Sometimes art & life plans work in synchronistic harmony here at Wild Ozark, just because everything here acts as inspiration for my art. But, it always feels like I’m flying by the seat of my pants. No routine, just trying to make art during the eddies in the wake of all the boulders in a fast-flowing stream of life.
However, I do have a few goals in mind, even if there’s no strategic ‘plan’ to execute.
Here’s a quick bullet point summary, in no particular order, that I hope will help me focus better as the days flow by:
- birds of prey
- studio time
- sell more art
- real estate
The main thing on my list of art plans is to paint more raptor portraits for my Birds of Prey series. I’ve always loved birds of prey, and I’ve done several of the ones on my list but there are so many more to go!
I have two canvases ready to go for this part of my art & life plan. I’m thinking two paintings of either two different hawks, or both of the same hawk in different positions. When we get back from our trip to Texas, I may start on these to get a jump on the 2024 lineup.
References for Paintings
The biggest holdup for this project is finding photos or taking my own. I don’t have a camera good enough to get sharp images from a distance, and I never seem to be in the right place at the right time to get good enough ones with my phone.
So I watch for images in the feeds of various photographers I follow, and when I find one I like, I ask them if I can use it. If you’re reading this or know someone who has bird photos I could use, I offer to either pay a commission on the sale of the original or a print in exchange for using the photo. I’m also open to paying up-front to use a photo if the cost is within my budget. And I always give photographer credits when I make my blog post about the painting.
This is how most of my bird references are found, but I’d like to be able to provide my own references.
An Artist’s Wish List
A good telephoto lens is on my wish list for 2024. There’s a lot of other items on that wish list that I need more, though, haha. So that means selling more art is also high on my list of Art & Life Plans this coming year. My art sales are what funds the purchases of materials I need for making more art, so it’s a never-ending feedback loop.
Studio Time & Real Estate
These two don’t sound like they go hand-in-hand, but I am going to use my studio desk for working on my real estate business. So I will use painting to take breaks from any real estate desk work and vice versa. This is a theoretical plan at this point.
I have no idea if those two will work well together or not, but I plan to find out. Until I get my license and get active in the business, I have no idea what exactly I will be doing on a daily basis. So this literally puts ALL of my 2024 plans up in the air, to be honest. Everything is on a wait-and-see status until I get to see.
Gardening & Fencing, and Homestead Tasks
There’s no escaping the many things on my to-do list surrounding our homestead. More fencing for the horses has been on the list for years, and every winter I regret not doing more of it the seasons before. I need more space for the horses to graze, so that’s going to be a high priority to get fencing done this year.
Last year I made a lot of progress in building my garden. There is still a lot more to do with that. I need to haul more soil to the beds this year, and build at least one more long bed. One of my long-term goals has been to grow more of our own food, and I haven’t made a lot of progress towards actualizing that goal. I want to do better in 2024.
Aside from those two main items, I also need to learn how to trim my own horses hooves, since it is always difficult to find someone who travels to our remote location to do them. Either that, or I need to buy a trailer so I can haul them somewhere to be trimmed, and that requires money that isn’t in the budget yet. Selling more art and possibly selling real estate might help with that, though.
Exercise for Art & Life Balance
My friend Annette told me about a yoga studio not too far from where we live. I’d like to start going to a weekly yoga session as part of my art & life plans for 2024. Before we moved up here I practiced in a group class and I loved it. I’ve missed being able to do that. Not only is it good for the body, but it’s good for the mind, too.
Aside from the usual tasks that involve working around the homestead, I intend to resume and continue my daily walking and jogging. This is something I need to start doing now, not wait until next year. So, I’m going to begin that tomorrow morning.