Art resolutions for the New Year

December 31st, 2006

Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and will do you a world of good.

Cennino Cennini, Il Libro dell’Arte

In 2006 I made sculpture; at the close of the year I began to take an interest in photography. What I found was that weeks could pass without my even touching a paint brush. Recently, I have been painting daily without doing any sculpture or photography at all.

Is it good to abandon one art form for another, even temporarily? One could argue that, in some cases, it is good. But here is another way to think about it, in analogy to physical exercise: would it be good to give up daily exercise for the sake of art? Thinking of it this way, the answer is, of course not.

My goal for 2007 is to draw, to paint, to do sculpture and to do photography, every single day.

My goal is not to try to accomplish something remarkable every day in these various media. The goal is to keep myself in “condition” or “artistically fit” in the same way that I stay “physically fit.” Stated in this way, I don’t think this New Year’s resolution is too ambitious to follow. We shall see . . .

Do you have New Year’s resolutions pertaining to art that you would like to share?

. . .

12 Responses to “Art resolutions for the New Year”

  1. Rex Says:

    Good idea for a post Karl.

    I was sitting here drawing, trying to get the knee bones right in a squatting figure and still have the drawing look elegant. Difficult sometimes (most times) with bony protuberances in deep perspective. Sort of almost satisfied with at least one part of it, I refreshed my browser and went, “Hmmm. Just what are my goals for the year?”

    Finish The Book. Target: Independence Day, 2007.

    Get my easel set up and do some oil painting again then do at least a painting every two weeks.

    Get my abs back in shape. Lose that last difficult 4-5 pounds for some “cut.”

    Have fun every day. Be of good spirit. Stay clean and healthy. Meet new good looking people and…

    Finish my Modern Greek course; finish Homer; be able to write ten thousand words in correct, classical Latin, and spend the next New Year somewhere in the Hellenic Lands with a lover while researching the next book.

    Yeah. Those are good goals. Do-able, too.

    PS I like your goals too, Karl. Makes sense.

  2. Rex Says:

    Er, I realize you said “Art Goals.” I went a bit beyond that, but art of personal appearance and the arts of life and lifestyle do — per my view of the cosmos — count as art.

  3. Steve Says:

    Well Karl, I can’t resist pointing out that athletes training for triathlons do not try to swim and bike and run every day. And few triathletes truly excel at any single one of their sports. However, I’m sure your intentions will serve you well if you don’t forget to give yourself a break from time to time.

    My goal is to make this a year to advance artistically not only by making art, but by writing about and discussing it as well, as here at Art and Perception. While I don’t think of my photography as conceptual or intellectual, I do find that thinking and reflecting on it helps me to see it better, and hopefully — the experiment — to better see.

  4. Karl Zipser Says:


    Thanks for your excellent comment. I didn’t know about the triathlon training schedule. Let me point out that I’m not thinking of myself as an athlete competing in a competition in all these areas. For example, my interest in photography is great, but my goal is only to be a competent amateur.

    I’m thinking of these daily exercises more like the way I do push-ups each day. I’m not a body builder, but this exercise, each day, makes me stronger.

    Another difference between what I am doing and the triathlon athlete is that the athlete is participating in a well-defined contest with a clear goal, with the aid of a coach. I am searching for undefined goals of artistic expression, with a lot of inspiration from others, but with only myself as “coach.” That’s part of why I felt that this (admittedly silly) concept of New Year’s resolutions could be valuable to me.

    Today I did all of the activities in my New Year’s resolution. Painting and photography were big efforts today, drawing and sculpting more like “warm-ups.” But as Cennino wrote, “for no matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and will do you a world of good.” I hope he is right!

    Steve and Rex, thanks for sharing your resolutions/goals for 2007. I think this will be a great year

  5. chantal stone Says:

    My art resolutions are the same as they were last year–
    to improve as a photographer, to develop my skill, and better transfer the vision in my head to the final printed image.

    I also want to better understand the business aspect of photography.

    Karl, I find your goal to paint, draw, sculpt and photograph daily to be very inspirational. I think it’s important to exercise the creative muscle in any way possible. I’m a photographer, but there have been times when I have found myself at a loss for inspiration. During those times I would often either pick up my sketch pad or my paint brushes. I’ve found that working in different mediums helps me to see the world differently. When I draw, my attention is on shape and form. When I paint, I focus on color and light. All of these things ultimately help me to ‘see’ photographically.

  6. birgit Says:

    Chantal, what a great comment!

  7. David Says:

    I don’t really do resolutions, but I do use the end of the year as an opportunity to look at what I’ve been doing and try to get a sense of where I want to go next. Not really goals, but directions.

  8. Karl Ziper Says:

    In science/mathematics it is well known that adding a dimension to a problem can make the solution easier. For example, a knot in a piece of rope may be very difficult to untangle in the real three-dimensional world, but theory tells us that if there were a fourth spatial dimension, the knot could be opened by simply pulling on the two ends of the rope.

    Chantal, your comment makes me think of this analogy: different media/artistic disciplines might be like spatial dimensions; adding a new medium might make it possible to solve a problem (or recover from a temporary loss of inspiration) more easily than could be done without that extra medium.

  9. Karl Zipser Says:


    Your comment above #7 got held by the automatic spam filter. Why? I don’t know. I guess the filter is big on New Year’s resolutions.

    Good luck with your directions for 2007!

  10. David Says:

    adding a new medium might make it possible to solve a problem (or recover from a temporary loss of inspiration) more easily than could be done without that extra medium.

    I have to say from my experience that I’ve found this to be true. When I switched from paint to linoleum, it opened up all kninds of new possibilities. And when, after that, I painted again, it was in new ways that I hadn’t thought of before.

  11. June Says:


    Your “resolution” echoes mine — I’m hoping/ planning for at least 5 days in the painting studio and 3 in the stitching studio. In the painting studio, I draw, paint in oils, and paint in watercolors. I also blog with photographs I take so that perhaps counts as putting my mind’s eye into a different viewpoint.

    But as my evening’s loss of a fairly extensive post on perspective points up, I may have to give up on one of the above in order to do Art and Perception <snort>

  12. Karl Ziper Says:


    I’m struggling with my New Year’s resolutions, but I am determined to keep going with them. I’ve already figured out that I should not go online until I have completed them each day. This works well.

    As to Art and Perception, please don’t give up art time for blog time.