Monday, January 13, 2020

2020 Resolutions and Ramblings

This past year had its share of ups and downs (as any year does), but the downs punched a lot harder than usual. Rather than dwell on things I can't change, I'm trying to face 2020 armored with goals to work toward in the coming months. They are in part an extension of what I wanted to get done in 2019---chiefly, eliminating my commission backlog. Happily, I did succeed in whittling it way, way down. I am much closer to zero outstanding commissions than I have been in years. Most of the remaining models in my studio waiting for paint are for a few close (and incredibly saintly) friends. Lucky for them, their models are taking up far too much space, so I am incredibly motivated to paint them and get them out the door.

Writing is of course another creative outlet for me, and I'm thrilled to say that in addition to some work for Breyer, I also produced a series of articles for the Hagen-Renaker Collectors Club in 2019. The series---a study of HR Thoroughbreds, what else!---is ongoing and should continue all of this year and possibly into 2021 (depending on where a certain bit of research takes me). If you're not yet a member of the HRCC, I highly recommend joining. It's only $27 a year, and in addition to the bi-monthly HRCC newsletter, you'll have access to the HR Field Guide as well as to all of the interesting pieces coming out of Hagen-Renaker Tennessee.

Since NaMoPaiMo is looming again, it reminds me that I never did get around to posting pictures of my completed model from last year here I did a portrait of the part-Arabian mare DA Remote Control. I'm really pleased with how well she turned out, and I definitely do want to tackle a brindle with dark striping at some point later this year.

For NaMoPaiMo 2020, I would like to try a challenging color again, but I haven't settled on which one. This year, I picked out the body I wanted to paint first---Mindy Berg's handsome Duende--- rather than finding a body to suit the color as I did last year. I'm not particularly satisfied with the way I approach and execute dappling, so I'm thinking dappled palomino or buckskin would be an excellent test of various methods I'd like to try.

After NaMoPaiMo, I want to continue to pursue things that are outside my artistic comfort zone. I've been painting model horses for a little over twenty years now, and I feel like I've become stuck in a rut lately. Because I have been busy with commissions for so long, I have not made the time to do much in the way of experimenting with techniques and media. I felt that if I was in the studio, I needed to be working on paid art. And that is absolutely valid. But it has also meant that I have not stretched myself much and that needs to change. Going forward, I want to paint more weird colors, try out new pigments and pastels, and do much more sculpting.

I also need to step up my social media presence to reach younger or newer hobbyists who are not familiar with my work. As an introvert, self-promotion is wildly uncomfortable, but it is definitely necessary. So with that in mind, my goal is to reach 1500 subscribers on my Facebook studio page and Instagram account. If and/or once that happens, I will give away a free painted mini Alborozo, Magnolia, or new Thoroughbred to one subscriber from each platform in a color of their choice (with or without the horn). More details will be posted on FB and IG.

And last but not least, I'm hoping to find the time to paint a few things just for myself this year. I've had this little Pat Kasper Saddlebred and this Kathleen Moody fox for nearly 20 years. They really need paint jobs already!

So anyway, here's to making 2020 a better year than 2019. Onwards and upwards!

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