Last year and next

Luke (detail of unfinished watercolor painting)
© 2012 Margaret Sloan

Finding time for reflection on the past year is difficult, smack dab in the middle of several projects I’d like to finish before the week is out. But after reading Rose Welty’s lovely New Year’s post, I thought I’d take a stab at casting a backwards glance over 2011, and peering forward into 2012.

Here’s what I accomplished in the last year:

  • Entered and won an art competition
  • Had my first solo gallery show
  • Painted. A lot

I admit, I’m not good at marking time over the long haul. The concept of time, longer than a few hours, gets away from me. The past, even just a few weeks ago, seems like it happened in another lifetime. As for the future? I never quite believe that next year (heck, tomorrow) will actually show up, hat in hand, at my doorstep and demand to be let into the house. I realize this grasshoppery attitude probably bodes ill for my little-old-lady future, so occasionally I do try to plan.

My goals for next year:

  • Make an artist website
  • Blog more often
  • Make it possible for people to buy my art
  • Enter  a few art competitions
  • Apply for a residency.

But my main goal? Paint. A lot.  Which may supersede all the other goals. Because painting is what makes the long year worth the heavy slog.


P.S. Don’t forget to comment on this post to get a free gift.



More on turning the wheel

Happy After-Solstice Saturday!
My birthday doodle has turned into a painting idea.

I like to plan my paintings, doing lots of composition sketches, and then making thumbnail color sketches. (which color combination do you like best?).

Then I spend time perfecting the drawing.

Still some work to do on the woman’s arms and torso, and some cleaning up of the face.

The little girl finally has a face.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to begin painting.

My artist friend Cynthia says that I like the planning part best; that’s the big part of my process of making art. Yes, she’s right.

I do like to plan, and not just because I’m a tad bit compulsive. I like to plan because that allows me to be more spontaneous when I get to the big painting (on the expensive paper). I like to experiment before I start, trying out many different things. In fact, I wish I had time to do more of it.

Who knows how this painting will turn out? Sometimes it’s all a crap shoot, really. Sometimes all the pre-planning in the world doesn’t make for a good painting.

My blogging friend Chris (who brilliantly identified this drawing as a mandala, before I even made that connection), at Groundswell, likes to play Mahjong at the computer. She wrote last week:

“We think we are at the end. . . that no other possibilities for movement exist. . . and then, we see one more tile, turn it over, and everything opens up, everything changes.

We can never see everything or be fully “prepared” for what’s to come. And in this Mystery is much of the joy that is life, and, of course, some of the suffering.”