View Full Version : The "Goal Post" for October

10-01-2008, 11:18 AM
Hello Everybody.:wave:

Welcome to the monthly "Goal Post." This is where we set our art related goals. This is where we can share our goals with fellow artists and encourage and help each other to obtain these goals.

We can set daily, weekly, monthly and longer term goals. Just remember that these are goals and not musts. If you miss a goal you might have to reconsider it. Goals should be obtainable. Let's set ourselves up by setting obtainable goals. Starting your goal with "I" adds strength to your commitment.

So come on and join in. Good luck with your goals for October.


10-01-2008, 11:40 AM
Well I was busier than I thought I was going to be last month. My English Literature course took more of my time than I thought it woulld. This month is going to be busier. :eek:

So, I will keep my goals short and sweat this month. I am hosting the Sketch Thread for the next two weeks so my goal for October is:

-I will post 2 sketches a week in the monthly sketch thread.

That's it. That is all I can commit to this month and it will keep me using my pastels. If I get a chance to do more, I will.:D


10-01-2008, 11:56 AM
Doug... I emphatize with that 'over-committed' feeling....been there myself!
Best thing you can do is just do what you can.

i've been thinking about my goals for this month....
1. I want to do at least two sketches a week for the pastel threads
2. I want to do one finished work to enter in a show next month. (of the 2 I entered this month, one was accepted and one was relegated to the bin. I actually sold one from the bin last year....so there's hope...)
3. I want to spend some time each day in my newly-acquired space in the basement. It feels good to be there, and all my pastel stuff is there. Plus I have a nice chair for just sitting and reading, meditating, or thinking .(daydreaming).
ok...change those 'I want to's to 'I will'....
Wishing us all good luck with whatever goals we set for ourselves...

10-01-2008, 01:42 PM
Oh Yeah....I forgot: I had made a color chart of the pastels that I have, (not all of them have names, some just numbers.) And that helps to see the colors.
Anyway, I plan to make a similar chart of the new ones that will be arriving shortly, so I can keep track of them.

10-02-2008, 08:18 PM
I have three 9 x 12" pastels that I should complete as soon as possible. One is a commission with no deadline, but the poor lady's been waiting for almost a year for her painting and I keep getting stumped on various problems with it at the sketch stage -- haven't even started with pastels. Hopefully I will start that one this month!

The other two are easier, and should be done soon because my trading partner already sent me her stuff. So they are paradoxically a bit more urgent and might get done faster because they're relatively easy for me.

1. Cat in Garden (Australian trade) -- started
2. Wombat in Garden (Australian trade) (same garden)
3. Cheetahs Fire Dancing, commission, surreal dream painting of two cheetahs dancing around a fire, one of whom is wearing a dramatic bracelet on her foreleg. I have photo references now and I've always had some idea of how it should look, but going from that imagination to getting it as real as I want it to look is tough!

My goal is to make progress on all three of these. There. I'm set. If I get one or any or all of them done, then I've exceeded my goal. But I'm not setting myself up for failure either. I've learned to be cautious about goal setting, these were my September goal, Cheetahs was my August goal...

10-02-2008, 09:15 PM
I did actually do 2 plein airs last month but that will not be a goal for this month.

This month's goal is:
I will paint a little each night even if it is an unfinished painting at the end of the evening.
I will paint at least 1 sketch for the weekly sketch thread.

10-02-2008, 09:35 PM
Wow! Last month was so crazy and it really flew by. This month appears to be a bit saner, however it is just beginning:D

Goals for October:
1). I will post two new works to my blog site each week.
2). I will post a completed painting or sketch on WC at least once a week.
3). I will get my bio written and posted to my blog site before the end of October.
4). I will work with polymer clay at least once a week, I have to get some new beads done before Christmas!
5). I will read at least 15 pages a week from one of the many wonderful books I have on art techniques, artists or art history.

I almost forgot, I will be taking oil painting classes once a week for 8 weeks starting the last week of this month. Better add that I will make a decision about subject matter before the first day of class!


10-02-2008, 11:49 PM
Good goals everybody. It does seem that the months just fly by. Before you know it we are back setting new goals for the month. I hope some of you are finding this thread is helping you out. I find it is nice to have a check list.

Good luck in all your goals.


10-03-2008, 10:03 AM
Great goals, guys.

My first goal this months is to get rid of the bacterial bronchitis I've developed these last days, got antibiotics today, so I will remember to take the pills every day, for 8 more days.

Didn't make last months goal of finishing 2 paintings per week... So, this month I *will* finish two paintings a week.

Goal of taking walks just has to wait until I'm well again.

And, I *will* catalogue/make a chart of my new pastels (Unisons).

And I *will* frame some pieces, as I've run out of space to store them.

And I *will* finish last months half-done efforts, change/crop/toss, as applicable.

I will post on my blog once or twice a week. Just started it, am basically recording the labour of paintings, and generally getting a feel for this phenomenon. It is not an aim to blog daily, but weekly.

Oh, and I *must* clean the studio...


10-03-2008, 12:42 PM
Charlie- Great goals but make sure you take all your pills. Get healthy. But a clean your studio?:eek: If i cleaned mine, I wouldn't know where anything is.:lol:


10-03-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks Doug, Truly, I *have* to clean up the studio, the place is a health-hazard now. The chaos has gotten beyond my knowing where everything is, so I cut myself on unexpected bits of blades for knifes, and I can not frame anything in that dirty mess, and cleanly Hubby gets miffed if I invade the diningroom table... I'm the kind of person for whom every flat surface is a storage area/archive. The kind who finally, in the archeological excavation, gets down to the more ancient cultural layers and exclaim: "Oh, I had no idea I had one of those!"

Charlie (not a Neatnik)

10-03-2008, 09:40 PM
Thanks Doug, Truly, I *have* to clean up the studio, the place is a health-hazard now. The chaos has gotten beyond my knowing where everything is, so I cut myself on unexpected bits of blades for knifes, and I can not frame anything in that dirty mess, and cleanly Hubby gets miffed if I invade the diningroom table... I'm the kind of person for whom every flat surface is a storage area/archive. The kind who finally, in the archeological excavation, gets down to the more ancient cultural layers and exclaim: "Oh, I had no idea I had one of those!"

