Painting Progress One Year Later

| August 17, 2009
Painting Progress One Year Later

Painting Progress One Year Later

I have come to realize over the years is that I am a restless sort when I am not going after something. And, once I am “in”, I am “all in”, and love to immerse myself in the pursuit. For that reason, I always have a five-year goal on the horizon with lots of little goals in between that move me toward that goal. I firmly believe that this strategy has helped enrich my life beyond my greatest expectations.My five-year goals have involved such pursuits as starting a graphic design business, providing for my family, strengthening my marriage, being a better father, learning to play guitar, building my own home, seeing the world, and learning to paint, among others. In every instance, the journey has been the most rewarding part. In the same way that learning to play instruments expanded my awareness and appreciation of everything from classic rock to the classical composers, learning to paint has opened my eyes to an incredible new world of life experience. I don’t look at the master’s paintings in the same way anymore and I see the landscape and life through an entirely different window. I also have a drive to learn and try to master something new.And, perhaps best of all, I have richer and more fulfilling conversations and relationships with those of similar compulsion. I am not sure precisely where it will ultimately end up, but it is all good.

It was a year ago this month that I decided to pick up a brush and dive into painting. On the month of my first “painting anniversary”, I thought it would be good to take stock to see what has been accomplished over the past year and set my sights on a few new near term goals. The painting at the top of the image above was my very first painting, which was completed from a photo reference in August of last year. I really had no idea what I was doing at the time, but remember how exciting it was to finally get started on my new life’s passion. The work at the bottom was completed in June of this year and was the first painting that was done from a plein air study. I like both paintings mainly because of the memories I have from painting them. I still have a very long way to go but I do feel the bottom painting shows progress and more maturity than the one at the top. So what happened between the two paintings? Let’s make a list and see.

Activities during the last 12-months:

  • Set up a studio in my basement complete with indoor and outdoor painting gear
  • Completed 27 paintings, of which 3 are hanging on my walls
  • Started a fine art and travel blog that has reached over 1400 visitors from 57 countries and 47 states
  • Attended a week-long plein air painting workshop with John Taft
  • Bought and studied eight fine art books
  • Watched two instructional art DVDs by Jay Moore and Scott Christensen
  • Visited local and distant galleries and The Frick Collection
  • Added five works to my art collection by some of my favorite artists
  • Built a shadow box for still life work
  • Met a fair number of great people both online and in person

Activities planned for the next 12-months:

  • Complete 30 more paintings, 50% of which to be done out of doors
  • Attend a large canvas demonstration with Jay Moore
  • Attend an advanced plein air workshop with John Taft
  • Add three more works to my art collection including a commission
  • Visit art museums in Florence and Venice
  • Attend two shows of my favorite artists
  • Start making my own painting grounds
  • Seek and identify a quality framing source
  • Read Twilight of Painting by R.H. Ives Gammell
  • Join the OPA and submit my first piece to a regional art show

I am sure I will think of a few more but this should be a good start to keep me focused on year two!

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (6)

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  1. Dana Cooper says:

    Wow! I am so impressed with your progress as an artist. The goals you set for yourself and those you have accomplished are admirable…congratulations!!

  2. Randy Saffle says:

    I think setting goals helps keep everything in focus and moving forward. When the self doubt creeps in it is good to be able to go over these goals and realize how much has really been accomplished. You can tell by your list that you have set realistic goals that you can definitely achieve and that will keep you positive and enjoying the journey. Congratulations on all of your past accomplishments also. I believe all the work put into your marriage, being a better father, etc. adds to your artist passion and vice versa. You’re doing some real nice work and I enjoy your Blog.

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. Lee says:

    Hi Dana. You are very kind. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I wish it was easier to get to where I see the pieces in my mind but know being persistent and working hard is the only way to get there!

  4. Lee says:

    Completely agree Randy. Support from my family provides the freedom to pursue such time intensive endeavors. You obviously have a supportive family as well. We are blessed!

  5. Rusty Jones says:

    It’s going to take a while for me to wrap my head around everything in your blog, but by golly I think you’re onto something. Kudos, congrats, keep up the good work, full steam ahead, carry on and go forth. By the way …do all that while keeping your palette wet, your brushes full of paint, your heart full of passion and your head on straight. It’s the head on straight thing that gets me every time. I really enjoy your blog.

  6. Lee says:

    Thanks for the comments Rusty. This has been a lot of fun and it has been a privilege to meet such fine people as yourself and Randy among others! I plan to keep going as the journey never ends. Take care!