Sunday, January 2, 2011


January Thaw

Well thank goodness that whole new years day thing is over.  I thought I was all set when I made my new years resolution, and could now get back to normal.  Then I found out that they are supposed to last all year, and not just January 1st!  Whew knew?  So, since I'm lousy at making resolutions, I thought I'd call them goals.  So I made a few for 2011.

My first goal is not get too hung-up when I don't follow through on a goal.  Easy enough.  The next goal is a little trickier; I want to set a goal that doesn't depend on factors beyond my control.  I could make a goal to sell more paintings, but really, how much say do I have in someone else's decision to buy my work?  That's like making a goal to have the snow melted by April, and have more rain in September.  Another thing about goals is to make them specific.  I know each and every one of us has a goal to improve our paintings this year.  But what does that mean?  It reminds me of the novice golfer on the first tee who says, "I just want to hit the fairway."  Invariably, that golfer will hit a bad shot.  Why?  Because he didn't have a clear thought of what he wanted to do.  A good golfer says, "I want the ball to land on the left side of the fairway."  A pro golfer would say, "I want the ball to land on the left side of the fairway, five feet to the right of that discolored section of grass 275 yards out."  Then comes the really important part:  after he told his brain what he wanted to do, he lets his body take over without his trying to force the issue.  That's what makes him a pro!

Now I know this blog is called Maine-ly Painting, and not mainly golfing, but the similarities remain.  To say I want to improve in my painting isn't enough, I need to break it down into parts.  For instance, I want to improve in my designs. 

No.  I want to break away from my usual routine and strive to incorporate dynamic designs and compositions that move the viewers eye.

I want to concentrate on values.

No.  Before I put one dab of paint on a canvas, I want to have the values completely figured out by whatever means possible.

I want to do more plein air work.

No.  There is a lovely group of folks who paint together every Wednesday at sites near where I live.  I'm going to join 'em.

I hope you get my point.  Hopefully, now that I've told my brain what I want to do, these goals will be obtainable.  And now for a new years resolution:

I'm going to stay away from the gym even more this year.  That's a resolution I know I can keep!

1 comment:

Karen Martin Sampson said...

Excellent points you have made! Be very clear! (Lili Tomlin was in the one person play "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" and Trudy, the baglady, says, "I always wanted to be somebody but I guess I should have been more specific.") Visualizing the painting in your mind can often help but there is nothing like trying various studies of the subject and playing with your ideas.