Charlie (not a Neatnik)

Even after necessity made me better organized, I still go through it and say that to myself so many times... I've got everything I'm currently using jammed into one tiny corner around my armchair and so the stacks start getting deep on the easel shelf and under the table and on the table.

Oh and I envy your having to color chart and organize your Unisons. I haven't tried those yet but will someday... but I'll probably get a box set and keep them in the box, since I do that with most sets. I'm not sure the drawers of my pastels box are deep enough for Unisons unless I just put them in the bottom drawer.

10-04-2008, 10:31 AM
After reading this thread it seems as though a lot of us are getting the "cleaning bug" where our painting supplies are concerned..... I must do that too! My grandson and son-in-law are coming for a few days and I will need the day bed in the studio for a bed.... so I'd better tidy up! My left arm was operated on Thursday so I'm working a "wing" short again and with some discomfort..... I'm happy to get some company but will have to forgo painting for a bit. Donna R.

10-04-2008, 10:59 AM
:wave: Hi, All,

Well, the cleaning bug needs to land in my house, too.
Actually, the studio is the cleanest and best organized room in the house! :lol:

Daughter, one year-old grandson and son-in-law have said they weill be here for Christmas. I hear you say, no problem that is end of Dec.
But, important item.....one-year-old: Very mobile, very curious!
So, like it or not, I've got to get the house semi-child-proof! :eek:

Art Goals,
A bunch of things have been coming together for me and I'm feeling I am painting with more confidence. Sept. was a month of painting growth.:)
My chief goal for October:
I get myself caught in trying to paint too spectacular complicated stuff:
Biggest disaster of Sept:
A lighthouse painting that was too connected to a childhood memory:
So I had to put in the lighthouse, the beach, the path up from the beach through the beach grass to a magic point when the lighthouse looms up over the bank. It was great fun to paint. But, in the end, it was just way too overloaded with things only I appreciated. As a painting composition it was just too much. So: paint the beach, or the beach grass, or the path, or the lighthouse....not all of them!
#1 Goal: stick to one main idea and simple compostion
do less with personal emotional topics :rolleyes:
#2 Continue on my paint 100 landscapes challenge from Maggie Price book.:thumbsup:
#3 Do a watercolor painting at least once a week to keep that media growing, while I'm focusing on pastels.:heart:

10-04-2008, 12:23 PM
Constellation- I hope your wing heals quickly so you can get back to painting. Enjoy your company.

Elsie- You have been painting up a storm! I am glad to hear that last month was a growth month. It's a good feeling.:thumbsup:


10-04-2008, 07:35 PM
Donna, that must be so frustrating with your arm tied up. I've been lucky, the worst that I had to put up with was wearing a brace on my wrist for some weeks till I figured out what was causing the wrist problems. Hope you recover soon!

Good luck cleaning up the house and simplifying your art, Elsie. You're doing so many paintings and growing so fast, it sounds great. Maybe put those things into a series, one with the lighthouse, one with the beach grass, etc., and then keep that first one for yourself since it's so personal? Every now and then it's cool to paint emotionally loaded subjects.

Tracy Lang
10-04-2008, 08:43 PM
Hi All :wave: ,

It's so inspiring to read all of the great goals that have been posted. There's something about putting them in writing that makes them seem more achievable!

I've got the cleaning/organizing bug as well...must be something to do with the change of seasons. I absolutely love this time of year and feel energized after a long, hot summer.

My goals for this month are kind of inter-related...My website is hopelessly out of date and stale. I need to take photos of quite a few recent paintings and update the site. This leads me to organize/catalog and archive some older works and generally clean up my office/studio and computer files.

I also want to start a blog and get back into a daily sketch/paint habit. I would like to participate in the sketch thread and post more on WC.

Okay, so now it is written :) :) :)


10-05-2008, 12:09 AM
Hi Tracy. Glad you can join us.

You have some very good goals here. When putting goals in writing it is a good idea to show commitment by stating "I will" before the goal. You might want to do something like: By the end of the month I will take some new photos and update my site.

Good luck to you. (BTW- I was cleaning up my studio today):lol:


10-05-2008, 01:22 AM
Congrats on cleaning up, Doug. I know it's so hard to motivate myself to that sometimes, but once I do it then I appreciate it so much.

I've had to learn to be loose on goals because symptoms will get in the way, but set them at several levels -- a basic "I will do this" combined with "and I'd really like to get this far and do this."

I'm doing a drawing a day on LJ this month too -- some form of art every day even if it's just a scribbly doodle, so that's one of my October goals too. It's part of an LJ group I'm in called "ArtSoMoFo" and we did it last year too -- a wild variety of different artists sign up and post whatever they did daily or whenever they can post. (One lost her access and can only post weekly from a library, but is reporting progress via mobile phone posts). It's an open group, so if anyone here is also a member of LiveJournal, check it out!

http://artsomofo.livejournal.com (http://artsomofo.livejournal.com)is the link. I missed one day already but I'm keeping on -- and it's okay for people to come in late. I did last year. It might help for anyone who's put daily drawing or sketching on their goals this month anyway to have yet another supportive audience to post the results to!

Tracy Lang
10-05-2008, 01:38 AM
Doug, THANK YOU!!! :)
I Will!!!

PS ..started my blog...!


10-07-2008, 08:22 PM
I've got progress! All of my long-delayed pastels projects are now started as WIPs and have at least a sketch, open for C&C which will make them much better for the happy recipients.

And I have been keeping up the daily art too, so far. Drew today and will work on my commissions again today and update as many WIPs as I work on. I probably won't do multiple WIPs at the same time again unless I have related projects, but it was the right way to trick myself off the procrastination train into action!

10-08-2008, 01:29 AM
Way to go Robert. Keep at it.


