Essentially, what I plan to do falls into four general categories: research, technique, just for me, and challenges.
Research – will continue as has been my pattern, looking at artists, aspects, and movements in art history. Most of this will be done in conjunction with Katherine Tyrrell and others. These will be two month projects. Topics include:
- composition - I've wanted to do this for a while.
- Japanese art (ukiyo-e) - to better understand the influence on many that we studied in 2007, as an aside maybe throwing in a little look at Franklin Booth (who did woodcut-looking pen and ink work).
- color - use of color in various approaches
- Degas - a favorite
- Turner - a favorite
- Rembrandt - perhaps my all-time favorite
Technique – this will be addressing areas where I’d like to improve my artwork, focusing on the figure and perspective. These areas should also help me improve my "drawing from memory" skills. I'd really like to capture more of what I can see in my mind on paper.
- Anatomy - I’ve realized that the figure is very important to me in art. People fascinate me and capturing that in artwork drives me like no other subject. So, I’ll be looking at various sections of the human anatomy, each for a month in duration.
- Perspective - The remaining months of the year, I plan to spend looking at perspective in landscapes, interiors, and exteriors.
- Recently I picked up Mendelowitz’s Guide to Drawing and I've begun working through that.
Just for me – in 2007, I had a goal of filling a sketchbook, just to be in the habit of sketching. Some of these sketches I posted, some I didn’t. Mostly, they were just for me. I had no goal with them other than to be putting pencil/pen to paper. I definitely need to have something regular where the result is unimportant. I can get very discouraged with my art not meeting my expectations so I need an activity without expectations. As drawing will be more result-oriented for me in 2008, I’d like painting to be where I can just play around and enjoy myself.
- 50 starts - For this I’m going to take an idea I recently came across on Drawing the Motmot (a blog and artist I really enjoy and admire). I’m going to try and do 50 “starts” over the year. Simply put, just begin 50 paintings. I may make them all still lifes, from life, but I need to see how the “composition” research goes to know if I can create successful still lifes. Whatever form it becomes, the goal will be to make 50 starts over the year, not necessarily finishes, perhaps an hour in duration - roughly one a week.
Challenges - pushing myself out of my comfort zone:
- art competitions - one or two in 2008. (This will involve me researching to find them and then producing something to enter.)
- website - I’d also like to expand my website. I recently put it up, but I’d like to work on it more.
- business - Finally, and this perhaps is more of a long-term goal, but I’d like to work more towards the business end of art. Whether that is seeking more portrait commissions, or creating a print gallery, or some other option, remains to be seen.