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Art Goals 2010 - on the 4th Birthday of my Blog

This is the 4th Birthday for my Blog, the perfect time for me to post my preliminary art goals for 2010 and to thank the people who make visits to it everyday.  I know some of you online, and met many of you in person.  I'm always amazed when I realize what a big world opened when the development of the internet permitted all of us to  connect with each other - from one end of the world to the other. 

This year I retired completely in July 2009 and my art projects made it a very easy transition.  I always was a seamstress and quilter (the Threads part of my blog), but maintaining a visual journal was a new passion when I partially retired in 2005.  Developing a blog early in 2006 was a critical next step, and I thank my fabulous son Jason for making it possible.  So I look forward to a new year, new friends, and great adventures through art.

Art Goals 2010: Preliminary Planning

Overall Goal for 5th Year:  Improve drawing and watercolor painting skills while maintaining an illustrated journal and continuing to participate in an on line art community through my blog.

Specific Goals:

1. Maintain an artist journal - doing one page per day minimum - to include illustrated journal pages, travel sketches, skill practice pages, figure drawing, etc.

2. Publish blog entries twice each week - share EDM challenges and other select pages in order to participate in an online art community.

3. Attend Figure Drawing sessions at least 1-2 X /month.  Try other tools and techniques during 20 minute poses.

4. Build More Art Skills:  Take another on line art class with Kate Johnson when she schedules one.  Prepare a schedule for working through my art technique library - resuming Dodson drawing book exercises this month.  Copy the Masters in Museum exhibits locally. 

5. Continue with Sketchcrawls, Meet-up Central Park Drawing Group, Journal Study Group to sketch NYC.

6. Deal with my Internal Critic and Fear of Failure:  Develop a strategy to fool my internal critic so I can continue to add to "My Apartment" journal.  The journal and project need to be converted from "too precious" to a playful experience using some of the strategies I have copied and saved from my reading about creativity.

7. PLAY:  Try some new art tools - Schmincke watercolor paint triad, dip pens, Pentel pocket brush pen, oil pencils for figure drawing, etc

8. Bookbinding - continue to make watercolor journals for myself, trying different sizes and dye painted fabric as book cloth.

9. Optional: Add to Theme Projects (London, NYC) - Try to complete some other pages in these 2 journals or just get over the angst of having two unfinished journals and move them on to the "completed journals shelves." 

10. Keep myself open to new projects and adventures. Be willing to "stretch" whenever the opportunity arises.


Many Happy Returns of the Day for Paper & Threads, Shirley. I've just been reading through all your reflections and your goals for 2010. You have a number of activities already in place that make me quite green with envy, and that's not even counting your grandchildren. :)

I don't get here as often as I like but I'm glad I made it for your blog's birthday. I don't have to tell you to keep sketching but I must tell you what an inspiration you are. Happy New Year.

Wonderful, directed goals. You'll accomplished a lot this year, and I'm delighted to be part of the EDM community who can come and visit your progress!

Happy 4th Birthday!

I really enjoyed reading your goals, here. I have every confidence that you will achieve these goals.

In the play area, I was wondering whether you might enjoy watercolor crayons for drawing in museums. I don't know whether the rules would allow you to bring them in, but it's so much easier to get intense color with the crayons than with watercolor pencils. At least, so far this is true for me. Also a friend pointed me to Derwent Inktense pencils, which are a delight, except that I have not yet figured out how NOT to leave pencil marks at the 'bottom' of my painting. (i.e. I create a shape and put the water in, but in the end, I can still see something of my original pencil marks.) I know it's possible, I just haven't worked out HOW yet. ;-)

What is "Schmincke watercolor paint triad?" As I recall, you've been using a restrained palette all along, so what's new / special about this 'new toy?'

Do we ALL have to invent ways to silence our inner critics? I remember when I was in college, when I thought I was too tired to study, I'd trick myself. I'd say, "Just go sit at your desk." Then I would say, "Well, as long as you're here, you can straighten up these papers." Then I would say, "OK, so open that Russian book and look at the vocabulary words..." and eventually I would return to my preferred study location (my bed) and do my work.

I do a similar thing with painting. I am sitting at my desk and feeling blah. I say, "Well, you could play with some paints, see what colors you can make from the ones on your palette." Of course, that results in many pages of experimenting, but I learn all the time.

Tricking myself is part of the reason I went to the Circa notebook system. It isn't as disciplined as your sketchbooks, but it allows me to say to myself, "It's only one piece of paper, a little less than 1/14 of a full sheet! You can't hurt it."

In fact (and I don't remember whose blog led me in this direction) I finally figured out how to make a fan brush useful in watercolor. I love the open feel of fan brushes, but I haven't been able to make them useful, so that I don't immediately look at a painting and say, "Oh, there's a fan brushmark!" And last week one night, while experimenting, I got a lovely field of green that was put on with a toothbrush (go figure!) over several layers of Winsor Blue and Sap Green applied with a fairly dry fan brush, held low over the paper so that the color caught only the high places on the paper. Then, when I filled in with green, the unevenness of the color remained, more like grass than anything I've managed so far!

I read your blog with great interest. I too just retired (August) and it is so nice to have the time and energy to be creative. Your blog led me to the Meetup group of NYC sketchers and I promptly joined even though it would mean a trip on the LIRR. Who cares? I plan to go this Sunday but I'm waiting until I see what the weather will be like before I commit. Will I see you there?

Wow. You are working full time at art now! So much for being retired but I bet you are having loads of fun aren't you? I have resolved to quit signing up for classes so I can have time to work in my journal. It would be highly, highly ambitious of me to fill a page everyday as you are resolving to do. Good for you though. Have fun.

Happy blog birthday, Shirley. You are much more disciplined than me, however, I am hoping to paint, sketch and draw - and post - more often this year.

That's an impressive list of goals. I especially like the tenth one!

Sounds like you're going to be very busy with this - and have a great deal of fun, exploration and satisfaction. Here's to a creative 2010

That is a great list of goals. Congrats on your 4th Blog Birthday too. Don't forget to keep track of how you are doing on meeting them too. It is really fun to look back at the end of a year and see all that you have accomplished.

A belated Happy 4th Blogiversary.
I enjoy following your blog and love your style.

It sounds as if you're going to have a packed and creative 2010. I wish you every success.

Happy 4th birthday Shirley! My visits have been sparse this past year but always a joy to visit.

Fours years? Congratulations! Although I don't comment as often as I should, I enjoy my visits here. Keep it going!

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