A New Year

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

Sunrise on Mt. Tam, © Deborah Hamon

I love the start of a new year. All becomes quiet after the chaos of the holidays and finishing up year end activities…which always includes for me a crazy last minute editing of photos of my daughter’s entire year and creating a Shutterfly book of her life, which I have done every year minus one early on, and will continue until she is 18…

The start of the year for me feels like the start of a perfectly designed day. You awake with so much hope and possibility and excitement about what lies in store. Yes, there is only so much time in a day but with the gorgeous morning sunrise the possibilities burst forth uncensored.

With that in mind, below are some creative projects that I am thinking about for this year. Some of these projects have been on my list for the past several years, and will likely still be there for a few more years, but rather than get overwhelmed by the fact that I haven’t had time to focus on them, different creative projects become more urgent for me at different times, and if something continues to remain important to me, I know it will get worked on at some point. Life is busy, and with parenting, bills, and life in general, I try to be kind to myself and like to think that I am doing the best I can do at this moment in time. Rather than feel overwhelmed into inaction, I feel fortunate that I have an abundance of creative things wanting my attention.

Happy New Year to all — May your 2017 be filled with abundance and kindness!

  1. Painting — as my recent posts have indicated, this is where my current focus is, and I imagine will continue for some time.
  2. My Book — This sounds so clich√© — the endless book project that never gets finished! I wrote a partial prose/partial graphic novel at the end of 2014. I had wanted to write a novel that my daughter, who was a reluctant reader, would like. I actually completed the writing in a relatively short period of time and had rough thumbnails with captions in place so that my daughter (then ten) and I could read it together. She gave it a big thumbs up! I realized that the graphic novel sections were too compressed, so in 2015, I reworked the thumbnails so that they were more spread out and also refined the drawings, which took a huge amount of time. In 2016, I scanned the drawings onto my computer and figured out my approach to the final illustrations. I am not a comic artist, nor a sketch artist and I typically draw very slowly, if I draw at all. When I researched some of the wonderful graphic novels out there, and how to create them, it would be easy to get very discouraged. If I had let these fears get in the way I would never have attempted this book. Instead, I decided that I could get my ideas across with very simple line drawings that hopefully would appeal to my prime audience –the 8-12 year old girl. Even then, the process for me to create these simple drawings is a very slow one. In 2016 I got busy with other projects and so the book didn’t get very far. I would like to move ahead one slow page at a time in 2017, rather than wait until a big chunk of time becomes available, as it usually doesn’t!
  3. Poetry — In 2016 I started writing poetry. I took a creative writing poetry class back in college and hadn’t written any poems for more than 25 years! I have been reading more poetry lately and I think after many years of working very slowly and methodically on paintings I wanted something I could do in short creative bursts of energy. It’s a different creative outlet that I am really enjoying. I will likely share some poems here, although I discovered as I was researching poetry publications that many won’t publish anything that has been published before –including on your own blog– which surprised me. So for now, I’ll share the first poem I wrote in 2016 and then submitted to UltraRunning magazine which they published online. It seems an appropriate one for the end of one year and the start of a new one…and I realized the accompanying image perfectly suited this post also.
  4. Photography — I don’t have any large projects in mind for photography this year. I plan to continue to shoot nature images both on my iPhone while out on the trails and also with my good camera when exploring or traveling. I also at times shoot images that may not fit into a specific series but still am interested in them enough to plan, shoot, edit and print and so am open to these ideas as they unfold. I also would eventually like to combine some of my photographs together with my poems into a book, but this is a long-term down-the-road project!
  5. Video Art — I still have video from my Arctic trip that I want to edit! Every time I look at the footage I shot I get excited all over again — except for some of the rough ocean footage from the boat which actually makes me feel seasick if I view it for too long! I have lots of ideas for the video art I want to produce including stop motion pom-pom imagery. The truth of the matter is I have only edited videos in iMovie before and I plan to use Premier and After Effects for this work. I don’t have time to teach myself these programs right now. For this project I do feel like I need a chunk of time to set aside to learn the programs and create the work. I did attempt this two years ago with online tutorials, but then got busy with other projects and now will need to start from scratch again. Realistically, I’m not sure if I’ll attempt this in 2017, but it is still a project that I am thinking about.
  6. Pets — I will still be offering mini pet portraits directly to clients if you are interested, however, I won’t be painting my weekly pet portraits for Chewy.com anymore, for now, anyway. It’s been almost 2 years and over 500 pet portraits, but I am taking on a new job and still want to have time for my other creative endeavors!

Have a very Happy New Year!