It’s January 1, 2012 and I did something yesterday that I don’t usually do. I made a New Year’s Resolution.
Oh, I’ve made resolutions in the past….the usual ones….I’m going to lose weight, get in shape, eat more vegetables, get organized, be a better person. I’ve had some success with those but generally I’m like everyone else and a few days into the new year the resolutions are broken and we’re back to the same old routine. This is why i gave up the ‘resolution’ practice years ago.
In 2011 I took my art career to the next level with exhibitions in Thunder Bay and Lindsay. As a self-taught artist who only does this part-time, it really was a huge step forward for me. The exhibitions introduced my paintings to new audiences including friends of my father’s in Thunder Bay (both exhibitions were father-daughter shows as he’s also an artist) and my friends in Lindsay who didn’t have any idea that I painted.
The comments from visitors to the exhibitions were incredibly positive and I sold four paintings. This got me thinking….where do I go from here?
My response to that question was to make a New Year’s resolution. I resolve to draw or paint every day in 2012. That’s 365 days of drawing! It can be a quick 5 minute sketch on the back of a napkin, a full drawing that takes hours, or time putting oils to canvas.
By drawing or painting every day I will be challenging myself to improve my skills and to make my art a priority. It’s been easy to put it off….after a day at work I’m tired or I’m busy with other things or I’m going out of town….the excuses have been endless. Mostly that’s because I was looking at specifically painting. When I paint I have to mix my oils before I get painting and then clean up afterwards which takes some time. Sometimes just the thought of doing all of that is exhausting and it gets put off for another day.
But drawing is different. Drawing can be done on my iPad2 (thanks John!), can be the drawing on a canvas for a painting or can be a quick sketch done on an agenda during a boring meeting. Drawing gets me back to the basics.
So on Day 1 I’ve been drawing on canvas in preparation for a painting. I took the photo at Clevelands House in Muskoka in the early summer of 2008 when I was there for a weekend with friends from work. I knew it would eventually become a painting and now it’s time to make that a reality. I’m drawing it out on a 24″ x 24″ canvas using a grid. The grid helps keep things in proportion and with this image it’s really important that the angles are right.