10-08-2008, 10:45 AM
I wouldn't mind at all if the cleaning bug landed here for a day or two... in the form of someone else who wants to do all the cleaning!

Charlie: I hope you're feeling better!

I have not kept up with my goals. Life got really, really busy in the past few weeks: in-laws were in town one weekend, went away to a spa last weekend, going to meet my parents in the San Joaquin Valley this weekend, after which they are coming here for a week. (The spa sounds like a nice relaxing time, and you'd think I would have been able to do some drawing/painting there, but I brought my son and stayed in a room with two good friends with young babies... and learned too late why that's not a good idea. I think I slept 6 hours and went home exhausted!)

SO... my goal for October is to finish the painting of roses I started 3 weeks ago (I'm about 85% there). I would also like to go to the farmers market and buy up a ton of pretty vegetables and make some food still-lifes. I got inspired by some amazing photography last week.

1. Rose painting
2. Sketch more
3. Farmers market -- take pix, buy, take more pix, eat! :D

10-08-2008, 03:21 PM
Thanks, Doug! I'm keeping up -- last night I fixed the cheetahs sketch after some great critique in my WIP thread, and blocked in some color on the Wombat one. They are moving. It seems like it's not a lot, but then I remember weeks of putting off working on these and it is a lot!

My other goal is to spend some time every week working on my new website. I paid a lot of money for hosting and some business software to set it up, but have been procrastinating on using it. Setting that goal low and reasonable is the way to get it done rather than set it high (try to get it set up this month or something like that), it works on these commissions.

Christy, your goals sound great! I'd be so tempted to get out to the farmer's market with a camera if I had a power chair. I used to go to the French Market all the time when I lived in New Orleans and sometimes sketch it -- now the memory of it fills my mind with color.

10-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Donna, hope your arm is healing real well!

Christy, thanks, am better but still tired. Relaxing spa, eh? Two babies, or three? Am amazed you got even 6 hours sleep. Delicious goals, btw.

Robert, let me share my motto for this year: "Procrastinate tomorrow!"

And a wee update on my goals:

Still am on one painting/week, plus sketches and fun stuff, learning stuff. Need to do two 'real' paintings.

Took a walk yesterday. Well, a 'crawl', as the bronchitis takes time to heal. Glorious sunny autumn day, and I was not allowed to be in the sun (antibiotics) so I took a walk where it is shaded and shot about 70 photos of which at least 2 may become paintings.

No Unison chart yet, but I got the good idea to print out the chart from U, and do my patches next to the prints. Maybe.

I *have* indeed framed *some* paintings (made a good choice of words there ;-) It involved 'stripping' the frames I got from the Sally Army (with glass), extensive cleaning, a repair or two. I got to use my new Logan flexible pin driver/gun, and it is one of the best investments I've made! Just one Sally frame done, and already I'd 'earned' (OK, saved) the cost of the gun, including importing it. (Framing pro is hysterically expensive here.) Did two Sally framings, and two ready-made small frames, so I've framed 4 paintings.

And updated my site and blog! I think it was the 4th and 5th blog entries, ever. Feels odd to write, and not knowing if they'll ever be read. Why am I blogging? First, because I can, as one was included in my site. And it is said that a site is a fine online portfolio, but that people love to read the more chatty stuff on blogs, as they like to "get to know" the artist. Dunno if that will ever lead to anything, but it is fun to try new things.

And, ta-da!!! I've cleaned away most of the heaps of dust in my studio. (Had to, in order to frame.) I just had had enough of the mess, and got a good start on tidying and cleansing.

Funny, this past week, I've felt like I've been vegetating in front of the computer and not gotten anything done (but caughing), but when I look at what I've just written, it is actually not bad at all.

Doug, thank you so much for hosting this invaluable thread!


10-08-2008, 10:18 PM
Wow, you did get a lot done, Charlie. Especially for fighting bronchitis and all. I'd have been flat in bed if I had that, but thankfully my daughter's good nutrition seems to have done a lot to keep me from catching the things I used to be prone to.

I've considered getting that Logan gun sometime. Way cool that you got good frames at Sally Army and got handy enough to refinish/repair them like that. In effect you're getting paid for framing along with painting when you do that, saving that money doesn't mean that your client buying a framed painting won't still pay for a framed painting. So yeah, you are earning if that framing is for art you'll sell. If it's for art you keep, it's still a big savings.

I need to get Kitten to take me on a thrift shop run sometime and go looking for frames. There are a few pieces I'd like to frame -- two are on my Good Framed Art Wall already but just matted. A couple are hanging behind me on the Matted Art Wall, but I'd like to protect them with frames. (Some art on that wall is framed too). I always seem to get sidetracked from buying frames by getting art supplies instead.

Congrats on your blog entries! It does help build contacts. I have a lot of regular readers on mine. Neat that your site has one built in!

Then cleaning up all the dust -- you did so much. I bet the less dusty studio is probably making it a lot easier to breathe.

Onward with my day to day progress... one of my blog readers is bugging me to see color on Cheetahs Fire Dancing...

10-08-2008, 11:27 PM
Christy- Good goals. I bet you get oodles of photos at the farmers market. Lots of still life's coming up in your life.:)

Charlie- You are welcome. I enjoy hosting this thread. It is a way I can contribute to WC and hopefully help some fellow members. I get so much out of WC, it's the least I can do.

I hope you get better soon. You need all the energy you can get for all your goals.:D Happy painting in your clean studio.


10-09-2008, 08:28 AM
Ok Doug, here it is...I still feel like I am in a whirlwind winding down form late summer activities, but my goals this month are to chill a bit, although some things still need to happen. I have a deadline on an entry on our Pastel Society show for 2009 the end of this month. I am working with my dogs on having nicer manners( they think they are in charge of who can or cannot come in the house,lol) My goal is to have no more than 3 barks when the doorbell rings. And my skye terrior needs to have herself reminded that she is not the alfa female here:evil:

10-09-2008, 10:00 AM
Thank you guys for the get-wells! I've not had much of a temp, just one degree Celcius higher than my normal, which is just enough to make me a bit tired, but bored with inactivity... (Always have to fight doctors on the fact that my temp is 'too low' for them...) I'm not doing aerobics, but sitting and painting, sitting and 'computering', sitting and stripping frames.

