Usually around the first of the year I will do up a little post that sets myself up for disappointment in the coming year. Goals, resolutions, expectations, call them what you will. I have long had a bizarre relationship to them when it comes to my painting. In other areas of my life, I don't seem to have nearly as much of an issue with this. But for some reason, when I set a goal in painting, I promptly ignore it. Last year, I avoided doing this setting of goals post, opting instead to make a post of a very personal nature towards the end of February. That post contained a "not goal" of going into my studio almost every day during the month of March. I did well enough with that.
Make no mistake, 2016 was a struggle. There were times I was ready to give up the fight and just quit painting. My show at Cantrell Gallery was a large factor in me continuing. The encouragement of some fellow artists on DeviantArt also played no small part in my ability to keep trudging forward. One person in particular has been instrumental in helping to lift some of the veil of darkness. Someone who I feel provides some of the enthusiasm for my work I had been so missing, that helps me say, "yes, I am on the right track here!" This person has also helped me to regain some of my focus in other areas of my life. Dare I say that I can dream again somewhat. Now, I know that time and tide have certainly helped to carry me away from that farthest shore of death but I can most definitely trace the feeling of some creeping tendrils of life and joy to the past month and half or so.
So here I am daring to dream a little bit again. And with that comes the notion that painting must play a large part in whatever future I have. I have two or three rather disparate notions of what my future might look like but in all of them, painting must form the focal point in order to make them achievable. Therefore, I embark once again upon the creation of some "goals." (Yes, I will use that dirty word.) And as always, I try to make sure my goals are things which I am in control of and not something like number of sales or anything like that.
1. Get into another gallery! (Am I really in control of this?? A little bit at least. If I never submit, I will never get in....)
2. Make 60 blog posts!! This would be an annual record for me.
3. Complete 50 paintings!
4. Hang in 2 national shows (this will become much harder now that the Diamond National Show in Hot Springs is defunct.) I guess if the show is online that will count as hanging but if you know me, I'm not much for online shows so they must be seriously reputable, like OPA or OPS shows.
5. Hang in 4 local or regional shows (This will probably require me to get re-engaged with Arkansas League of Artists as well as some other local organizations.)
Lots of energy is required for these and I am still very much constrained by life so I will be plenty happy with any 3 of these.