Meeting Goals and Overcoming Insecurities

I’m going to try to keep this post short so I can get back to painting. I made some huge advancements in technique yesterday that I need to keep on top of while they are fresh in my mind.
Back in the spring, I committed to joining the #summeratelier2020 to push myself outside of my comfort zone and tackle some new projects I have been avoiding.

I have become complacent in my painting the last few years and it has been sapping my motivation and inspiration. Even though I have been researching new techniques and setting goals, I have not been following through because I didn’t want to have a bunch of work that is not up to my standards. All of this procrastinating was just holding me back.

11 x 14″, Wild Woman Portrait Study #1, watercolor pencils and paints

Some of you were probably thinking I was never going to get started on my #wildwomanportraits. I honestly have no idea why I have been avoiding this project so long. I’m really excited about the concept and it will allow my story-telling illustration brain to shine if I let it.
The problem is that I haven’t worked on much realist portraiture and I was feeling a little overwhelmed and insecure. I hung a portrait study from college over my desk a few months ago as a reminder that I’m perfectly capable. Now that time is becoming less of an excuse, I am getting to work on the concept. I chose a self portrait that doesn’t focus on facial features for the first study so I can concentrate on improving my watercolor technique. I’m going to have to read up on the use of liquid paints for the next one, but I’m reasonably happy with my first attempt.

You can read more about the #wildwomanportrait project on this page.

Plein Aire Sketch on Sketching Paper

I wrote briefly about my first plein aire sketch on my social media last week. While I was on the property of my venue commission for a progress meeting, I took the opportunity to photograph some of my favorite scenes and make a quick sketch. I had packed all kinds of supplies, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired. The heat and mosquitoes were too much, even in the mountains, so I only stayed for about an hour after meeting with my client.
I should have accomplished far more in that time, but I do like the sketch despite it’s having been over-worked. I have since picked up a watercolor set in a hard case with little bowls in the lid for mixing colors. I will definitely go back in the fall when the weather is more agreeable.

You can read more about the commission project in this article.

11 1/2 x 17”, oil on canvas, alla prima – approximately 1 1/2 hours, limited palette

I will write about this goal in more depth once I have more examples. I’m going to try to complete one alla prima painting per day I work in the studio. I am not currently setting any strict limits on time spent per painting or size because I am trying to build the habit at this point.
Eventually, I will become more strict as I start actively pursuing my goals to shoot video of my work and create consistently for volume and portfolio. I am hoping to set up some kind of online store soon in order to set a realistic goal for renting or building a professional studio space outside of my home and begin approaching fine art galleries for representation.

I didn’t really succeed in keeping my post short, so I will close now with a final question. If you are an artist/creative, do you have any goals for your practice? I would love to hear what you are working on creatively.

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