Looking back on 3.5 years as a full-time artist

As I’m setting off into the new year, I’ve been taking some time to look back on all the art I’ve made since I committed to my art career at the end of 2020, and seeing what I can glean from that as I feel, think, and dream about what I want to create in 2024.

One of the things I enjoyed doing as part of this review process is creating visual “lists” of all of the completed art I’ve made each year.

Art I made in 2023

Art I made in 2022

Art I made in 2021

Art I made in 2020

It’s been so interesting to look at it all in one place and ask myself what it says to me. Here’s what I’m noticing so far…

1.) I’ve made a lot of art in the past 3.5 years! 2021 was the most productive, and 2023 a close second. 2022 was the year we immigrated so my time and energy were limited. It feels good to see that, when I can make my art-making a priority, my creativity is abundant. I’ll celebrate that!

2.) Nature’s inspiration is very evident in my work – seascapes, landscapes, and botanicals. Wind, so-called “bad weather”, rain, dynamic skies, dappled light filtering through trees and flowers, pathways through landscapes, and textures of water, sand, and foliage.

3.) I love vivid colours, especially blues and greens, and I often like to work with limited colour palettes.

4.) I love textures and layering, whether they’re created with magazine papers, paint, mixed media, or collage.

5.) Trying to capture/ express a sense of movement is a common theme.

6.) Trying to capture the light is another common theme.

7.) Mostly, my work has been on the expressive figurative side of the spectrum, but I’ve been enjoying making more abstract art. I find abstract art much harder and yet I’m increasingly drawn to more intuitive and abstract ways of working. This is definitely a direction I want to develop more this year.