The cleaner studio is good for my lungs, too.

Robert, I'm the 'handy' person in our household, and Hubby is the intellectual brainy one with all thumbs (but somehow well muscled too). When we married, I brought electric drill, electric saw, electric sanding-machine, and two huge boxes of home-repair and fix and DIY stuff, all that paraphernalia, into the household. He brought a computer, and mismatched well lived in clothes. :-) I do the work, he fetches and carries and lifts. "Screwdriver, nurse. Knife, nurse. Hold this, do that, no-no-no, lift it *higher*!" (Yes, we *are* together, still, going on 16 years.)

I'd love to have one of those... those... lack the English, but a nifty machine that allows you to make grooves and patterns out of long bits of wood or MDF. I could make my own ... mouldings? is that the word? Form shapes in wood, cut the strips, and make frames. But, then I'd do carpentry, and not painting.

All my paintings are for sale, so far. I love them (and 'hate') as long as I'm bringing the 'babies' up and nurture them, but as soon as I've started on the next 'baby', the previous one is a 'young adult' that needs to be kicked out of the nest!

So, a goal is to get so wealthy that I can simply leave all paintings with a framer, and get gilded tripple mats and hand-carved antique frames. :-)

Robert, I'm so glad you're writing longer posts than I do! LOL! Good goals, and good trick to WIP yourself in order to actually do the paintings. Don't forget the goal of TLC of yourself, don't exhaust yourself, please. It is way easier on oneself to rein in a bit than to recover.

Tressa, Goals to chill and show a dog who's really the Alpha of that pack sounds like excellent goals to me.

Charlie (the chatty one right now)

10-09-2008, 10:44 AM
Good goals. everyone! So far the only one I've accomplished is to make my color chart for the new Senneliers I got.
BUT...this thread has inspired me to carry over into my daily household tasks the goal for the day....(I've tried it before but never been too successful. Maybe this time it'll take....)
So I gotta go do my goal for todayamd get my van emptied out.
see ya all later....

10-09-2008, 06:26 PM
Tressa- Welcome to the Goal Post. Good luck with getting your entry ready for the Pastel Society show. After that, then you can chill.:D

JB- What??? You are posting sketches all the time. That is your first goal and you are doing a great job on it.:thumbsup: Keep at it.


10-10-2008, 10:28 AM
I'd love to have one of those... those... lack the English, but a nifty machine that allows you to make grooves and patterns out of long bits of wood or MDF. I could make my own ... mouldings? is that the word? Form shapes in wood, cut the strips, and make frames. But, then I'd do carpentry, and not painting.

Charlie, I think what you're referring to is called a moulding plane (hand-held) or a router (electronic gizmo).

10-10-2008, 11:49 AM


*goes to fill in a word on this week's crossword*

10-10-2008, 12:33 PM
My goal:
Back in the 70's when I was a college student, I took 4 semesters of figure drawing and not one of my figures had a face. I avoided faces during the 70's, and have not done much drawing since until now the 00's, and my goal is to complete a portrait of my grandson. I am working on a charcoal at the moment and look forward to doing it in pastel. We need to concour our fears and I am doing them one at a time.

10-10-2008, 02:27 PM
Luana, thanks, a router it is! Handy power-tool I've not been able to justify just yet.

Could never have guessed it. And there are other 'routers' too, the thingamy in or attached to the computer that finds paths of communication.

10-10-2008, 04:43 PM
SharonC- You are so correct. We usually put what we fear on the back burner and tell ourselves we will get to it later. :rolleyes: Good luck in conquering your fear and reaching your goal. I am sure you can do it.


10-11-2008, 02:32 AM
Sharon, congratulations on conquering your fears and doing the portrait of your grandson. I remember the first good face I did, in graphite. I used a good size photo, a printout of a digital one could be blown up for that, in grayscale. And then I used tick marks. Others used gridding. That helps a lot, and after that it's just blocking in masses of value and tone. Also, low resolution photos blown up big are even better because the details vanish and the important areas of tone remain to give the likeness. The charcoal first is a good idea.

It took me a lot of people and faces done from photos before I dared do people from life, but that prepared me so that life drawing was easy by the time I got to it. Hope this helps.

Today, I did something big. I can't remember if I listed it as a goal, but it sure needed doing. I broke down facing the clutter and blew out my back cleaning up my studio area, completely. All books are put away. All mediums have been sorted and stacked neatly on shelves, and I switched my priorities. Colored pencils sets are mostly on the shelf across the room with one large set handy, and pastels sets have all migrated back to where I sit and stacked in a much more shallow stack on my easel shelf.

I got everything off the floor that was on the floor.

I put away everything I'm not using in the next month or two. I put up all the accumulated issues of F&W art magazines that I've read in a neat stack on a shelf across the room. I will fine-sort the stack of publications another time, right now it's enough that those and the National Geographics and Smithsonians are all where they belong and not clogging my studio. Only the current Artist's Magazine is over here because I haven't finished it.

Then I tackled the pencil cups and rubberbanded the four little ones together so they don't fall over. I cleared off the printer table in front of the printer completely -- place for easel or Pan Pastels or an open set. All large sketchbooks but my current one are put up. All little sketchbooks neatly stacked with my Pastelbords easy to get at. (I use those faster).

I attacked my laptop cart too, put up all the books that belong on it, then pulled down the five inch thick horizontal clutter of small sets and tins and small watercolor blocks and such and reorganized it thoroughly, putting some of the small sets across the room. The only ones still over here are Tinted Charcoals, Graphitints, Derwent Drawing Pencils, Staedtler graphite pencils and the 30 color set of Loew Cornell watersoluble artist crayons. I hadn't even tried those oil pastels yet, they were so buried.

I cleared off the stuff on the floor so well that I can see floor and got rid of a lot of trash like opened envelopes, typing all the addresses I was saving them for into the computer and ditching them. I found about two dozen Lost Things that I'd been looking for days on end or even weeks.

