100 Birds

Looking back at the art goals I had going into 2020, it’s hard not to laugh. Oh, how naïve we were in January. I don’t need to go into all the ways it has been a hard year for us, it’s practically all we think about already, right? So sitting down to write some goals for this year had a distinctly different feel than ever before. I thought it might be pointless, knowing how absurdly unpredictable this past year has been. Would this new one be any different? Is it ridiculous to try to plan anything amidst complete uncertainty?

I’m very lucky; my day to day world as a stay at home mother didn’t change dramatically as the pandemic progressed, but my mental landscape did. The fear, the anger, the sadness that we collectively experienced sometimes gave me a deep drive to get my ideas and pictures out of my head and onto the canvas, but most often those feelings made me exhausted and unable to muster the energy to create or even get off the couch in my limited free time. Ah, my beloved couch, where I am currently lounging while writing this.

When this new year rolled around, I didn’t really believe a lot would change in the world outside. I know that’s going to take a long time, and things will never be quite the same. But until I know differently, isn’t it better to plan as if things will improve? As if we’ll be able to see family again, as if healing and meaningful change can begin, as if children will return to school? Can I make art goals as if people will be in a position to buy the art I make? If the only real risk in dreaming big creatively is that I end up with a huge pile of art still stuck in my studio at the dawn of 2022, and my painting has improved from all that practice, isn’t that still a year well spent?

So, it is with optimism and an overly ambitious idea of much I can accomplish in a year that I decided to strive to paint 100 birds this year. Will I succeed? Who knows! Seems unlikely, but I’m going to do my best to get there! If I find that my energy is better spent in self care and rest some days or some weeks, that’s a great use of my time, too. I plan to dream big and be gentle with myself.

I’ll do my best to post them somewhat regularly here. I know it’s been about two years since I posted but I have been missing the deeper conversation (monologue?) that blogging allows. It’s a nice contrast to the three seconds we spend looking at each post on Instagram. Thanks for following along with me.

Creatives out there, I’m curious about how your goals and ambitions changed for this year, or how your creative practice is handling the uncertainty of these times. Will you share in the comments?

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