Art biz coach Alyson B. Stanfield each year challenges her readers to take stock of the past year, to see what you have accomplished, what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. I did it two years ago (it was a real eye-opener!) and decided to do it again this year.
In 2011 . . .
I added approximately 175 new people to my mailing list, gained numerous new followers on Twitter and created a Fan Page on Facebook for TwinLakes Encaustic Art, which has now 171 likes. The Ning community on Encaustic Art grew to more than 900 members, with almost 250 new members since January 2011.
Marketing & Business
In the past year I participated in 11 exhibitions. I sold 21 paintings and got my first commission, which was well received.
New this year was my involvement with the Lake-to-Lake Studio Tour. It forced me to tidy up my studio and present it as small gallery with proper title/price cards. We also had a beautiful flyer printed with details of all the participating studios, and the group created a facebook page and online map. During the summer I had almost 50 people visiting me, which resulted in more names for my mailing list, people signing up for workshops and several cards and paintings sold.
Also new were the Lobby Gallery Sundays at the Penticton Lakeside Resort in the period before Christmas. I was able to rent some display screens to hang my paintings and did demonstrations with the iron. Many people signed up for my mailing list and I sold 4 paintings.
I wrote 53 blog posts, 12 newsletters and 13 Ning broadcasts last year.
Education & Exploration
While at the International Encaustic Artists retreat in Portland last September I attended many talks and demonstrations. I also was chosen President of their new Canadian Chapter CanWax.
One of the highlights of the retreat for me was getting to know Kelly Williams and Bridget Benton. Kelly has worked closely with people struggling with addiction and presented a very personal tale of success. Bridget’s talk about creativity really blew me away, and she is incredibly funny! I hope to invite both of them to Canada to share their stories.
New resources for me were the online classes by Linda Womack. I signed up for 2 and will certainly take more in the future. I also took dry embossing with Viv and a drawing class with Kindrie. My bookkeeping skills improved and I can now reconcile my own bank and credit card statements.
I learned to inject myself medication and discovered Zentangles, an artful way of doodling. I even drew some left-handed. A number of drawings were coated with wax and became part of the Untangled exhibition. Recently I also incorporated them in small paintings in combination with the crow images.
I taught 9 workshops, held one circle meeting, did a demo with local girl scouts, took 2 vegan cooking classes and participated in the 5th. RipOff Challenge.
During the summer I created a new body of work: the Hills & Trees series, of which many paintings sold this year.
My paintings received 1 + 2 place in the art contest of the May issue of Okanagan Artworks.
Okananagan Artworks also published a feature article about me and placed the winning painting on the cover.
In October there was an article in Okanagan Sun about Untangled, my joined show with Bethany Handfield, and Skaha Matters mentioned my studio with a picture.
Being part of the RipOff Artists brought publicity in 3 newspaper articles and hundreds of viewers during the RipOff week and the following display at the Fall Art Show in Oliver.
4 of my paintings were admitted into FCA juried shows; two of them got send to Vancouver.
I was able to support Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka with discounts and extras, and I sent extra iron and waxes to The Creative Cocoon, Ontario, an organization which works with seniors.
And one last thing: while doing all of the above I was battling breast cancer with the unwavering support of my fantastic husband and all my dear friends, far and wide.
After the surgery in Oct. 2010, I underwent 5 chemo and 20 radiation treatments and numerous tests in 2011. I lost all of my hair and grew it back again.
Although being ill from the treatments did slow me down a bit, if I now read over what I’ve accomplished this year, I’m very proud of myself.
It was not a bad year after all!
P.S.: Below is an oil portrait of me by Bill Hibberd, which he painted last month. I think he captured very well what this last year has been about for me: life-changing, resulting in a determined optimism…