First and foremost, as far as I am concerned, should be to compete AGAINST YOURSELF. That’s right – against yourself, not anyone else. This could mean many things to you.
See if you can push your limits with each successive painting for consistently better results. Don’t let any failures stop you.
· It may mean trying new techniques.
· It may just mean sticking it out and finishing a painting, even if it is “going south”, rather than tossing it and beginning a new one. Push yourself to learn how to correct mistakes.
· It may mean trying a new medium - if you paint in watercolor, try acrylics, or vice versa.
· It may mean trying some new colors.
· Paint something you don’t normally paint, i.e., try portraits if you are a floral painter and vice versa.
Resolve to take some classes or a workshop.
Join an art organization. (If you live in or near any decent sized city there are probably art groups available.)
· Go to an art store and ask if they know of any organizations or classes.
· Ask other artists if they belong to a group or give lessons.
· Visit galleries and do the same.
· Visit museums or galleries to get ideas or just get energized. Most people live within a reasonable drive of a major city. (I am fortunate to live outside Cincinnati and about an hour away from Indianapolis. Both have great art museums that are conducive to a day trip.) Take a friend and make a day of visiting local museums.
· Flip through art books or magazines.
· Go through your pile of photos or digital images.
Set specific goals for your art.
· This may mean painting every day, or once a week or just to finish one picture a month – whatever seems reasonable to you, but something that will push you just a bit farther.
Whatever you do - just remember to make you OWN resolutions! While any step forward is good, don’t allow yourself to be pushed into doing something you are uncomfortable with just because you see other artists doing the same. When that happens, you lessen the joy you feel in creating and what once was fun becomes a chore.
Everyone has their own idea of what they want to achieve – just keep pushing yourself to achieve the best that you can to reach YOUR goal.