Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Goals and Studies

"Study - Lynx Pass Aspens"
Oil on Panel


I'll bet nobody noticed, but I've been slacking on statusing my 2008 goals here. Oops!

I know I said I would do it monthly, but it just got boring to me because I felt like I was reporting the same thing every month. And since I'm actually making good progress this year (yay!), that seemed to be overkill, so I decided I'd only comment about the goals when I had something new to say.

Anyhow, I was updating my painting database today (see, I'm still sticking with the goals, even if I'm not reporting!), and I was surprised to see that last month I surpassed my goal of 100 paintings this year! I'm at 102 paintings as of October 31st, which I almost can't believe. When I made this goal, I thought it would be a stretch, and for most of this year it has been. However, I've been doing a ton of plein air work and studies for the mentorship I'm doing, and the numbers add up quickly when most of the work I'm doing is smaller than 11x14" (I did 20 paintings in September alone). I haven't worked on anything larger than a 12x16" in about a month and a half, which is a bit odd for me (I'm actually chomping at the bit to work on some bigger stuff!), but I've been learning a lot that I hope will eventually transfer to my larger work.

Through all of this, I've been learning the value of the small study. I'm using these small works to test out new ideas and compositions, and figure out what it is that I want to say about each scene. I'm hoping that doing small studies more routinely will prevent me from having to scrape or trash unsuccessful larger paintings, but only time will tell if that's the case.

The only downside to doing all of these small paintings is that my studio is overflowing with stacks of small panels! The painting above is one of them - I did this quick sketch for this painting, which sold a few months ago. This was probably the first time I've ever done an in-studio sketch as pre-work for a slightly larger painting. In the months that have gone by since I did this one, I've learned how invaluable these can be.


  1. congrats on reaching your 100 painting goal! that's exciting. i'm thinking of setting a similar goal for next year. i like that you've showed the study with a link to the actual painting. it's apparent how the colors in the study really transferred to the larger painting. are you going to post more about your mentorship?

  2. 102 paintings and yet not a single one of them on your favorite sister's living room wall. Hmmm...

  3. Christine - yeah, these are mainly useful for concept and working out colors. I'll probably post more specifics about the mentorship sometime next year. The artist is actually making an instructional video out of this session (including all of the lectures and assignments) that will be for sale, so I'm being vague on purpose so as to not step on his toes (he's worked a long time on putting it all together).

    Shannon - you're such a brat =) I'm working on it - patience!!

  4. I love this type of tree to begin with and you have done such a great job with them. Beautiful.

  5. Love the colors - this is a wonderful painting, wish I had seen the larger one.

  6. Congratulations, Stacey, on reaching your 100 paintings goal. Although you may think that reporting on your goals is "boring", I actually have found it quite inspirational and motivating. My goals in the past were not specific, nor written down and visited each month as you have done... this made me consider that in just 7 weeks or so, I want to have my goals ready for 2009, and follow through as you have done. So you see, you never know who is benefitting from your blogging! :-)

  7. Stacey, I think it's wonderful that you have the discipline to stick to your goals. Obviously, the attitude has paid off for you in many ways because your work is top notch. I finally accomplished my most challenging goal, having an opening for family and friends. Hard work but worth it.

  8. Hi there how are you? I was looking through your blog and found it interesting and wanted to leave you a comment.

    I have an ivitation for you to come and visit my art blog here in San Diego, and comment if you will.

    I think that you may enjoy the various labels and music videos I design for my art blog, hope to see you here soon and take care :)

  9. I enjoy reading about your goals and progress. One of my downfalls is not planning well.
    I'd like to hear about the mentorship. too.