Saturday, December 31, 2011


Wanna make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

And at the risk of once again being a laughing stock, I will fearfully venture forth with a list of New Year’s Resolutions for the artist in everyone and for the divine spark which provides the courage to go where no one has gone before…

1).Do you spend enough time on your art?

Use your sketchbook at least five days out of seven. Be meticulous about getting ideas down in concrete form instead of conning yourself that you’ll remember them.

Do you devote energy to your art just like you do for other serious projects in your life? If you don’t you need to change your schedule.

2). Deal with Obstacles

What keeps most people from painting? (Aside from the fact that I don’t paint, but I’m trying to relearn sketching and anatomy and proportions.) Chances are it's the many obstacles that get thrown in our way (or that we create on our own)--things like distractions, demands from work, family and friends, and lack of support from people around us.

3). Manage Your Time

I'll allocated at least half-an-hour a day to do something creative or inspiring that's not focused on an end result: playing with mixing mediums, being adventurous with a troublesome painting, paging through a monograph on my favorite artist or a book on painting, popping into an art gallery or museum, reading something about painting.

4). Brainstorm on a regular and repeated schedule.

On New Year’s Day you have to have black eyed peas or cabbage depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you are from and of course you watch forty-six football games all at once on the new High-Def TV you got for yourself as a Christmas present because no one else would do it and now they want to come over and horn in on your television, so fox’em all and watch futbol which is better for you anyway and much more interesting than trying to decide which team’s wide out will run under a thrown football.

And during commercials I will hold my annual brainstorming session. On New Year's Day or the day after, I get out a pen and notebook (my computer just doesn't seem to work well for this) and brainstorm ideas for art projects for the rest of the year. I write a different month on a different sheet of paper and then brainstorm ideas appropriate to each month; I then try and locate markets for each of the ideas and determine when during the year they'd need to receive my appropriate card/entry/wall-sized mural.

5). Change It Up

I'll regularly do at least one painting in size/shape that's outside my norm, whether extreme landscape format, a square canvas, a tiny canvas, or a huge one.

Or do one that is in a different medium. I do lots of bi-color photographs, but I’m working on a new technique and I want to fully explore the possibilities in 2012.

6). Break into New Markets

Do you keep sending your entries/paintings/collages to the same events? Do you find yourself working with the same juries time and time again? It may be time to expand your horizons! You want to keep relying on those events that have been successful for you in the past, but you also want to break into new ones. The New Year is the perfect time to do this.

Since I create for myself, I consider the galleries and shows I’d like to be hung in, selected for, singled out or just awarded ribbons and prizes for during the next year--even if they seem out of my reach. Then I make realistic plans for having success with those events

7). Live Large

On my birthday, I will treat myself to something I've always considered an extravagant luxury, such as the newest megapixel camera or an extra-large print on canvas. Or any other day especially if I have just been rejected by some moribund jury without enough brains to blow their collective noses and I will do it without accumulating the guilt I usually wallow in when doing something exclusively for myself.

8). Be Professional

I firmly believe that professionalism is one of the major keys to success. You must devote yourself to being a professional in every aspect of your life and business.

9). Talk It Up

Instead of just thinking about it, I'll post more comments on the South Coast Trawler. There are artists who are actively seeking comments on their work, and I'll support them by voicing my opinion.


I'll share the most helpful thing I've ever learned about painting. I’ll relentlessly promote art and artists in my own community and in the rest of the country. I’ll offer support to everyone I encounter and will if asked lend a hand by taking art to shows, picking it up and working with the organizers to make the shows run smoothly and the artists entering comfortable and confident.

Now go out and have a wonderful, creative and successful New year and Ill see you back year.

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