Shut the front door, it's 2024!!!! Happy, sparkly, merry, joyous, exuberant, optimistic, dreamy, divine, mysterious and wild New Year to you!!!
Looking back I'm pretty pleased with the trajectory of 2023. It was a good year full of activity (at some points it was difficult to catch a breath) and we really set about laying the foundations of our life here in Western Australia. Most of the first 6 months of 2023 was filled with renovations and visitors. I didn't really get a chance to focus on my art until the second half of the year but when the studio was finally set up and I had the time to commit, I found my stride and haven't looked back.
One thing I'm super happy I did in 2023 was enrol in printmaking classes. It's been a joy to learn, a great way to meet other creatives and it's an additional skill I'm tucking into my artistic arsenal. I have wanted to learn copper etching in particular for a long time. It's such a beautiful art form with a centuries old process and I just love being in the printmaking studio with the big presses, experimenting with inking and printing. I'm continuing these classes in 2024 because I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of this art form yet! See what I did there?
To tell ya the truth, I'm a bit nonchalant about the passing of another year. I've got no grand plans, no life goals to smash and nothing big on the horizon. In fact, I'm assuming that things are just gonna keep rolling on as they are, until they aren't, you know? Once upon a time I had such big dreams, but in time I've forgotten what they were. Seems I've become less concerned with dreaming and more concerned with the stuff of life - the sunset walks, growing things in the garden, making compost, learning new skills (always!), making wonky bowls out of clay, darning worn clothes, op shopping, looking at art and of course, making art. In some ways, when I look at my life now, most of my youthful dreams have come true. I have everything a girl could ever want, so who am I to want for more?
Still, every year I choose something in my life that I wish to improve and consciously work to do that. In past years I've worked on improving my confidence, on my assertiveness, on being less of a people pleaser, etc. Last year I worked on being kinder, more compassionate and less judgemental of others (it's a work in progress!). This year I will focus wholly and fully on my art. This year, my art comes first every time. For 12 months it will be my highest priority. Also, this year I've resolved to make less work, but better work. I have an addiction to making that requires some discipline to rein in. I am more than capable of doing really great things if I set my mind to it and don't scurry on to do the next best thing. So, this year I'm going to get a handle on myself in that regard. In the past 6 months I have found some solid focus and direction (it's been such a relief after the chaos of moving) and I want to build on that to create a body of work that I am truly proud of. The work has already begun so it's about continuing in that direction and building upon these early foundations. I'm excited to see what emerges.
So, you see, 2024 will be the Year of the Artist. She will be confident in her work, unapologetic about time in the studio, defensive of her need for space and peace, and she will give her work the respect and attention it deserves. She will not care about appearing selfish, she will shun suggestions that her work is frivolous and she will discuss her process with seriousness and thoughtfulness. She will not play small for fear of ridicule. She will grab at opportunities because she believes her work is worth it and damn it, so is she. It's time to commit!
End of pep talk. Haha! Happy New Year friends!