As you may have guessed by now, coming up with some artistic goals for the New Year has not been easy for me. I would go to bed thinking about them and wake up thinking about them, and every time I come up with a list of what I thought was a list of goals I'd soon realize was nothing but a task list! What do I really want from my art? How can I achieve this? And, what will keep me from giving up before I reach this goal? All questions I felt needed to be answered before I put anything down on paper that was substantial yet obtainable.
To have a goal it needed to be SMART so that I could/would stick with it. It needed to be:
I want to become a better painter, paint more landscapes 'en plein air, and share my work with others. So, these are (after some considerable thought) the goals I will achieve (note the positive attitude here ;-)
1. I will paint 50 one-hour paintings by July 1st. If I do more than that, great. These will be small paintings and need not be elaborate. I will set a timer and when the hour is over I will put away my paints. These need not be finished paintings. The object is to collect as much information as possible for my support (canvas or paper etc.) to help me "see" better as an artist. Each painting will be dated and numbered consecutively. At the end of these 6 months or if I complete the 50 before the July deadline, I will establish another timed and numbered goal. (I realize that this may not seem like much to some of you daily painters, but I am not a prolific painter and this will take me way out of my comfort zone.)
2. I will paint 12 plein air paintings for the year on my own. I will paint 'en plein air at least once a month on my own. Right now I belong to a “Plein Air” group that usually meets twice a month. This group doesn't always paint outside because of the weather here in the Pacific Northwest. During those times we paint inside from a still life or portraiture setting. This could be a pretty tough goal for me. If it's too wet, cold, or snowy for the group, finding a day that will be better for me on my own, may be a huge challenge.
3. I will keep and maintain a mailing list by December 2008. I will research how others are doing this and find what will best suit me. I will break this list up into different categories, so that I can send specific information to those who are on the list.
So, these are the goals I’ve come up with that think I will definitely benefit from. The first two goals will help me become a better painter, the next will help me share my work with others. I feel comfortable with the deadlines I’ve given each of my goals and I also feel these goals will be tough work for me and I will be stretched and grow as an artist, yet each is realistic and obtainable.
Yes !... I can accomplish these!