What’s Next?

As I mentioned in last week’s post, after the workshop, I spent a few days just puttering around. During this period, I made a few decisions.

  1. I need some down time.
  2. I need a break from painting. I need some time to sort out my goals and maybe even my styles.
  3. I have WAY too many paintings. I need to find an outlet.

Down Time

Before last week, I  had already decided to forgo a few of my summer staples. I did not sign up for the Willamette Valley Lavender Festival and I plan to limit or skip painting in the Paint the Town Events. I did not even attempt to sign up for the Ladd Marsh Festival.

Even more radically, I had made plans to NOT make plans this summer and instead head down to the beach house at every opportunity… and NOT for cleaning or other things. Just to enjoy this place I  love.

Painting Break

With all this potential free time, my first thought was that I would get a ton of painting done. On the first morning where I implemented “summer schedule” (getting up earlier to beat the heat) and began another summer goal of spending 15 minutes a day on my front porch, a radical idea hit me. Instead of painting, I would just spend the summer journaling! And not share these drawings and thoughts! Just for me. Already, I’ve broken that vow and taken at least one Instagram, but you get the idea.

When I was thinking about painting, I started to think about all the shows and events I wanted to attend. And the little voice that has been appearing more and more in the last few months asked, “But what do YOU want to paint?” I was stumped. Somewhere along the way I had started painting to meet show deadlines, not because it was just what I wanted to do.

Along with my thoughts about not taking workshops for a while, I’m hoping by taking the summer and just doing some simple art that it might make things a little clearer about my future direction.

Too Many Paintings

However, essentially, I am a goal-oriented person. And while I was thinking about this radical step of not painting, I started to feel a little panicky. What about all the pieces I had in progress? What about all the finished pieces that needed to be seen?

That’s when I started to consider a goal that came up a few months ago, during “The Mom Time”. One of the many people I met mentioned that he wished my site was up to date so he could see more of my work. For the new year’s goals, I talked about getting the site up to date; this would be a perfect opportunity to use my “studio” time to get things out the door.

  • I could update the website and add the ability to purchase paintings online.
  • I could look at doing Etsy or some other merchant site.
  • I could do an art page on Facebook.
  • I have a newsletter, though I rarely use it. I could do a summer sale.
  • I could have an open studio.
  • I could (gulp) even pursue gallery representation.

First Steps

Today I worked on cleaning out my studio. As a reminder, I went on a workshop in November, and when I came back, Mom had to move into the studio. So a bunch of packed stuff was moved along with the rest of the studio to the extra bedroom upstairs. When she died, it call came back downstairs, but I hadn’t done much more than shift through the rubble to find enough things to take to the Skip Lawrence workshop.

And so, today, I sorted. You can now see my workbench (or at least as much as you ever can…) I also started working on a complete inventory of pieces. The next step in that process will be to get photos and then to get them on the website. I am also spending some time researching a new website look. I want social media integration, mobile integration, and the ability to put items for sale. It may take a few weeks.

In the meantime, fair warning. If there is a piece of mine that you’ve always liked, it’s a good time to ask me about it before I go through all the work of getting it online (and increasing the price!)

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Comments (2)

  1. Ann Moore

    Enjoy your summer of reflection, restoration and discovery!

  2. Ann Moore

    Tara, I’ve been looking at Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer and noticing how he balances the bold black of her hair with dozens of tiny black shapes in her gold skirt. I think your geese were gorgeous and you could finish the painting in a beautiful way. Hope you’re now seeing the beauty in those pieces.

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