Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mid-year review

Arrival at Lake Issyk-kul, Kyrgyzstan
Watercolour, background for Chapter 5 of graphic novel
©2010 Charlene Brown

Under cover of darkness, Lake Issyk-kul, back and front cover illustration
Photoshopped watercolour
©2010 Charlene Brown

Achievements: In the first six months of 2010, I wrote 32 blog posts. However, if I only count posts where I really feel I’ve achieved something – by which I mean I’ve done something different – there are only six! BTW – I noticed this reflects the Pareto Principle (roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes) as I only spent about 20% of my time on these projects.
Mind Map/ Concept Map: This is a great way to ‘diagram’ your plans! First you draw radial Mind Maps around your main areas of concentration (mine are landscape painting, graphic novel and archaeology) then connect various permutations and combinations of techniques, venues and target groups – all the usual blogging concepts – to generate and visualize ideas. Tina Mammoser’s June 29 post highlights a new, creative twist on mind mapping – the PIP Personal Idea Pad developed by Todd Henry, who writes the Accidental Creative. PIP broadens your horizons by adding multiple perspectives (and a unique framework to contain them) to maximize your chances of generating brilliant, often tangential, ideas.
Goal Setting: Do the goals I posted in My Plan for 2010 need to be adjusted?
· Paint more spontaneously: This remains elusive, but I will continue trying.
· Do more journaling: This is going well. Haven’t tried ‘blogging on the road’ yet, though I love it when other people, like Mary Paquet, do!
· Continue to participate in group blogs such as Virtual Paintout Plein Air Artists, and The Art of the Landscape.
· Write more ‘how-to’ articles for Empty Easel. I added The Extreme Sport of Watercolour Painting (which is not so much how-to as how-I-did-it).
· Finish graphic novel - learn how to use tablet: I added three 2-page spreads in the first half of the year, but as for learning to use the tablet… I’ve discovered outsourcing! The figures in my comic book are much better now that my grandson, Philip Hogg, is doing them. I did discover that sketching people in very roughly, and then erasing the lines that aren’t right works for me, so there’s been a little progress with the tablet.
· Paint more videos - learn how to use Adobe Flash: I don’t need the interactive capability of Flash right now, so am sticking to my old method of creating animations. I’ve started a computer painted video about archaeology – another PIP idea.
The final step is to define what needs to be done NOW – well, NEXT anyway. Right now, I’m taking a couple of weeks off to gather more painting subject material sketching in the Rockies, and confer with my grandson about the drawings he’s doing for my graphic novel. My next blog posts will be near the end of July, and will be about the real Rockies and virtual Hong Kong