Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcome to the New Year!

Self Portrait, oil on linen, 5" X 7", 2008
$100 USD

e-mail me for purchase information

It's been a full year now since I quit my job to paint full time. I wasn't sure what it would be like, so early on I set out a fairly comprehensive plan, with clear goals and commitments. I based my plan on extrapolating out what I was able to do on nights and weekends over the years, as well as past performance in school.

The overarching idea was to build a foundation that would lead to a sustainable painting career.

So how'd I do?

Well… some good, some bad. Judged against what I had hoped to achieve, I did pretty poorly. Looking back on what I did achieve, I feel pretty good. Here are my key take aways:

  • I learned more accurately what my limits are, both time wise and creatively. It's a lot easier to produce a 16 X 20 painting once a week when that's the only painting you do. It's a lot harder when you're doing something different every day.
  • I became a better painter. The small pieces have really helped build skill set.
  • People will buy my artwork. I made something close to 30% of what I spent, which was better than I thought I might do in the first year. As a result, I have more confidence in making this a sustainable career.

Now for the nitty gritty. You can skip the rest of this post if you want. It'll probably be pretty boring after this…


  1. Paint everyday (1 hour minimum)
  2. Create at least two editions of an art journal
  3. Meet with family and/or friends at least once every week
  4. Get 5 professional massages
  5. Read a Dickens novel
  6. Take a picture of myself with a stuffed (taxidermy wise) animal (carryover from last year)
  7. Walk 2 miles at least once a week
  8. Have six parties/get togethers
  9. Learn enough to know what f stop, exposure, and such mean; get a better handle on my photography skills.
  10. Work in a medium I'm not terribly familiar with (linocut, screenprint, etc)

Items crossed out are things that I didn't complete to satisfaction.

Items bolded are resolutions that I achieved enough to get credit for—doesn't mean that it was 100% achieved.

  • Have 5 shows (gallery or non traditional venue) in 2008
  • Get work into 3 new galleries
  • Sell enough work to support at least 1/3 of my yearly spend

I didn't get into 3 new galleries, but I did have more than 10 art shows last year. That was terrific!


  • Post a new small (8 X 10 inches or under) painting for sale to the blog everyday
  • Paint 50 16 X 20 or larger canvases
  • Paint 50 11 X 14 canvases
  • Draw at least 200 pages in sketchbook
  • Draw 50 +2 hour drawings
  • Apply 10 hours a week to learning and development
  • Apply to 10 juried shows
  • Write a post mortem review towards goals and commitments each month



Ah well. There's always this year. 2009's list will be more manageable, I think. Still ambitious, but achievable.

More on that tomorrow.


milindmulick said...

Hi Jason
Welcome back in blogger world.
Wish you a better 2009.Happy and Full.
Lovely portrait..self?

Jason Waskey said...

Thank you Milind! Same to you: a happy and hearty 2009.

Yeah-- that's my ugly old mug. :)

Leah Waichulis said...

It's difficult going over past goals and coming up with new ones. (I've been driving myself crazy with that stuff) Good luck in 2009!

Don Gray said...

Glad you're back, Jason! I've missed seeing your posts.

Your goals were admirable and a lot to chew--I think you've done extremely well. Pat yourself on the back. All best in 2009.

Connie said...

Congratulation on all that you achieved...good work! Would love to know more details about what you did last year. I have similar goals and resolutions for 2009.

Jason Waskey said...


Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it can be a pain to cover the old stuff, but... you gotta do it.

Best to you this year!

Jason Waskey said...

Thank you, sir. Happy New Year!

I've got to start hitting the blog circuit again too-- I know there's a TON of great work to see that I've missed over the last few months...

expect me over at your place soon...


Jason Waskey said...


Thanks for the comment! Last year was a foundation year for me-- what you see here and on my main website is pretty much what I did last year! :)