Then I cleared off the easel. I found art that I bought weeks ago and swap cards mixed in with art that I'd done that hadn't sold yet. Put all of those away in my albums where I can easily find them now! Hung the unfinished stretched canvas with sketch on the wall easily found and off the easel. Took down some wall art and made space for my Pan Pastels color charts. Put away all the loose sketches into the inexpensive presentation book I bought to keep loose sketches in -- it was nearly empty and they'd been proliferating. Filed all the printout papers that are about my website separate from other loose papers and kept those handy, but put away all other paper.

I took oil pastels out of their flimsy boxes and put them away in my pastel box top drawer, so now they are all in one place except the watercolor ones. Put all the packaging away out of the way. Took all the bubble wrap and air pillows out of the last Blick box to save for mailing pastels and got that into a plastic bag.

The only things on my easel right now are my three major Pastels WIPs. Oil pastels are handy for later use but out of my way, packages saved in case I get enough loose soft pastels to need that drawer back. I even went under the printer table and undid the stack of boxes and migrated the wood boxes with watercolor tubes over to the other supply shelf, where they fit and are easier to get to, because I filled my palettes recently and only need those to refill palettes. So now my oils tub is easy to get at with nothing on it but the zippered set of palette knives that goes with it.

All of my mediums are in containment specific to mediums and easy to get at directly or by moving a very shallow stack to get at them.

It's a wild exhilarating feeling being that organized. I'm used to having all of it at my elbow but the process of getting at whatever set was on the bottom of the stack was usually beyond my strength. So I'd wind up only using whatever set was on top. Or fighting with it to get at something and then using that as the new top of stack. My easel shelf was so clogged it wasn't usable for anything but grabbing small watercolor blocks or sketchbooks... and I was increasingly annoyed at 2/3 of my pastels being across the room and the small sets stacking so high under my mousepad/colored pencils leather case that I was reaching above my shoulder to mouse.

It's done. I'm sore all over, exhausted, used up maybe two days' worth of body energy to accomplish it and threw my back. But it's worth it. I can do pastels now without any further exertion, do oils now without any further exertion, still do good colored pencils with the chosen sets and rotate those a bit easier than when they were all jammed on the easel shelf.

I also attacked next month's Blick order and replanned it so the lion's share of stuff is for packing and shipping pastel paintings and drawings of any size. With commission profits coming in soon I need to put them into the business, and I was sorely lacking in some packing stuff like foam board and glassine and shrink wrap. Now I'm set up to not only do more pastels but next month can send them out as easily as I mail out my little ACEO cards, even if I go on doing 9 x 12" ones.

So today also included some planning as well as physical organizing. I had to do something in the enforced rests, and so I got a lot done mentally too in planning. It's a kick to be getting somewhere on my commissions and kick procrastination in the teeth -- and I had been procrastinating on this cleanup for way too long. I just hadn't planned to do it. Today was the "Arrgh!" point of not being able to put up with the clutter any more! And that is finished!

When I paint again it's going to be so easy.

10-11-2008, 12:59 PM
Doug, thanks for your encouragement, I am looking forward to getting to the pastel portion of my project.

Robert, thanks for your suggestions, they will be helpful.
I appreciate everyone's generosity of suggestion, encouragement and honesty to better others art.

10-11-2008, 01:56 PM
You sound super-organized now Robert. It's always nice, not to only know where everything is, but to be able to get to it.:D I hope you have enough energy to start enjoying your clean area soon.

SharonC- You are welcome.:)


10-11-2008, 05:43 PM
Thanks! I'm hoping that too, Doug. My back is seriously complaining, but it feels so good to have everything in reach. I can even see everything. Wow.

10-12-2008, 01:00 AM
I am so amazed at the extent of the art supplies you all talk about, and organizing them. So sorry you threw your back out, NO FUN!! I can put most of my pastels in a ROZ box, not all but most, and the rest of my stuff goes in a tote bag, this does not include my table easel and larger paper, I don't have a dedicated area yet in our home for my art either. We are recent empty nesters, and just finished putting our kids through private college, so getting our lives back in order if you know what I mean. Last weekend my husband and I were having a conversation on what truely makes us happy other than our personal relationships, for him it is restoring old cars,(a 59 Austin Healey, and now a 48 or 49 MGTC) and for me it was Art, whether I am creating it myself which is the most rewarding, or viewing others art at galleries or in Museums. I can be so moved by art I have found myself crying in awe at someones pieces walking through museums. When our kids were little I use to take them to Free Thursdays at our local museums and my son who is now 26, still likes to go to museums with me. My husband is in Idaho fly fishing for the weekend, so I mowed the lawn today, drank a bottle of wine with an old High School friend tonight and got caught up on years of absence, now it is time to start working on the portrait of my grandson.

10-12-2008, 02:17 AM
Thanks, Sharon. Actually "throwing my back" is a good warning system. A day or two of resting up and I'm fine, but if I keep going after throwing it then I'll get tendonitis and other problems due to skeletal crookedness that take a lot longer rest time to heal up from. I took it easy today and might take it easy tomorrow but I'll be so far ahead from being more organized. Sounds cool that your kids are grown and you have enough time for Art now! Enjoy your grandson's portrait, it's always more fun drawing someone you love. At least for me it is.

10-16-2008, 02:30 PM
Just checking in on my goals for this month....you're right, Doug...guess I was looking at the 'big picutre' instead of what's right in front of me.
Sooo..yes, I have been sketching...and enjoying my new space. Havent gotten down there every day but love being down there where it's quiet. (Upstairs the TV is going all day long. Very distracting to me....but it's my husband's only pleasure...)

Have the paintngs in mind for the Nov. art show....just have to get them framed. Only have a couple weeks left to go, but I'll get them done...unfortunately, I'm a great procrastinator, so I'll probably leave them til the last minute.... oh welll...

10-16-2008, 03:13 PM
If "organize my supplies" wasn't on my list before, it sure is now. I've been doing it.

