Saturday, January 1, 2011

Seeds to Plant

"Summer Solitude" 15x15 on Wallis w/watercolor under-painting
With the New Year here, I'm thinking ahead about what seeds to plant for the year, what to leave behind and what to be grateful for.

I'm so grateful to be an artist and that each day I'm fortunate to do something creative and try to bring forth beauty and occasionally, peace. As a teacher, I help others do the same. What could be better than helping folks tap into their creative energies? When people are painting, they are getting at the best in themselves, so I'm honored to be a small part of that for a few people. I've been incredibly blessed with continued good health this year and so I try to work toward this every day with a mind toward healthy food, dance and moderation in all indulgences. I'm grateful that I have people. People who love me and wait for my returns. Not everyone is lucky in this way.

I'm planting the seeds for a less stressful year, having a bit more confidence in myself as an artist by way of reflecting on past work and accomplishments. I want to make the most of the resources and skills that I already have rather than trying to reinvent myself this year. The actionable piece of this is putting together a comprehensive marketing plan for the entire year instead of doing it haphazardly. I'm pretty good at the marketing piece, but how would it feel to actually plan ahead? A novel thought!! The other part of this is concentrating on the work. No amount of savvy marketing will sell an inferior product, so it always comes back to the work. What enchants me will likely enchant my viewer....

I'm very ready to leave a few things behind, like my copyright lawsuit,(more on that next year). Even though I won, it was a huge drain of resources, both financial and physical energy. Protecting your work, it turns out, is quite the full time job. I'm also ready to leave behind a bit of my grueling schedule and opting for a lighter schedule closer to home in some cases even if it's not as profitable. Last year I found myself in a few airports too many. Concentrating on a more local market also makes sense from an environmental perspective; less travel, less shipping etc.  I've already streamlined my schedule a bit with the goal of making more time behind the easel.

Happy New Year and Happy Painting!!!


Julie Greig NZ Painter said...

Thanks Marla - with your thoughtful writing, you've helped me towards a better plan for this year - last year was way too busy, I felt like I was scrambling to stay afloat. My first workshop for 2011 begins tomorrow morning, I hope to bring some calm and creativity to my pupils, who all are needing a break.

I really enjoy reading your blogs, they help me focus too!

all the best for 2011 just as you've planned it.

the art of the dance is like chocolate said...

beautiful, beautiful painting!!

Barbara said...

Happy New Year Marla.

Linda Keely said...

Love the three questions...what seeds to plant for the year, what to leave behind and what to be grateful for. I am grateful for your blog and your paintings. They both inspire me. Thank you!