Saturday, January 1, 2011


That is my goal for 2011. Balance.
As a review, last year I embarked on a journey to make 100 paintings. I also planned to continue with drawing and sketching in my sketchbooks. I did find some time for visual journaling but from the start of 2010 through June I did no drawing, as I was driven with my 100 painting project. Which was all good. Until I realized that I missed drawing. So I stepped back a bit and looked at where I was in my 100 painting project (painting #56 to be exact) and saw that I had achieved what I wanted to do with paint. I needed a break. And a new direction to take that project. Plus it was so all-consuming.
So while I was mulling all of that over, I got out my pencils and picked up where I had left off the year before with a series of drawings. And I realized that by intensely focusing on painting I had become out of balance.
Just like my sketchbooks fill a need for visual journaling and working out ideas, each area of my art supports and feeds the other. I know that finding balance isn't necessarily a goal that is achieved, but more of a concept that I need to keep in mind, with regular adjusting due to one thing or another. Laure Ferlita, over at her blog, Painted Thoughts, has a wonderful post about The Power of a Word. She likened the word that one chooses to a touchstone for the year. I like that.
 Balance. My touchstone word for 2011. I hope to balance my various ideas with my art in such a way that I can keep my interests alive and the work fresh. I also need to balance my art-self with my mom-self, teacher-self, and my-self.

So what does all of this mean for me in 2011? Well, I do intend to complete my 100 painting project, perhaps with a new direction, perhaps even this year. I also plan to continue work on that series of drawings begun two years ago and then abandoned. I would like to see this become a cohesive body of work. And, naturally I will continue keeping my sketchbooks going as I do enjoy that practice of drawing from life. It's a lot to make room for, especially when I factor in my day job as a homeschool parent. Time is, after all, the most difficult thing for me to balance.

"If you find, in your own work, that ideas you didn't have room for at a particular time nonetheless lingered and arose later, you are coming close to an ideal creative state, one where creativity becomes a self-perpetuating habit. You are linking your art. Everything in your life feeds into your work, and the work feeds into more work." 
-Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

May you enjoy a wonderfully balanced and creative year in 2011!


Katherine Thomas said...

This is a wonderful post. It reflects my own thought processes so perfectly. I'm glad that you have a focus and a guide word for 2011, and it sounds like you are excited about your art. I look forward to seeing what you create!

Stacy said...

Happy New Year Ann!

Before reading your post I also had chosen a word for the year. This is my third year doing so. This year my word is Harmony - a pleasing arrangement of parts - very similar to your balance. My intentions are similar to yours. I want to balance a healthy lifestyle, a happy family life and a successful art career. Here's to balance and harmony for us both in 2011.

PAMO said...

Balance is a perfect goal! I'm in awe of all that you've accomplished in the past year. Your art is stunning and you continue to grow. Best wishes for 2011. I look forward to seeing what you do next.
Happy New Year!

Deborah said...

You are amazing! Love this post - the word - which incidentally was my word for last year. And I believe I achieved that sense of balance. This year my word is Celebrate. I do intend to finish my 100 paintings, or drawings, or some sort of work - pieces of art... May you be blessed and balanced in 2011, dear Ann!
I must admit I have terribly missed your sketches! I can't wait to see more of them in 2011.

Ellen Read said...

Another blog I read by another homeschooling Ann (but in Canada) also 'names' each year to give a theme to the year. :-) So I am hearing this from 2 women that I enjoy reading and am wondering what I should name my year, hmmm. I love the work you've been doing and sharing with us. I don't always comment but I most always look. Thanks for sharing and have a happy new year!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Love your art and thoughts in this post. Balance is a great word. Laure seems to have a lot of us thinking :)
I'm choosing 'simplify' - perhaps the sister to balance as I think balance will come with simplification :)

Happy, happy New Year, Ann. I look forward to seeing your endeavors!

Ann said...

Thanks all! Your comments and support mean a lot to me.

raena said...

Great, thoughtful post, Ann. I haven't made resolutions this year, but I'm thinking of adopting a word like this. It just makes sense to me!

That top painting is a real stand out. It's so bright and clear! Seems like a beautiful day. I look forward to seeing where you go next!

Teresa said...

Enjoyed this post. Balance seems to be elusive for me too. The other "stuff" in my life all too often comes before art. Trying to change that this year. Each one of the pieces you have in this post is beautiful!


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