How to meet an art goal in five steps

About this time last year, a couple of my students brought me a good-sized chunk of mistletoe. They had climbed up a tree to gather it for me, and tied it up in a red plastic ribbon from a trash bag. They knew I wanted to paint some. I did, it was fun, and I decided by the next Christmas season I would be showing some seasonal-themed paintings-somewhere.

I have quite a list of “by this time next year” goals, and like (I suspect) most people very few of them are ever realized. However, after today I will have twenty-four seasonal-theme paintings on display in three venues.

How did I manage to meet this (small) goal?

1. I committed to a medium I tend to fragment my creative energies in lots of different directions. For this I decided I would work in oil on panel.

2. I decided to go small Painting small allowed me to accomplish something with a shorter commitment. For me, a middle school teacher, that means my wiped-out attention span post-4:00 pm.

3. I prepared like an assembly line I found a batch of trading-card size archival panels, and prepared them all at once, so when I wanted to paint I didn’t have to do any prep. It was all ready to go.

4. I made a list of ideas I marked out the obviously dumb ones. Some other dumb ones got scraped off the panels later. Editing is so important, the sooner the better.

5. I kept my subjects close by I gathered the objects I wanted to paint and kept them out in the open. I gathered a little pile of ribbons, ornaments, C9 lights, anything that might work, so when I wanted to paint I had several things to choose from right there and ready. I also turned my easel so I could see outside.

Next week I will write about finding places to show seasonal art.

Also, I ordered these small, thick unfinished frames from an Etsy shop called niceframes. I have ordered from then a few times now and have been happy with each order.


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