Posts Tagged ‘progress evaluation’

So … Where are we now?

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

As a (very) late bloomer, I have discovered how important it is to not only plan my progress toward pre-identified goals, but to periodically evaluate how satisfactorily I’m actually making progress.  This year I set out to work on my watercolor skills, to explore and identify my “style,” and to discover who I am—what my role is—as an artist.

“In Daddy’s Hands” by Charlotte Mertz (5″ x 5,” graphite pencil, #170605p)

The first goal—learning, developing, and polishing skills—is an ongoing process that will never be complete, as long as I can lift a brush and continue to challenge myself.  With conscious effort put toward improving my understanding and development of specific skills, I hope that they have been improving this year, with my work more consistently displaying higher quality.  But I wonder if my focus on one area has allowed me to become lax in others. A periodic flop warns me that I’m not infallible and there is still plenty of room for improvement.

I have also come to recognize characteristics of my personal style and what elements of others’ art particularly influence my own work, which increases my confidence that, in general, I’m on the right track.

The third goal, discovering my role as an artist, has been more elusive.  So that is another realm that I hope to explore more rigorously in the coming months.  Certainly I think of myself as a teacher and encourager of others.  But what is the underlying drive and purpose of my own artwork?  I have long recognized that the concept for each piece and my inspiration to paint go hand in hand. But less clear has been what might be the consistent, overriding similarity in purpose that compels me to paint anything.  This is a question to which I’ve gradually been finding answers.  More about that next time.

A Pause Along the Way

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

As we approach the end of another year, I find it a good time to evaluate how far I’ve come, how much my skills have increased, and where I would like to go from here.

120814 Preserve Shadows

This year I have been studying with the Virtual Art Academy (July 1 blog) to fill in a lot of the gaps left from my informal, self-directed art education. It has helped my work improve immeasurably. Admittedly, not every painting reaches my highest level of achievement, but learning is an ongoing process. I intend to continue applying the lessons learned there and through my own related studies.

Some of the areas in which I’ve been aware of improvement include use of color to achieve a sense of perspective, closer observation to the causes of certain visual effects, drawing skills, composition, more accurate depiction of form, more effective use of values, and more confident brushwork. I know there’s still a lot of room for improvement, but that’s a lot to have learned in a short time. So I’m pleased with how far I’ve progressed to this point.

Now the question remains, where shall I go from here? I expect to resume teaching watercolor locally, during Florida’s “Snowbird Season.” I will continue to work with acrylics (see #120814 – “Preserve Shadows,” above) as well as with watercolors. And it’s also time to make my work more widely available to the general public. So I will consider participating in more art shows during the coming year and will strive to increase my gallery representation.

Among other things, I look forward to doing some more traveling to see fine art masterworks in person, to experience a bit of other cultures, and to otherwise broaden my intellectual and artistic horizons.

I wish you all safe and happy holidays, and hope you fare well in the coming year, whatever seasons of change and transition may lie ahead.