It’s that time of the year when it’s good to start thinking about what you’ve achieved in the year gone by and what your plans are for the coming year (in between cleaning, wrapping and cooking of course!)
2019 has been a busy one for me, and I’ve tried hard to set goals and work towards achieving them.
I couldn’t do it without these:
- My family and friends and supporters who pick me up when I’m feeling down – thank you all!
- My planner – I use the ‘Maker’s Yearbook‘, it really helps me know where my time is going when I write it down (I’ve even freed up time to go to the gym but that might not be a selling point!)
- Facebook online support groups, I particularly love the UAS Hub (United Artspace), full of lovely artists keeping each other on the straight and narrow and run by the inspirational Michelle Lloyd.
Basically, when you work for yourself as an artist you need a tribe that has your back and will cheer you on as (without wanting to sound dramatic, I know there are far more worthy and difficult occupations) it’s a job that takes lots of mental and emotional energy to keep going when you’re putting your work out there for others to potentially shoot down.
Anyway, I thought I’d write down what I’m proud of this year and some things I have planned for next year as a way of keeping myself accountable.
Work I’m proud of this year
Things I’m proud of
- Taking part in the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair in March. It made me get some new paintings together, think about how to hang them, and I learnt a lot about how to present my work to the public and about selling (or not)
- I wrote and made reference material for courses on Watercolour for beginners, Watercolour continuers, Acrylics for beginners, Portraits for beginners, Basics of drawing and Portrait Continuers. Teaching these also taught me an awful lot about how people learn, as well as some techniques I’d forgotten! I’m looking forward to more teaching this year and was proud to have been employed by our local adult education team as a tutor.
- I helped organise the Yateley Area Online Art group exhibition, which lasted the month of April and allowed artists who’d never exhibited before to experience what it’s like to show their work – it was a great show and a credit to all involved
- I got out and about to meet and paint some fabulous people as part of my ongoing project to paint performers, dancers and musicians
- I went back to life drawing and even started using oil paints to paint portraits from life, this has been something I’ve wanted to do for ages but was a bit too scared/disorganised
- My painting was featured in ‘Artists and Illustrators’ magazine
- I started an art group on a Friday in my local village hall and I’m super proud of how people who’ve come long have progressed
- I’ve continued to help run our community art group
- I exhibited at a great new gallery in Gosport, Yellow Edge Gallery
Plans for next year
I’ve got quite a lot planned in, but these are the main themes:
- I want to keep practicing painting and making my painting the best it can be, so I’ll be taking a few courses as it’s great to keep learning
- I want to make more paintings so I have a cohesive collection (or two)
- Keep taking commissions
- Open studios will be a major milestone for me and I need to think about what I can paint and display in my home to show visitors
- Teach my courses and maybe write a few more (let me know if there’s something in particular you’d like to learn!)
- I would love to put some of my courses online, this involves tackling video, and that’s my next big challenge!
I just wanted to say that I also feel super lucky to be able to paint and draw as well as to pass on my knowledge and help others. I absolutely don’t take it for granted and finges crossed it’ll continue in 2020.
I hope the new year brings you all lots of health wealth, luck and happiness. Thanks so much to all of you have liked my posts on social media, left comments, taken lessons, or bought my work, I truly appreciate all of it.