Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 in review and resolutions

2013 was a rollercoaster year with very high highs and very low dips both personally and professionally. The best was rescuing a street pup, Degas, who 8 months later has grown into a beautiful young dog with a lovely friendly temperment. Due to her, I have moved to a house with a garden, 30 seconds from the beach. The low has been seeing my mother after she had a massive stroke in May and helping her move into residential care after a long spell in hospital, whilst making sure my father (along with his dog Nelson) is cared for with his developing dementia.
Al Minsefah Doorway. 2013. SOLD
 For 2013 I had 3 words to guide my art: inspiring, happiness and dream. Plus my resolution, as written in last year's review post was "throughout 2013 my resolution and goal will be on getting my finances in order, so I can move to Barcelona as soon as possible. ... my sketchbook will remain with me throughout 2013, I already have 2 commissions for drawings and further illustrations to do for The Story Shack... obviously my art passion will not be totally neglected." Well, due to having to take 3 trips to UK to help my parents, my finances are still not in order, though they are a little better then a year ago and I am still not in Barcelona. However, my art passion was certainly not neglected.

La Sagrada Familia, 2013. ©Sue Pownall inspired by Norberto Dorantes
Inspiring: The biggest inspiration I found was attending the Urban Sketchers' Symposium in Barcelona. Four days of sketching and talking about sketching with amazing arty people. I met artists there who I have been in awe of and following for years like Luiz Ruiz and Norberto Dorantes. I was especially pleased to finally meet Pete Scully , Omar, and Liz Steel and to sketch with Alissa. I got to catch up with the Barcelona sketchers and Nina Johansson who I'd sketched with in 2012.  Then, there were all the new artists I had the pleasure to meet and sketch with such as Simone and Chris, who I can't wait to sketch with again.
Burj Al Arab from Souq Madinate Jumeriah, UAE. 2013
Other inspiration came from attending Art Dubai and the Global Art Forums in UAE, in March. It was great to see the contemporary art and attend the talks.

Illustrations and drawings from 2013.

Happiness: Whilst Degas has brought love, laughter and fun in my life, happiness within my art is hard to measure:- my biggest year end profit, 3 commissions, only half as many drawings 6 compared with 2012's 14, illustration work, or a solo exhibition - which brings me to ...
The Blind House. 2013 SOLD. One of my favourite drawings from the year.
Dream: I'm not sure when the dream to have my first solo show became more than a dream, but it was realised in December where I exhibited 30 pieces at the Beach House, Seeb. The exhibition exceeded all my expectations when I sold 12 of  the 28 available for sale.
A wall of portraits. Another dot was later added to Still Celebrating by Mary (left)


Resolutions for 2014

The last three years, I have used three words to guide my life throughout the year, but cannot fix on any this year. 
  • I wish to be single-minded with my art by which I mean I will be selfish with my art time and not let people nor events cut into it. The obvious exception is Degas. 
  • I still want to move Degas and I to Barcelona, so will continue to organise my finances, whilst helping my parents.
One of my first sketches of 2014: Degas
 In order for these to be goals rather than wishes, I have an amount to achieve by October. Also, I am setting aside a minimum 8 hours each weekend for art production. Finally, I want to produce a minimum of 6 ink drawings within the year.

May 2014 see you produce lots of art, laughter, and bring peace & happiness.

What do you think? Please leave me a comment. Thank you.


  1. You have done yeoman's work in your art over the past year despite obstacles thrown your way. Its the mark of a true artist to continue to carve out time for yourself and see the path ahead.

    I hope 2014 opens you to even more success.

  2. It's such a great idea to set your intentions, I have no doubt you will achieve all you want to this year.
    Wishing you health, wealth and happiness for the year ahead

    1. Thank you Lootytoot and welcome to my blog.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your parents! Good luck with 2014...I hope you achieve everything here and then some!

  4. I think you did amazingly well considering the challenges you faced! It was lovely to read your post and I really think 2014 is going to be a good year! Roll on Barcelona! :0)

  5. I am actually in awe of all you have done despite everything that you had to deal with. You continue to make great strides and are moving forward, even though it might not always have seemed so, and I have enjoyed watching your progress. I love that sketch of Degas!! Great way to start the new year. This year, I feel it - it is a whole 12 months long - Barcelona!

    I love your selfish art pledge. I have had the same problem - people and events have greatly limited my art time. Yet when I do my art, it gives me such a charge that I am better able to handle the people and events. It is a great pledge.

    May all your goals come true in 2014!

  6. It's wonderful when dreams become reality. Wonderful ups, inspite of the downs, and what fun to read your year review! Great goals for 2014, I'm sure you're gonna make t happen.

  7. Thank you for sharing this Sue. You've created some very beautiful artwork during 2013 and its so nice to read it has helped with your momentum to continue on this way. All of the best for 2014 and I hope you achieve all that you set out for. A move to Barcelona sounds wonderful and exciting! Perfect for pursuing a love of art!


Thank you so much for your comment. I have had to put word verification on again as I keep getting spamed. Sorry.