Each year I make a calendar and each year I make a resolution.
Last year, my New Year's Resolution was to paint every day. That certainly did not happen. I have switched recently from mostly watercolors to mostly oil paintings. Considering that we often travel up to six months a year, I can only bring along my painting gear on road trips, not airplanes. And often there is hardly time to sketch. In Peru for a month, we took long birding treks during daylight with only candle light and flashlights after dark. So my resolution never stood a chance. Another flaw was that "every day" clause. Once you miss one day, you're done!
I began creating the calendars after a wondrous three week safari to Kenya. With Photoshop, I added children and grandchildren to the wildlife photos--Mike with his arm around a lion's mane, Charlotte riding a giraffe, Kenna and Sedge on their tricycles next to a rhinocerous. In years that followed I made photo calendars of Yellowstone (bison, wolves, marmots), of Vietnam and Thailand (water monitors, elephant artists), of Borneo (orangutans and hornbills), and of Polynesia (stingrays and seaturtles). For 2013, I selected the best of my photos from remote Amazonian and cloudforest regions of Peru (hummingbirds, macaws, toucans and tapirs).
So it is time again for a new resolution. After last year's failure, I tried to compose a more acheivable goal for 2013. And it it took me all this week for an idea to hatch that seemed just right.
In 2013 I resolve to complete 12 paintings that are worthy of publication in my 2014 calendar. There are always a handful of paintings I might use, but never enough. I fall back on my photos instead, year after year. As the year goes by I can measure whether I am on track, as I need to complete an average of one per month. Yet if I fall behind, all is not lost. Wish me luck!