I finished color charting my Pan Pastels, mixing Tints and Shades for each of the colors I have in my 20 color Painting set. I had half of them charted. Now I've charted all of them and hung both charts on the wall. I also charted my 60 color Rembrandt hand-me-down set.

I've got my Rembrandt set on the wall too. I think I want to chart all of my pastels. What's left now is charting and hanging my Yarka set, which has about 100 unique colors in it, my 72 Loew-Cornell set and my 96 Nupastels. If I hang all the charts on my walls, my room will be cheery and I'll easily see where that color I need is.

10-16-2008, 03:23 PM
WOW Robet...What a great idea....hanging your charts on the wall! I never would have thought of it, but I love the idea. I'll have to create a 'wall' of sorts to hang mine on....it's mostly 'open space' in my area...

10-16-2008, 05:17 PM
It's been motivational! Ever since I put the first half of my Pan Pastels chart up, when I cross the room to my art area, my chart is right there greeting me. Reminding me to do the other chart, mostly. lol

But now that they're all up and the Rembrandt charts next to them, my studio corner is all cheery. It also looks a bit more professional. It's not just a nice collection of art on the wall, it's where I do art and reminds me as soon as I turn my head.

Funny enough, putting them up also made me more critical of the other art that's up there. I have some older watercolors matted around them and moved the two best pieces to make room for my charts. Seeing the charts next to them made me see their flaws.

Then it reminded me that next month when I get my Colourfix primer, I can take down every bad watercolor up there. Prime them and use them for underpaintings for pastels.

Last, it's too easy to forget when boxes are stacked on top of each other, how many colors I already have. Once I charted the Rembrandts, I wanted to paint with them and use them again. I had mistakenly thought that old set of Rembrandts was all muted colors, tints and maybe discolored.

It's vintage, probably from the 1960s, and a hand me down from an oil painter friend who tried the medium and didn't like it. He got the set as a hand me down from another oil painter who tried pastels and didn't like them. There's a note on the inside cover: "Well, Robert, here's hoping that you'll get more use out of these than I have."

I almost didn't because the set has a dull color. The sticks shown on the cover are all faded. It's not the pastels that faded. It's just the box that faded! The list of colors inside and the materials are brown with yellowing. But the pastels themselves are bright and fresh as when they were made.

Once I posted the chart, I could see that -- and now will not be paying attention to that ratty old box when I think of what set to work with. I moved it up on top of my wooden pastels box and will be using it a lot more now. Maybe after all those oil painters, I'll use up these supplies doing cool paintings in my medium.

10-16-2008, 07:03 PM
I'm glad to hear everyone is on the right track. We all seem to be creating and organizing our art areas, so I guess life is good.:D

My only goal for the month was to submit two sketches a week in the Monthly Sketch Thread. I have done that and more. I have been experimenting with pastel pencils and hard pastels, using both with my softies and by themselves. It is so interesting with all the different looks you can get using a combination of the types of pastels.

Keep it up everyone.


10-17-2008, 12:44 AM
Oh that sounds like fun, Doug. I like all your sketches that you've posted, congratulations on keeping it up.

I'm one down, two to go for my big goal tonight. I finished Cheetahs Fire Dancing, the big 9" x 12" commission painting. I can't believe it's done. I have it pinned up to the wall and it's out of my head and on the page. It's the freakiest feeling seeing it after I have been working on it in mind for about a year and in physicality for about two months since I started sketching for it. That one was tough!

I made progress on Wombat in Garden too. I didn't have a goal of "try new techniques" but I might as well have been. I just used scumbling successfully after never using it before -- used to do a lot more refined detail or just blend backgrounds, not scumble over the blending. I like how that worked and will definitely do some more scumbling!

Might be old news to everyone else, but I came to pastels out of colored pencils and graphite, and still treated it pretty much like colored pencils scaled up looser. Now I'm finally using it as itself and loving my pastels more every time. Maybe it's the color charts hanging over me that are making me get more experimental...

10-18-2008, 03:23 AM
Wow. Had to post again here.

Second commission done, a colored pencil realism piece that has been sitting around half finished for two or three months. I didn't do any pasteling today but that's two done out of three (if you count Cat/Wombat as one big one on two pieces of paper).

I am getting somewhere with it. When the diptych is done, I'll be finished with all the promised art that I had planned. I will have a completely free schedule then... and probably ought to stick to that for a while just drawing and painting whatever takes my imagination!

10-18-2008, 07:53 PM
Robert...you are really going 'great guns'....truly an inspiration!
I got one piece framed today....still have to back it and wire it for hanging. The entry is coming up (nov 1), and I have to decide on another to enter.
but I'm getting there....

10-18-2008, 08:56 PM
Yay! I saw the one you posted in the sketch thread. Have you already done your autumn trees one? That one was so spectacular.

10-19-2008, 11:19 AM
My blogging goal is to create one painting and one technical/art post each week.

My painting goal is to go plein air at least once a week as long as the weather is good.

My professional goals are to join more local art associations and to enter shows and exhibits.

My mental goal is to keep up productivity when the weather turns cold and I can't paint outside. I do not like painting from pictures (and I am coaching myself to be more flexible), so I will seek out classes painting from life, like the nude pastels class I'm in now. I will also consider the oil portraiture class beginning in two weeks to be a beneficial way to get a portrait of my son from a picture, as he wouldn't stay still for a posed painting.

And I will continue my revived interest in reading and contributing to WetCanvas. This is both a great outlet and motivator.

10-19-2008, 06:35 PM
Hi Bonnie. Great goals. I agree with you about WC. As I have said before, if it wasn't for WC, I do not think I would still be involved with art. This place is what the internet was meant to be. A place to share knowledge and information, and to educate.

You might want to put a time frame on when you will join an association and enter shows. For example you could say you will do it by the end of the year, or by the end of February or whenever you choose.

Good luck.


10-19-2008, 07:21 PM
Thanks, Doug. I was conscious that I wasn't putting in time frames. You called me on it!

