new year thoughts
Iced in on this New Year's Eve 2010, and contemplating the lows and highs of the past year in my art life. Things certainly began badly..art sales were slow for me last winter, and expenses high. If I'd known then that 2010 would turn out to be my best year to date for art income, I'd have spared myself some sleepless nights and general anxiety! It's a pattern though, one that I've observed in over 25 years of ups and downs in the art world. Things may look very bleak, and then suddenly there is a breakthrough, an opportunity, a new idea, a sale, a gallery call, some form of recognition...and once again, there's forward momentum.
2010 was my first full year of giving workshops, which was the best new development for me. They ranged from one-day sessions in my studio to three day classes in various locations around the country...culminating in a private session on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in November. (THAT was more that I imagined possible when I first started teaching in 2009.)
Every workshop I taught was its own adventure, and I loved the travel, connecting with interesting people around the country, making new friends, and the satisfaction of providing other artists with something they value (while learning plenty from them as well.) I was touched and honored that even in the slow economy, artists were willing to pay tuition and sometimes considerable travel costs to come to my classes. Only a few classes had less than full enrollment. (I'm looking forward to adding some new locations and new content in 2011--I'll be posting my calendar soon, and sending out a newsletter to people on my workshop mailing list.)
In the studio, it was a productive year, and I had three exhibits in 2010 (at Circa Gallery in February, and Darnell Fine Art and Telluride Gallery both in October.) Over the course of the year, I felt a shift away from specific references to my 2008 artist residency in Catalonia, though influences remain. New techniques for adding lines and gestural marks, as well as more contrast, and evidence of paint layers evolved. I will have quite a bit of new work online when I launch my new website in January. Actually it's going to be two websites--my main one will focus on my paintings--a straightforward gallery/portfolio site. The other (www.CrowellArtConnection.com...that's not an active link yet) will be aimed at artists, and have my teaching info, writings, links, and so on. At least that's how I envision things now--I'm heading for Ithaca, NY next week to get down to specifics with my website designer.
Tonight I'm feeling grateful for a good year now past, and optimistic about what's ahead. I wish all of you satisfying work, new ideas and a pleasing degree of prosperity. And that you experience great generosity, both in what you are given, and in what you give back to others, as well.