I was able to plan a bigger 8 week project which is now part of our family memories.

5. New Skills:

a. FACES: I really need to spend time drawing faces and bought a fun book for myself to work through over the next year. This year I sketched many more figures and faces. Most of the faces were from photos, although I did sketch some people in airports and in conferences. My goal was to sketch faces on figures, and not leave them blank, and I even managed to do that. But I still need much more practice and will keep this goal at the top of my list for 2009.

b. TREES: Practice drawing more. I didn't. I just don’t like landscape painting and get no joy out of trying to become better at sketching trees. I am learning how to clearly enunciate what is my passion and to not feel guilty about ignoring other subjects.

c. LEARNING FROM the MASTERS: Sketch at art exhibits and from books of drawings. I’m so fortunate to live in New York City and to be surrounded by amazing museums and outstanding art. This year I sketched works by many artists from exhibits and even more from books of master drawings that I own. Some of the artists that inspired journal pages are: Van Gogh, Degas, Picasso, Cezanne, Lucien Freud, EH Shephard, Klimt, Wm Steig, Modigliani, Courbet, Goya, Maillol, JMW Turner, Matisse, Kirchner, Seurat, and Morandi. I even bought Arches MCM paper to do Seurat drawings on the type of paper that he used - and after copying several of his drawings, used his technique to sketch my son-in-law and 2 grandchildren.

I was intrigued by Leon Kosoff’s repeated paintings of the same master artist’s painting in the National Gallery in London and thought that this might be a fun exercise for me. I searched for a painting that I truly loved (and contained faces and figures) and did my first annual painting of Van Gogh’s Card Players at the Met last January. I plan another visit to paint it the week between Christmas and New Years this year and hopefully will do the same annually

6. Bookbinding: Recycle old books as watercolor journals and take a bookbinding class. I made great progress on this goal! I recycled more unloved, $1 books and took a bookbinding workshop and made 3 new journals for myself! I used one of this year’s recycled books for our vacation in Montreal and Quebec City and another for our summer beach and lake vacations. I am almost finished with the second journal that I made after my bookbinding workshop and so far really like the size and paper that I chose.

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.

I became a little more playful and experimental in my Moleskine and rarely used loose pages. When I did, I usually finished the sketches with a watercolor wash and collaged them into my daily journal. I took Danny Gregory’s course in Illustrated Journaling in Nov-Dec and I’m interested in seeing how that will affect my daily journal sketching.

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.



Hi, Shirley---I printed off the review of you art goals to study. You are quite an inspiration! Do you mind telling me a little more about the creativity course of Eric Maisel's you mentioned? That might be a good thing for me to do this year.....Thanks in advance---Carol C.

WOWZA! I am so impressed with this list...Wonderful accomplishments and reflections... such an important thing to do!

Wow, Shirley, you are one super-organized person! It is very inspirational to see your list and your progress, and I'm off to start thinking about my art goals as well.

A wonderful & light-filled Christmas to you and your family, including (of course) the sweet, sweet rice mice!

(: Pippa

Congratulations on achieving so many of your goals -- two times running. What impresses me, along with how much you've done, is also your honesty. Recording where you failed as well.

I'm also interested in hearing more about the Eric Maisel course -- and now, I'm thinking about trying something like this myself. Stating artistic goals for the year 2009 and trying to develop the discipline to go through with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Thanks for sharing with us Shirley. I found your goals and your progress comments on them very inspiring because I plan to write down some art goals for myself for 2009. I also have Eric Maisel's book so I'll give that another look since it helped you so much.

Take care and well done for doing so well with your art in 2008!

Hello there Shirley! Looks like you've done A LOT this year. What an inspiration you are! Hope the plenty of fun and happy times with your family this Christmas and an even more fulfilling 2009!

Impressive. Very impressive. You really were Mrs. Busyandkeepingupthegoodwork this year. Isn't it one of the best feelings in the world to have mastered the things one wishes for? I wish you and your family the best X-Mas. Even if I have been a bit slow at blogging lately, I have closely followed you at paperandthreads. Thanks for coming into my life this year. Hope this continues!

Congratualtions on achieving so many of your goals and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am often inspired and impressed by your drawings.

Yes, congratulations! You really had quite a list and your accomplishments are so very impressive! Now I'm off to look for that Eric Maisel book. Thanks for sharing - you are an inspiration!

I'm interested in hearing more about your impressions of Maisel's book too. Congratulations on completing so many goals and on all of the wonderful sketching you've done. Your 1929 tax book sketches sound like lots of fun. Can't wait to see them! My favorite of your notes was this one:
b. TREES: Practice drawing more. I didn't. I just don’t like landscape painting and get no joy out of trying to become better at sketching trees. I am learning how to clearly enunciate what is my passion and to not feel guilty about ignoring other subjects.
I so agree with you. We're doing this for our own pleasure so why do stuff that doesn't interest us? Besides, you live in NYC, not Maine! I so wish I lived there too and could be your art buddy sketching in museums, and around town!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)