Since the summer, I've decided to be more professional and created the blog. I joined three art societies in Sept and one in October. There's a new one that's very close to me that is in the works - so new that there's no dues set up yet. A huge new art center, the Workhouse, is just down the street and I joined as a general member.

There is another possibile membership opportunity that is close by, but they meet on the same night as the first one I joined. This one is larger, more established, and prestigious, but the one I joined first has an en plein air emphasis that makes sense to my style. I joined MAPAPA, but I sure wish it were closer.

That makes four (plus one, once I hear back again from the organizer) in two months, so I've done well, especially considering all but one are local. My real goal is to have a juried type membership like MD Pastel Society. Similarly, I am working on Associate Artist status at the Workhouse, just waiting on the jurying to commence the next time - it's been a month.

I am working on my submission paperwork for the art assn I joined this month. They have a day show next month. I am also working on being juried in to another exhibit that runs Nov-Dec; it is recommended by the folks who are in the first art society I joined. Once I jury in this time, I won't have to again.

So, a goal I didn't put up is having the framed stock to exhibit. I just took in seven more pieces to the framer, so I'll have enough for both shows, especially considering the shows don't overlap.

Keeping track of the dates and forms will probably kill me. Is there a trick to this?

10-19-2008, 07:49 PM
Wow Bonnie! I get tired just reading what you have on the go.:eek: The only advice I can give you comes from my banking past, and that is to prioritize and write everything down. When you finish something on your list, cross it off. It may sound simple, but it works. When you see all those things crossed off, and the list shrinks, you will have a sense of accomplishment.

Good luck.


10-20-2008, 01:04 AM
Wow, I'm a pretty slow painter. My goal was to do a portrait, I did finish my charcoal of my grandson and was pretty pleased with the results.:thumbsup: Now I am working on my color piece, definately very difficult to not make the skin look like a maniquin (sp), doll :) . I have brushed off the dust from the paper at least 4 times and started over with a different color:( , I know I will get there, I just have to keep doing it. Hope to finish soon.

10-20-2008, 01:20 AM
Good luck on your portrait, Sharon. I love how pastel can take so many changes especially if you take the dust off and get back to the surface or close to it.

Bonnie, I'm in awe of what you're planning. That's going to take organization like Doug said. I've always wondered though about To Do lists. Why don't organizers ever suggest doing "Done" lists so that you can see how much you already accomplished and be heartened when jumping into your goals again?

When I was incapacitated from surgery a few years ago and just working on getting out of bed or getting my own coffee, I started a resolution to try to do something every day. It counted extra if I did anything beyond the first thing I could list -- and at that time "Got out of bed" was one of the things I listed. Gradually my activity and goals expanded.

I still keep the habit of "try to get something done every day" and now it's actually turned into several important things a day. Getting my coffee or getting out of bed aren't even on the list any more. But doing an eBay listing, doing some art or some writing or both, getting somewhere on organizing my computer, all count as things Done.

Some days I get a pretty long list. The "To Do" tends to fluctuate with my priorities as I sometimes have to put things off. But I never knew anyone who actually emptied their To Do lists and always found To Do lists stressful because of that.

I'm going great guns because I got stubborn on priorities. I just ranked everything I wanted to do in order of priority and slam into whatever is next, still trying to do a small artwork every day because it's October. I signed up for a daily art group for the second year that meets in October, and I'm keeping up. But also working on my big projects steadily.

None of it is happening at the speed I planned. But it's all getting done, piece by piece. Hopefully attacking my site software will go this well too.

10-20-2008, 09:38 AM
Bonnie, gosh, that a lot to do! Great activity, though, geared to getting your art out there. I'd to advice lists to keep track and to-do.

Rob, great work. Agree, the Done and Accomplished list is a great idea.

Tip: I've started to use and idea I got from a book called "Eat that frog", by Brian Tracy (if memory serves me). In Swedish, the title is "Eat the ugliest frog first", and a "frog" is a task you procrastinate on for some reason. It weighs on one's mind, and one resorts to avoidance behaviour... (Too familiar with that...) So the trick is to do that thing *first*, and then you're *rid of it* (and feel brave and productive). I painted a wee frog, framed it, and put it on the wall over the computer, just to remind us. (Painting it was a procrastination in itself... LOL!)

My goals... (sigh). Have managed two (2) almost finished large paintings this month... still far from two/week. Or, as both are twice as large as my usual format, may I think of them as 4 paintings... LOL. Now I only need to make small corrections, and frame them. (One is already in a frame, but I discovered a small area I'd missed, forgotten to finish...) Lost two days to a conference this past weekend, has to do with my money-generating job. Funny how only painting is important...


10-20-2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks, everybody. I've been a blazing. Even been calling myself an art geek to my friends, because I will talk of nothing else. You know when you're driving down the road constantly creating balanced compositions? That's me.

I mostly don't want to peter out in the winter, my normal pattern. Last year, from mid-December to this mid-May, I did nothing and was not interested. Cannot let that happen again.

10-20-2008, 09:23 PM
Bonnie, in case you didn't know, our quarterly meeting (MPS)is this Sat at12noon. You should come if you don't already. Bob Strohsahl from Great American is gonna be there, directions are on the website.

10-20-2008, 10:37 PM
Bonnie, it makes sense to me that you had the doldrums from Mid-December to Mid-May. DC gets snow. DC gets cold and nasty, right? Plein air is a lot harder, and plein air is so much of what you do. You were probably waiting for the weather to be decent enough to get out and paint outside.

Maybe if around mid-December you shifted your focus of subjects to still lifes or people, things you can paint from life indoors, it would be easier to stay motivated and keep arting. I know sometimes when I've procrastinated on something for a long time, if I think it through, I will sometimes discover there are sound physical reasons I put it off.

It would be very hard to paint with gloves on, or with fingers stiff from cold.

A broad window with a good view might be another way around it, daily or weekly studies of the same scene as it changes with the weather could be cool. I used to have a good view in Colorado, but it was in an awkward part of the house and I only painted it once. There wasn't room to put a chair by that window in my bedroom.

