Monday, December 28, 2009

End-of-year reflections

This is the time of year when we look back on the past 365 days. If you have the time and inclination, you carefully analyze what worked and what didn’t, and make your plans for the upcoming year accordingly. If you’re a super-busy person, you simply try to figure out what the heck just happened.

I had many career successes in 2009. I sold 13 paintings, and I participated in 4 group shows: 2 were in college galleries; 1 was alongside such talents as Michael Mazur and Piek Larsen; and the fourth, which included such luminaries as Agnes Martin and Richard Serra, was reviewed in a Boston Globe article that included a mention of my work. I am thankful for having had so many opportunities.

I taught my heart out this year: 3 college classes, 3 workshops, 4 teen classes, 3 professional development classes, 6 adult education classes, and private lessons. I consider it a privilege to be a teacher, and to have the opportunity to help my students to develop their technique (beginners) or to find their own voices (graduate students). After all these years of teaching, I still feel honored to look up and see my students working contentedly at their easels.

Four of my reviews were published in the New Bedford Standard-Times during 2009. I have had to let my writing career slide lately, because I’ve simply been too busy to devote the time. But I adore writing about art. I believe it is a chance to honor the artists I write about, give them much-deserved attention and excite my readers about their work, as I am excited.

But what I am most proud of about 2009 is what I did in my studio, my Heaven on Earth. The things I learned, visually and technically, and the inner vibrations that I expressed through my painting … these are things I can’t articulate verbally. While the tangible results of the time I put in appear on my website, the finished paintings can’t quite convey the joy I feel inside at having created them. There aren’t words to express the realization that you wanted to say something, and you picked up a brush, and you managed to say it. It’s a true blessing to have this opportunity.

However you choose to look back on 2009, with a fleeting glance or with careful consideration, I wish you a wonderful and very happy 2010!

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