I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to do this kind of stocktaking but I learnt it from Jinny Ditzler, so I present it humbly because it’s helped me feel better about my failures and grateful for my achievements.
Above: I began the year with this project. I am still trying to “find my style” because I seem to change like the wind. This more graphic style worked really well for this particular project – which was a notice board in a woodland – but its a bit too tight and formal for me as a general way of working. Nevertheless, I was pleased to have done 9 individual colour studies and 11 silhouettes.
If you have a good look at your creative output I bet you’ll be surprised even if it was a tough year – and we all have them, with circumstances beyond our control. We also all experience loss at times so it’s important to celebrate what has been good. 2013 was good to me and I am two years into my 5 year plan. It was a busy year though and I’m not too sure that I got the balance right! I’m looking forward to my holiday in SA.
Above: I needed to complete my mathematical series and I feel that for the time being Vesica Pisces is the last one in the series. The gladiolus is a kind of bridge between calligraphy and art and people either love it or find it completely OTT – because the background is gilded and it’s 60cm X 30cm. I didn’t plan it – I had to do a demo. and had some gladioli, so began and then when it looked boring, I restretched it and gilded the background. You’ll see this technique again in my Lindisfarne gospel project.
She says it takes 3 hours to plan your year but I think I’m a plodder so I need a couple of days.
Anyway, here are the 10 querstions “that will change your life”:
- What did I accomplish?
- What were my biggest diappointments?
- What did I learn?
- How do I limit myself and how can I stop?
- What are my personal values?
- What roles do I play in my life? (e.g. mother, wife, artist etc.)
- Which role is my major focus for next year?
- What are my goals for each role?
- What are my top ten goals for the next year?
- How can I make sure I achieve my top ten goals?
I’m not going to bore you with all the answers but by grouping the artwork I created last year helps me see where I am going and begins to answer No.1.
My 5-year plan
At the beginning of 2012, I mapped out a five-year plan of where I want to be in 2017.
1) Teaching adults lettering related art skills at selected summer schools. Yes
2) Engaged with the local artistic community, exhibiting at Artweeks and in local galleries as a Lettering Artist / Fine Artist. Yes, but less sure about local galleries as long as I do Artweeks and Art in Action
3) Have a good Fine Art portfolio and a good lettering portfolio. Getting there
4) Produce my Magnus Opus – “Rope of Words” – see paintings below and tomorrow’s blog.
5) Communicate, teach, reflect and inspire others via the blog. I really hope that I manage this one – you are the judge here
Above: After the sucessful sea Holly and Woolly Thistle I wanted to do more of this sort of thing. They are large – 60cm square. These have backgrounds and I’m not too sure that its the way to continue – backgrounds take away some of the stylisation that I enjoy. I’d love to re-do Silver Ghost and may even restretch the Woolly Thistle Bud and work over it in oil pastel. We’ll see! I also have many photos of other thistles and related plants, but there is a lot on right now.
Above: Collaborations – I’m not sure that this altogether works for me. It certainly makes one work in a different style, but I seem to have expended far too much time and energy on both The Shrubbery’s Arms and Lino (top and bottom) and would not really have chosen either text to work with. On the other hand I loved doing the Lindisfarne page (I chose the text from Isaiah.) I did two versions, one for myself and one for the project to be bound into a massive tome for Durham cathedral. I gave the better one for the project.
Above: Rope of words has really dominated my creative 2013 year. This is a story written by Megan Kerr and you can follow the project via many of the posts typing Rope of Words into “search”. Tomorrow I’ll chat a little more about how I really got it going. I have 6 completed watercolours (for the version which we hope to publish in March) 3 complete drawings on stretched paper ready to be painted and three drawings which still need to be stylised and completed.
Above: I do quite a lot of work for the church and have been doing a monthly poster with funny little fingerprint people (because I can’t cartoon) and on a whim made these banners with friend who helped me to select fabric and sew. Below – The logo in the centre was the one that was finally chosen as a new church logo – and simple as it looks there were many hours of work with other options. The lino cut on the left is the sister church at Harwell and the one on the right is our little village church. The churches aren’t part of the logo, but are used for Welcome to the village pamphlets.