Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014!

We spent a quiet evening at home, playing games.  I went out to see the community fireworks when I heard them start up.  It was -20C so I threw on some wind pants, my eye-searing rainbow sweater jacket and a thick woolen hat and walked out to the alley.  I should have put some boots on too, I got snow in my shoes as I tromped down the bunny path beside the garage.  A lot of snow has fallen in the past couple of days.

When I got to the alley I decided to go further, to the end of the block.  That's where the school field is and where they were shooting the rockets from.  It was a nice, crisp walk with green and blue and gold stars exploding overhead.  I reached the mouth of the alley just in time for the finale and even though these fireworks are not nearly as big as the ones downtown on Canada Day, it was still a great feeling being close enough to hear the "phut phut" of the rockets leaving the launcher.  At the end of the show a group of people standing across the road from me yelled "THANK YOU!" at the fireworks crew.

A few years ago I wondered whether it would be fun to be a pyrotechnician so I researched the job a bit.  And I bet it would be, but apparently there is not much money in it.  Like with most fun things, I guess.

Later on Neil and I drank a cup of sake celebrating New Ears Day while watching the neighbourhood hares nobble on some hay outside our kitchen window.  Five minutes after midnight some overzealous neighbour set off their own fireworks and the hares scarpered.  But we have seen the omens for the New Ears and I can tell you that the new year is going to be slightly splotchy on the back, a little hairy, and it's going to go by very fast.

Anyway!  Enough banter.  Time to plan out the year.  This year I plan to do the following:

- Concentrate more on my traditional art skills.  I will be doing more slow still lifes in pencil and really try to improve my observation and rendering skills.  I have been used to working too quickly for too long, and the quality of my traditional work suffers for it.  You can't rush quality.
- Improve my digital art skills.  In contrast to traditional work, I think I can streamline my digital processes quite a bit more.  There are a lot of tools I am not taking advantage of because I am old and dumb and lazy.  I really need to change that.
- Do more children's illustration traditionally, designing it digitally to fix a lot of the issues that drove me to digital art in the first place.
- Play more.  I liked working with the palette knife.  Learning oils was fun.  I even started a silly journal book just for myself.  I should keep doing new things so I don't stagnate.
- Get outside to paint much earlier in the year.  I should be able to make at least 30 finished paintings in 2014.  I don't have to stew indoors until August.  I should research what I paint, too.  Writing is one of my strengths, I should use it.
- Make prints to sell at Art Walk.  People asked for them last year and I should deliver.
- Start talking to galleries.  I'm pretty sure I could get some of my paintings into a small gallery right now.
- Be more active in my business and in the local art community.
- Waste less time arguing on forums!  And just waste less time, period.  I have proved to myself that I can work much harder than I do.  I need to set up a schedule that gives me long chunks of uninterrupted time to work, while still allowing me to exercise, run errands, and get out to the garden.  I suspect this will mean longer chunks of time working in the morning and evening, leaving the afternoon for exercise and errand-running.  I will also need to plan out my day the night before so that I never have to stand around wondering what to do next.  Because inevitably what I do next is fix myself a snack and read a book.

Hopefully this will translate to having more work and earning more money while still improving my skills and having some time to potter around on my bike and in the garden.

Outside of my business, in 2014 I would like to take a canoe trip, set another bicycling milestone of some sort, take an art workshop, grow some potatoes and onions, and do more sewing.  I am currently working on my first crazy patchwork quilt.  I'm curious to see whether it will turn out to be a monstrosity.

Hopefully I'll be able to bring people a little deeper into some of my projects, with progress photos, my philosophy on art, and all the things I've learned and am learning as I go.

Anyway -- all the best for 2014 everyone!  I look forward to writing another set of these in one year and seeing how well I did.

No comments: