Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What's New in the New Year?

Yikes! It's a new year already, and although I don't believe in making resolutions, I do like to use this time of a year as an opportunity to assess where I'm at with my painting and to set up new goals for the year ahead. It's easier for me to slow down and think at this time of year than it is during the summer or fall, when I'm usually up to my eyeballs in exhibiting at outdoor art shows or plein air painting while the weather is advantageous.

In a rather anticlimactic way to kick off the new year, I've been taking the time to clean up my studio space. Sometimes, you have to clear the cognitive clutter in order to focus more effectively on creative work. In addition, the re-organization of my studio space reflects a change in direction for me. This past year, I transitioned from working exclusively in the pastel medium to adding oil painting to my body of artwork. This year, my goal is to work exclusively in oils. New year, new me? Maybe.

Manhattan Mist 36" x 36" oil on canvas.

Why the change? A few reasons. First, pastels are exceptionally dusty to work with. I love the medium, but I hate the mess. And after more than a decade of dealing with it in our home (my studio is above our garage), I decided to pull the plug on it. Second, I participated in my first outdoor art shows with my oil paintings last year and it went well. Those "trial balloon" events gave me some positive feedback that I"m on the right track with my ideas and my approach. Finally, I've been ready for a change for a couple of years now. It's high time to do something different, and the new challenges of this medium have revitalized me. Thanks to some excellent workshops and instruction from other professional artists, I'm excited about the possibilities of this year and more years ahead.

My first new painting of 2017, "Manhattan Mist," is shown here. This is a 36" x 36" oil on canvas based on a smaller study that I completed late last year. This is a view across midtown Manhattan, along West 48th Street. Enjoy!