I always find September to be a much better time for making resolutions and implementing change than January. I’ve tried making New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t know that I’ve ever once followed through on them, really. I’m usually fighting to just keep up with all I have to do by then, and am at my lowest possible energy level due to the lack of sunlight, and the cold weather, not to mention recovering from holiday overindulgences. On the other hand, September is the beginning of the school year, there’s a new, exciting chill in the air, although it’s still sunny and warm, and I always have the feeling it’s a new beginning.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why I draw and paint (and blog, for that matter), and what I’d like to accomplish this year. I blog because I love the contacts and feedback it provides – I’ve met so many wonderful, artistic friends this way. On the other hand, it sometimes takes up a little too much time, and I don’t really like spending hours at a time in front of my computer – it reminds me too much of my translating work I guess. I draw, and by extension paint, because I really love it, and because I want to be very good at it some day. That really is my prime motivation – not so much to sell my work, funny as that sounds. Of course, we all love recognition and I do too, but I don’t want to do work based on what I think would sell rather than what I think is good.
Anyway, for now I’m still working just for me except for a couple of projects, and my goal is to improve my skills. I bought myself a perspective drawing handbook, because I’d like to work on precision (my daughter tells me that my ellipses really need work!) and I need to get moving on some more oil painting as I find it really helps me to concentrate on observation of form and color. I want to start sketching more too. In August I slowed down a lot. Maybe I needed a break. Last week I saw an exhibit at the Musée de la Poste in Paris on travel sketchbooks, and came home all pumped up and ready to draw more, but I’m still moving slowly on that front. I’m also going to keep up with life drawing, twice a week if it all works out, because I really think it’s one of the best way to hone all of those skills.
So, concretely, I’ll spend Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings life drawing, as many afternoons as possible in my studio, do at least 2 chapters of perspective drawing a week, allocate time to practicing things I find difficult (eg hands, portraits) at least 3 hours a week, and keep up with blogging and internet networking 2 mornings a week. Think I can do it?
In the mean time, here are a couple of leftover sketches from this summer, because fall is also a nostalgic time for me – the view from our holiday kitchen, a quick sketch of Cordes-sur-Ciel, and a slide show of pencil sketches from cafés, markets, etc.
How about you? What are your plans?