Painting flat on my back in bed was hard, so I did only one watercolor study of it -- partly from a photo I took laying in bed.

10-20-2008, 11:22 PM
Tressa, I didn't realize the date. I'd have to bring my 11yo son, but I just might do it. He's already balking at the noon to four part. We may have to leave early.

Robert, you're exactly right. I think taking the oil portraiture class in a few weeks will help a lot. And I am rewiring myself to paint from pictures. It would be good to do cloud studies from photographs, then shift to trees, etc.

10-21-2008, 08:09 AM
Bonnie, I think he would have fun, they have lots of goodies to munch on, and no one is required to stay the full time, after the business part, which is very short, it is very casual and friendly. Unfortunately, I cannot attend( and not happy) as my bil is getting married at noon on Saturday, so I am gonna miss it.

10-21-2008, 01:51 PM
I'm glad you wrote, because I would have been looking for you! I've read your blog for many moons and been a fan for just as long.

I also didn't realize they just meet quarterly. Good, b/c that's a hike for me. Bad, b/c that's less exposure. I guess you'd meet people at exhibits, etc. though.

Enjoy the wedding, but honestly - how dare they!?!

10-21-2008, 09:57 PM
I went to class this morning and showed PeggyB my portrait and she said basically to stop beating myself up, I need to purchase the portrait stick set. I have mostly landscape, so I will never get the skin tone to take on the light tender color of a baby, so I will put it aside for the moment and work on the class project and when I get new pastels I will come back to the portrait.
I'm feeling much better.

10-22-2008, 02:46 AM
That's the way Sharon. No need to beat yourself up. On to the next thing.:thumbsup:


10-25-2008, 01:22 AM
More progress on my total October goals.

I've kept up on October's Daily Art, most of it in pastels. I've posted it daily. Last night I finished and packed and shipped my latest commission, a small one I picked up in order to top off a Blick order that I wanted to do before the end of the month and get my packing supplies for the big commissions.

Today I spent six hours on the headache-work of my website's keyword analysis stuff, coming much closer to a site title. If I can finish all that preliminary stuff by November, then I will have it so easy during November. Writing is second nature to me. Keyword analysis is not.

I've only got two more art cards to finish and one big commission which I couldn't send till during November anyway since that's when the client can pay the shipping on it. It is the least urgent, though it'll be great when I finish it.

I am seeing a real light at the end of the tunnel. Soon I will actually have all obligations finished completely. I think I'm going to enjoy at least a week completely free of anything resembling a commitment so that I can just merrily do whatever I darn well feel like. This effort has been a bit stressful but I'm so close to finished now. I might really manage it all by end of month.

10-29-2008, 01:12 PM
I just reviewed my goals for October, and am happy to announce I did complete them all!
My charts are very helpful in seeing the nuances and slight differences in some of the shades that to me look alike.
I have sketched and postedd through most of the month.
I have 3 works to submit to the League show, which starts next week.(actually they are not all 'new' for this show. But at least 2 of them are.)
So all in all, I think I did pretty well.
Now on to the Novemeber goals....let's see...have to think a bit on this...

10-31-2008, 01:23 AM
Congratulations, JB! That rocks!

I'm not going to make all of my October goals. A few sick days knocked the stuffing out of me and Cat/Wombat isn't finished, also I've still got one more colored pencils ATC to send out. But that is the only one, and it has no deadline.

I've got a few unfinished works and made progress on three of them tonight -- some good progress on Cat/Wombat and a bit more on my oil pastels waterlily.

I've missed only two days for the daily art challenge I am in, and it's drawing to a close. I don't think anyone in it actually got something posted every day, I am among those that came close.

I'm happy with my progress. I set extravagant goals and I came closer than I would've if I'd kept them down to reasonable, like finishing one of the commissions. It feels good.

I've kept up pretty well and am ready to head into another month and set some new goals. I might just try to "work large more often" and keep it vague yet fun compared to this month.

Oh duh. Big November goal. Get ready for December show would be the goal. That does involve working large more often, but also a lot of matting and framing.

10-31-2008, 10:29 AM
JB, congratulations! You're an inspiration to me!

Rob, maybe not all goals met, but you did really well! You got *most* of it done.

Oh, dear. I didn't even remember my goals.... had to go back and look at them, which is the beauty of writing them down -- they do not disappear forever in the black hole of forgetfulness. Time to 'fess up: I didn't meet the goals so well this month. There are reasons (and some of them are excuses :o ) but as they really do not matter, I'll not even mention them. What matters is that I *did* get more done than without goals.

Finish 2 paintings/week: Umm... er... no... only about 1/week. And a number of sketches.

Catalogue Unisons: No.

Frame *Some*: About halfway through!

Finish half-done paintings: About 50%!

Blog: Yes! I've indeed blogged 1-2/week. Even got total strangers (not WC people) who commented! I was shocked! Well, you say, that is what a blog is for, but truly, I'd only expected the occasional WC artist.

Clean studio: Also half-done, but since it's gotten back to way too messy...

So, not brilliant, but getting there.

I certainly know what my topmost highest priority on November's goal will be.


10-31-2008, 11:30 AM
JB- Way to go!!!:thumbsup: Now your goal list for next month will be shorter.:)

Robert- You have been busy and that is the main thing. You are paintng when you can. Keep it up.

Charlie- You are winning! You have accomplished plenty of things. You have also been busy setting up you still life class. I am looking forward to it.

I haven't been doing any painting the past two weeks. I have been studying for an English Lit exam that I write tomorrow at 9:00am. It feels like my head is going to explode.:eek: The last exam I wrote was about 33 years ago, and I know I have studied more for this one than I ever studied for any exams in high school.:D I will be getting my new pastels out at 12:05 pm tomorrow. Hopefully I will post a couple of sketches in the Sketch thread.


10-31-2008, 10:52 PM
Thanks for hosting The Goal Post this month, Doug. It's been great to be able to track my progress this month. I know I did more than I would've if I hadn't been able to run back and post about it as soon as I got some progress.