Saturday, October 06, 2007

How's your list coming on?

October 2007
copyright Jeanette Jobson

Early in January this year, I set myself 10 goals to reach and thought it would be interesting to check and see just where I was in terms of reaching them. In the past year, lots has happened in terms of art for me and I think I have made progress. But the proof is in the pudding, so lets go through the list and see.

1. Offer more drawing classes for different levels
I'm just starting to do this now. I will teach a class online in the near future. This month I start with a kids' class in drawing and in November I start in earnest teaching 2 adult and 1 childrens class a week. I am also booked to teach a workshop late this year or early next year for the Art Association.

2. Start a art club locally
I've joined the Art Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and sit on the Board as Treasurer. I have also joined the Realist Artist Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. As its always said, you have more leverage within than outside, so I have ideas for these art associations to expand and grow to offer modules under their umbrella.
3. Complete a series of drawings or paintings.
I haven't done this yet, but there are many ideas for series that come to me. I seem to get bogged down with practicalities and distractions. I need to commit to a series and just do it!

4. Enter at least 4 art exhibitions
I entered a exhibition in April The piece sold and I received Best of Show for it. A piece has been entered in the Woman in Newfoundland Art show which opens today and runs til October 26th in Corner Brook. I will enter 4 pieces in a show on October 21 and finally another exhibit for a Christmas show on December 2nd. So I guess I will meet my target there. These are all local shows and I would like to try my hand at some national or international shows and be accepted into a juried exhibition.

5. Develop a web site
The concept is in my head, but not on paper. I believe this is a must for the near future and I'll be working on achieving this before the end of the year. I'm not sure about the rate of sales through websites. Some are more successful than others, but I believe that a web presences is crucial. For now, my blog will have to do as my electronic presence.

6. Market and sell my prints
Well, they're still sitting in the cupboard. I have sold some, but I haven't put an active process into place to market them. I see this tied into the website in some ways, but I know there are other more effective ways of marketing them.

7. Rediscover oil painting and do at least one small oil painting a month (I'll never make it into the Painting A Day category)
I have pulled out my oil paints and produced three or four small pieces. I will continue to push myself with that medium.

8. Go to a different art exhibition each month
I haven't done this. Time has been a limiting factor for me. Or maybe that's just an excuse. I hope to go to The Rooms this weekend and see the current Albrecht Dürer exhibition. I really have no excuse for not going to exhibitions, I simply need to make time. They always are a source of inspiration, no mater what the theme.

9. Attend a class in a new medium
I have tried to sign up for several classes, but scheduling conflicts with work or other commitments always come up. I have looked unsuccessfully for life classes and just haven't found any. Its a challenge in a small city to find the services that you need. The Art Association does hold a variety of workshop during the year and I may be able to fulfil my needs through some of them.

10. Develop my market for animal portraiture locally
I have produced marketing brochures and flyers for animal portraiture and distributed them to animal grooming parlours, local stores and some pet stores. Reception for having brochures or flyers in stores has been limited as has been my time for distributing brochures. Working and trying to create and market art is a real challenge. I still need to push this through other sources.

I have just gotten some marketing pieces from the printer promoting animal and people portraiture. I have glossy postcards and magnetic business cards as well as regular business cards. I'll choose wisely where the more expensive marketing pieces go and track results that I get with them.

I've achieved 50% of my goals 9 months into the year with some movement in other areas, but not completion. I don't consider this bad, bearing in mind that I have a full time job as well as producing art. But there is room for improvement. I've learned from writing this down that I procrastinate and I must learn to make time to do what I want and need to do. I need to focus on my priorities and ensure they are taken care of.

So where are you in your list? Do you have a list? If not, why not? Its never too soon to set goals for yourself. Don't wait until January, do it now! A goal for a day, a week or a month can be enough to start your creative juices flowing and push you in the right direction.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Flowers and babies

Cerinthe Kiwi Blue
coloured pencil 9 x 12
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I've finished the cerinthe flower piece and am fairly pleased with it. I really have a block up when it comes to drawing flowers, but I'm trying to push past it. I'll have to try a few other mediums and see if I can get a feel for it. Whatever roads I venture down, I always seem to come back to my comfort zone - portraits of animals and people.

This is a terrible photo, but I was pressed for time and was using artificial light. I will try again in natural light. It looks completely different in real life. Its one of the bears of electronic imaging, the colours and clarity just never are the same unless its professionally done.

24 hours into their visit, I've been left in sole charge of my eight month old grand daughter and she's been very kind to me. Not crying, drinking her bottle then going off to sleep for the night with barely five minutes of squeaking.

So good you get her twice. Yes, grandmothers are allowed to be obnoxious and bombard people with grandchildren photos.

Now I need to get down to the serious stuff. I have a promotion board to complete, flyers for the kids class in October and supply lists for the courses I will teach in November. And a little work for the Art Association. All for tomorrow. No pressure, noooooo, not a bit.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Teaching drawing

I am probably quite certifiable to take on more tasks but I have.

I'll be teaching some drawing classes for adults and children at Michael's starting in November - well one in October - that will take up my Monday nights and most of my Sundays. This is in addition to an online course that I will be teaching for Brenda Hoddinott at Drawspace, when her new website is up and running.

The additional work seems a little daunting at the moment, but once the lesson plans are in place it should be fairly straight forward - touch wood. The kids' classes I haven't done much of before, but 8 - 12 year olds should be focused enough to let them explore some techniques and have fun. They may turn out to be more fun than the adults.

I look forward to some more teaching and the exposure that I wouldn't normally get from passing traffic. It may take me a few lessons to get into my stride, but I'll get there.

Tomorrow my daughter and grand daughter arrive from Calgary for a couple of weeks. Its amazing the amount of 'things' you need to have to accomodate a baby. A crib, a highchair, a bouncer thingy, stroller, diapers, milk, food, etc etc. A small body sure has a lot of needs doesn't it? But I think everything is in place and hopefully she'll settle down and I'll get to know her all over again, as I haven't seen her since she was a month or so old. So I may be absent for a day or two til I get the routine down pat. I will take a few days off next week and the week after, but meetings are so often scheduled into the future for me, a full week at once is always a challenge.

The photo is of some wheat/barley/oats that was grown this summer. So what you say? Well it is Newfoundland and we have a very short season. This was grown from grains taken from some animal feed and planted in the field. I was quite surprised to see that it formed heads at all. The prairie people should be able to identify it more accurately than I can.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Cerinthe grew this summer in the greenhouse. It was a newcomer to me and I hadn't seen the plant previously but the flowers were enchanting, such lovely shades of blues and purples. I took some photos of it and today thought I'd tackle my arch enemy - drawing flowers. I have to say that I rather enjoyed it so far.

Its coloured pencil, 9 x 12 Canson paper. I've kept it soft and somewhat grainy so far. Just getting the richness of the purple-blues is the challenge.

The flower is cerinthe major pupurescens - Kiwi Blue for those who may want to try their hand at growing it. Its an annual and easy to grow. Its also known as the Blue Shrimp Plant.