Monday, January 9, 2017

Year in Review: 2016

Whitney Heavey's art
Top Row (left to right): Salt Rush  6x6 (available), Muse 30x40 (sold), The Ocean Beckons 30x40 (sold)
Middle Row (left to right): Gray Sky Green Sea 6x6 (available), summer sketchbook (
cover), Cadence 36x48 (available)
Bottom (left to right): me with Breakage 48x72 (sold), Dance 30x30 (available), painting on shell
***It's been almost a year since my last blog entry so this one is kind of long, but I really wanted to reflect on highlights from 2016 and think ahead to some of my goals for 2017.  

A Few Highlights from 2016:

I simplified life in my by focusing on LARGE paintings while in my studio and smaller paintings while at home or elsewhere.  I tried to really amp up my painting hours and I'm pretty confident that I did just that! I loved my new larger, lighter and more organized studio.

COMMISSIONS. I completed several large commissions including ones shipped to Florida and Chicago.  I got to end the year finishing my largest commission to date that now hangs in a condo overlooking Boston Harbor. It's exciting having my art hanging all across the country.

whitney heavey
These are "studies" I painted on paper for a large commission I did.
SALES. I had some great sales this year which is always makes me reflect on my gratitude for collectors and designers who choose to enhance their home or their client's homes with original art.  I'm also especially grateful for the art dealers, store owners and staff (see photo below), restaurant owners and wait staff (see photo below), friends and family who help to sell and promote my art.  THANK YOU! 
Mark August
Hummingbird Light, 36x48, and Vitamin Sea, 20x24, both available at Mark August in Chatham Cape Cod
Cadence, 36x48 seen hanging at Pisces of Chatham

I was lucky enough to again be sponsored by Munson Gallery to participate in Sharks in the Park (fundraiser organized by the Chatham Merchants Association) for the second year in a row.

I listened to so many great audio books while I painted this past year, including one of my favorites Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols.  It inspired me in so many ways including reducing my plastic use, getting on, in and near the water more, and trying to share my love of the ocean so that others might feel a desire to love and protect it also.  I also participated in the social media challenges #100daysofblue and #bluemarbleproject . You can find them on my Instagram page here.

#bluemind #bluemarbleproject #100daysofblue 

I spent as much time as possible studying the ocean and the waves. I had a personal goal of floating in the salt water as much as I could. It is amazing how it makes you feel. It kind of became a form of meditation.  Sometimes, at the end of the day I would literally go to the beach just to float in the water for ten minutes. I was always glad I did.

I did a bit of plein air painting this summer (hoping to do more next summer).

I completed an entire sketchbook this past summer which was a fun way to paint often even when on vacation.

PHOTOS! I have SO MANY photos (photos of paintings in progress, photos of finished paintings, photos of things I want to paint (waves, ocean, trees, boats, flowers, etc etc).  I spent a LOT of time in 2016 deleting photos and separating them from my personal photos so that  my art photos are now in their own library and not mixed in with my family photos.  The large number of photos I have were starting to be a real burden.  I thought the best way to start would be to reduce the number of photos before organizing them.

We LIT up the front of ArtSpace Maynard for the holidays!  Thanks to the fearless leadership of fellow artist, Priscilla Cotter, we put lights in all the front facing windows of our studio building.  I was happy with my message that I put up in my three windows. It was so pretty and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves each year.  Make sure to check it out in 2017!
The windows in my studio at ArtSpace Maynard


Meditate more. Be kinder to myself and to others. Breathe more. Get outside more. 

Start the year with a daily paint challenge.  STAY TUNED as I will start the 30 days of posting THIS week!

EFFICIENCY: (this is a personal and professional goal) A continual goal of mine is getting better at organizing my business non-painting time. I could easily spend equal amounts of time painting and doing the "business" side of art, but of course I usually choose to spend a lot more time painting. This year I hope to get more efficient and organized with my time and be more regular at updating my website, organizing my photos, completing a mailing list, researching new venues to share my work, posting regularly to social media, bookkeeping, research,  so that none of these "business" tasks ever get so large that they become too daunting.

EDUCATION: Take a workshop or two. Read more. Listen more.

Do more PLEIN AIR painting next summer.

PHOTOS: Now that I've reduced the number of photos and have them in a library just for my art photos,  I'm hoping to organize them better into files such as, finished art, art in progress, resource photos (waves/trees/oceans/flowers), inspiration (photos of other art, color combos, etc). When I achieve this goal it will certainly help with EFFICIENCY!)

INSPIRATION: I definitely hope to take more time to get out of the studio to actually go to art shows and museums which is always inspiring.
I had the fortune to meet one of my collectors this past summer for a beach walk.  This was a photo I took along our walk.

I have a few things I would like to do in my studio including figuring out a way to keep the natural light but reduce the intense glare that I get in the afternoon.  Maybe window films?

Painting with more abstraction while still honoring my love of the ocean (and nature), improving my use of light,  my use of color,  my color mixing skills, my paint application.

Use more paint

Experiment more with paint application

This is a major goal: LEARNING when to TRUST my gut and call a painting finished.  

This is a screen capture from a Gopro video I took when jumping in the ocean on New Year's Day.  We have done this New Year's Plunge on Cape Cod since 2011 and I never regret it.  I like to think it's symbolic of jumping into the new year with both feet. I never regret taking this plunge. It always brings me back to my favorite Swedish proverb:
The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea!
Happy 2017 everyone!  


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