Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 in Review

"Sunset, Mt. Baldy" - Oil on Canvas, 24x36". This is one of two paintings I've managed to complete since Aspen was born. I started the underpainting for it back in July - don't ask me why I waited until now to complete it. Maybe I just wanted to prove to myself that I can still tackle a decent sized painting when I'm taking care of an infant?

I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve already! 2006 has gone by in a blur and now it’s just a few hours until 2007. Overall, 2006 was a great year. Looking back, it’s hard to comprehend how much my life has changed in just 12 months. Last year, I posted my goals for the year here – now it’s time to see how well I did here:

1) Obtain gallery representation for my landscape paintings

DONE. A good friend of mine knew the owners of a gallery in Denver that was on my short list of galleries to contact about representation. She stopped by the gallery one day and showed them my website. Apparently they were just being nice when they agreed to look at it, since they have people showing them the work of friends and relatives all the time, and 99% of the time the work sucks. But they looked, and they liked my work, and they told her to have me call them. So I did, and a couple weeks later I took in nine paintings for them to have a look at in person. They took all nine and sold seven within the month, and thus started my art career!

I’m really thankful not only to have obtained representation, but to have started with a gallery that does a great job of selling my work. Being able to have an income from art this year has given me the confidence to take a bigger leap in 2007 and make it my job.

2) Get a painting accepted to the Arts for the Parks competition or an Oil Painters of America show.

DONE. I had a painting accepted to the OPA show, which was a huge deal to me. I wasn’t able to make it to the opening, which was kind of a bummer, but my painting won an award at the show, much to my surprise.

I never bothered to enter the Arts for the Parks show. Over the past few years, the show has leaned more and more toward wildlife art and more photorealistic work, and I didn’t feel that my more painterly style would be very successful in the show. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t have a painting of a national park handy…

3) Find the right piece of property to buy in Steamboat Springs so Nate and I can eventually build the mountain cabin we’ve been dreaming about for years.

Well, we did buy property in Steamboat Springs - three lots, to be exact. But we won’t have that cabin anytime soon.

Our purchase of property morphed from buying a lot for a future cabin to buying three lots and building spec homes on all three (Nate’s big project of the year). At this point, all three lots have houses on them. One is completely finished, two still have some work to do, and all three are officially on the market. Hopefully they’ll all sell early in 2007. Maybe we’ll use the proceeds to build that cabin in the mountains someday – who knows…

4) Think about having kids (yes, think about it – I’m not committing to anything here)

DONE. Amazing how I went from “think about having kids” to having a 6 week old baby in the span of a year! I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and an easy birth, and now I have a beautiful little girl who has changed my life. Sometimes I think I could just stare at her all day. My days no longer revolve around me, and I’m fine with that - at this point, I can’t think of anything more important than taking care of her.

5) Swim 200,000 yards (swam ~80,000 in 2005, which wasn’t nearly enough considering that I love the water)

Not even close. I swam 35,000 yards this year, which means I only made it to the pool something like 20 times. Oops!! I’ll use pregnancy as my excuse – I was tired and busy and just didn’t feel like taking the time to swim most nights. I know, pathetic. Hopefully I’ll do better on the fitness front in 2007.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time Flies...

Whew - motherhood is a bit demanding!! Aspen is a little over a month old now (which I can't believe), and I'm working on getting my bearings straight so I can start to get a little bit more done on the art front.

The first few weeks she was home she slept all the time, so I actually got down into the studio and managed to finish a painting between feedings. The past week or so she's become more active and awake, so my time has gotten more limited. It's great because she's a lot more fun now, but tough because I have to juggle my basic activities (showering, eating, laundry) with feeding her and keeping her happy. Nate has been a sweetheart the past two weekends and hung out with her in the afternoons so I could paint, and I managed to finish a 24x36" mountain scene that I had done an underpainting for before Aspen was born. I had hoped to deliver this painting to the gallery before Thanksigiving, because I had a hunch it would sell before Christmas, but no such luck. I'm happy that I've managed to finish it now though - if it would just dry, I could pop it in a frame a deliver it. I'll post pictures of the new paintings once I have a chance to use the camera for something other than taking cute pictures of my baby!

Anyhow, motherhood has been a nice surprise so far. I've always loved kids, but have never been a big baby person, so I wasn't sure how I'd do the first few months. So far, I've been enjoying it, and I have NO desire to return to my engineering job right now. For the last month, I've been totally wrapped up in being a mom, and making the transition to being an artist. The being a mom part hasn't left much time for the being an artist part, but that can wait a few months, and I can make plans for next year in the meantime!