Five things - because once you write it down, it's real

In Enid? Stop by Garfield Furniture downtown to see my paintings on display. This family-owned store has been in business for 93 years -- pretty cool!

Normally, I’m not that into New Year’s resolutions -- January 1st has never seemed better than any other day to make a change. But this year was different; I was unusually excited about the New Year and decided to really attack my art business.

To help keep me honest, and since it’s a good time to report on the first quarter, I’m sharing five things – things I've accomplished so far this year and that I’m working on.

1. Waking up early. The evenings are not to be trusted – I might have to work late, there might be errands to do or, let’s face it, some TV that needs watching. So, I've been getting up at 6 as often as possible to get some painting or exercising in before I have to start work at 8:30.   

2. Learning the biz. I've read a few really great books so far this year, including Steal Like an Artist, which I recommend for anyone pursuing creative endeavors. I've also (finally) started listening to podcasts and have been learning a lot from Artists Helping Artists.

3. Building my digital presence. I started this newsletter and have spent a lot of time working on my website -- redoing the homepage and adding most of the paintings I have done in the past few years. Up next: optimize my website for search engines. I’m also making more of an effort on Instagram to post regularly and deliberately.

4. Producing consistently. I've set a goal of starting and finishing two paintings a month. I need to build up my inventory and this seems achievable.

5. Painting from memory. I almost always paint from photographs that I have taken, but I don’t always have a camera with me when I see something I want to paint. And sometimes, a photograph just doesn't do the scene justice. I've done two paintings this year without a reference photo – partly to practice and partly because I had run out of photos. At first pass, it may seem easy to just make something up – after all, there’s no way to get it “right” or “wrong” – but I've found it is much easier to have a photograph to copy. Mother Nature already got it perfect anyway.

From Enid, America (yes, that’s really what they call it), have a fantastic week!