Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 In Review

(Sorry - I was feeling too lazy to dig up a photo of a new painting, so all you get is a gratuitous shot of the mountains from a trail a couple miles from my house. Don't you wish you lived here?)

Well, the year is just about over, so I guess it's time to status my goals one last time for 2009. At the start of the year I set a bunch of goals and told myself I was going to publicly comment on their status every month to keep me on track. Holding myself accountable on a monthly basis really kept me motivated, but by the end of the year I felt like a broken record so I didn't update the last two months. Anyhow, here's the final update!

1. Get my work into three more galleries.

DONE. I started showing at two mountain galleries in early summer, and am also showing my work at the gallery in Ft. Collins where I had my show in October.

2. Complete 100 paintings.

DONE. As of today, I've painted 116 paintings so far this year! I did a lot of small plein air studies during the last half of this year, which helped me reach this goal quickly. I'm really happy that I was able to meet this goal. Pushing myself to produce a lot of paintings has really improved my skills, and given me the confidence that I can supply multiple galleries. Mileage on the brush never hurt anyone!!

3. Sell enough work to pay our mortgage.

DONE. I really wanted to feel like I was contributing to our household finances this year, and I feel like I was able to do that. Since we're both self-employed and don't have a "regular" paycheck, every bit helps!

4. Update painting database and financial records monthly.

DONE. This might have been the most useful goal I set for myself this year, because it forced me to look at my numbers every month and thus hold myself accountable for my progress.

5. Race in a minimum of three 5k's.

Yeah, this didn't happen. I did run one five mile race this summer, so it wasn't a complete failure!! But for the most part, I didn't get back to the fitness level I intended, which is a bit of a bummer. Guess I'll have to try harder next year.

The thing about setting goals at the beginning of the year is that you don't know where life will take you in the year ahead. That's why I love Alyson Stanfield's idea of listing one's accomplishments at year end, as a way to take stock of the things you DID do, regardless of what goals you did or did not meet. So, here are the things I'm proud to have done this year:

  • Participated in Colorado Governor's Art Invitational Show for the first time
  • Had two paintings accepted to the Salon International Show at Greenhouse Gallery
  • Had one painting awarded Jury's Top Fifty at the Salon International show
  • Participated in the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National show/paint out in August
  • Got invited to submit work to the Mountain Oyster Club show and sale in Tucson
  • Participated in a 6 month mentorship with Jay Moore
  • Met a bunch of great painters through PAAC, RMPAP, this blog, and the mentorship program
  • Moved to the mountains - a life goal that I wasn't quite sure I'd ever get to!!
  • Tripled 2007 profits from my art
  • Doubled number of paintings sold from 2007 to 2008
  • Most important, had fun and maintained balance in my life while doing all of the above!!!

Overall, 2008 has been a good year. I feel like I managed to get my art career back on track after floundering a bit in 2007. I've had a ton of fun living in the mountains, painting for a living, and spending quality time with my husband and daughter - couldn't ask for much more!


  1. Wow! What an amazing year you've had. I've decided to try your approach to meeting my New Year's Resolutions. I've read somewhere that if you constantly evaluate where you are with respect to the things you want in life and make sure you're working towards them by being accountable and most importantly writing them down you have a very high probability of achieving those goals. Although I haven't defined my goals in completely tangible terms, I'm sure your method will work for me as well.
    Some of your goals are my goals too! The mountain living thing is up there on my list of life goals (maybe by retirement) and running again is on there too. I can't wait to read about your '09 goals! You did terrific in '08!

  2. A very nice year indeed. I have no doubt that in the future you will sell enough paintings at a good enough price to more than cover the mortgage and a 4 wheel drive.

    I can feel the cold standing in that shaded snow. Think I would start walking toward the light.

  3. You can't believe how encouraging this is to me. Thanks -

  4. Keep it rolling...... Look at those accomplishments. Hell most of those I am still working on especially 3 galleries!!!!!!! Any where to point a person too:>)in that regard.....


  5. Congratulations Stacey-
    The one thing I like about the end of the year is that I get to start a new list of goals and throw out the old ones. Thanks for the inspiration and for keeping the idea of setting goals infront of us all year. Even if we don't complete them it's the striving that counts.
    You have done a fantastic job this year, Can't wait to see what you do with 2009.

  6. Heidi - yeah, it really helped to make sure I looked at these every month. Usually, I forget about them until mid-year, then realize I'm so behind that I drop them altogether!

    Onpainting - yeah, it was a cold afternoon to be out snowshoeing, and the whole trail was in the shadows!

    Cara - I'm so glad this is helpful to someone!! Sometimes I feel awkward posting things about goals, but I figure if I find something that works, I might as well share it.

    Ben - there were just as many gallery rejections as acceptances, just for the record ;) It took me a while to realize that I needed to stick to where my work does well, geographically...

    Peter - I love New Year's because it's time to look at what the future holds, and finally drop the old stuff. These goals got a bit stale for me toward the end of this year, so I'm glad to move on!

  7. Crappy thing about Minnesota is the Galleries are tooooooo progressive is the word..... Too into the activism, feminism, all those terrible "isms" we learned in art school, not a bad thing just not my fancy. I am in a Gallery here in Stillwater and it works but the traffic was better many years ago. I do in FACT know about the rejection part of things!!!!! Well the only way to prevail is to work and thats what I tend to do and do and do..... and paintings sit and stare at me....:>) Happy new year!