Lately I’ve been working on plans. Artist’s plans, life plans, and painting plans.
So far I’ve managed to put together plans, or drawings rather for the next five paintings that will be on the new birch panels. I finally received them all and have lightly sanded a few of them, so they are ready to go. This one above is the final drawing for an 18 x 24 inch panel. I had a little time yesterday to cut out part of the left side pattern from the manila paper, which was slightly intricate.
I haven’t started working on these until I was finished with the two pieces for the fundraisers. I finally finished those. One is for the Torrance Art Museum:
and the other is called Fenced Hills, another 12 x 12 inch piece. It’s mixed media on canvas, and is for LA Family Housing:
Ever since, I’ve been messing with the next compositions for Rock and Refuge, my November show at Craig Krull.
I started with the two largest compositions first, the one above, and the 24 x 30 inch panel:
Then there are three small ones I will work on concurrently. There’s just one I’m not so sure of, but I’m moving forward with it anyway, which is this one:
There’s something about it that seems a little weird to me, like it either isn’t abstracted enough, or it’s too cartoony. It’s probably the little truck, yet I wanted to put in a truck, so that’s what I get. But we’ll see what happens when I break up the pieces and start putting the fabric bits in there.
Then there are these two drawings:
I’m kind of liking the swamp cooler. It won’t totally look like a swamp cooler once it’s done, but it will be pretty interesting anyway.
Other than all of this, I’ve been working on an “Artist’s Plan” kind of like a goals sheet. Me and another artist are doing it together – we are each doing our own versions that cater to our own liking. We do check ups with one another to see how our progress has been going to sort of push each other along, making sure we are accomplishing our daily tasks. It’s been helpful, but I am still organizing mine over and over – streamlining it each time I work on it.
Organizing it has been more challenging than “filling it in, ” but I think I finally have it the way I want it now. Now it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks and DOING it.
The trick was breaking it down into sections.
In my first section I wrote “Questions to ask myself” because I recently had a great conversation with my good friend, Jonathan Nesemith during a time I was really down in the dumps. He made a really interesting suggestion to me about being depressed or having a problem, which was, for him anyway, asking a question that lay underneath it all. A very key and simple question that needed to be answered. Once he made this point, it at least got me thinking instead of feeling sad and put me on a new path. I thought it was pretty darn useful and I have been using this as a way to navigate a bunch of stuff in my life every since. It seems to be working out for me.
So I wanted to begin the entire plan with asking myself questions in order to be able to create a plan, or work the plan down, and then back up again, and keep doing that until I could streamline it until I had something I could work with. I’m not going to share the whole thing with you, but I will share the “formula” I have so far with you.
Questions & Answers
It was actually a lot more complicated than this before I messed with it so much. And I’m still working on it! I had too many breakdowns before. And this is just what works for me.
I used to just write a list of goals every year, big or small with no plan as to how I was going to accomplish any of them and many of them would just keep turning over on to the next year. Maybe some would get accomplished, but I couldn’t really tell you how exactly. I would just work really hard on everything all year all at once and just hope something would come through and sometimes it would and sometimes (most of the time) it wouldn’t. Mostly I’d just chalk it up to luck on the things that were out of my control. The things that were within my control just got done whenever.
For instance, I’m writing a book, as some of you know, so that would keep appearing at the top of the list year after year. It would be pulled over from last year’s list and the year’s before. I’m chipping away at it, but with this new plan, I can set smaller goals, say in “Projects” to write a certain number of words by a certain time. Then in “Actions” I could figure out the time I would need to do that so I can schedule it in weekly, and possibly daily. That would get me closer to my goal. It just breaks it down into little steps instead of looking at the huge mountain in front of me.
One of my “Projects” will be to blog more. I know I have been saying that forever, but let’s see if this plan will actually work.
Anyway, maybe it sounds boring, but I’m kinda having as much fun working on that as I am working on paintings.