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.