Hopefully my lack of motivation to sit down and write this post will not be reflected in my drive to actually accomplish something this month. It’s just been one of those weeks where I want to get home, get fed, get warm and then fall asleep in my book. Which is great, really, because that’s exactly what I’ve done.
As a refresher, here’s the post on how I’m approaching some various goals in my life this year (versus just setting – and trying to keep – resolutions). Here’s my outline for this month (beyond staying warm and late night reading):
I’ve had photos on my mind a lot lately, and a lot of them relate to my family, my niece, and memory. One of the things that gave us some focus in the week following her death was the assembly of a photo montage. I was struck by how many photos her parents took last year. They documented everything, and as difficult as it was to sort through those photos – they just contained so much joy. In the months since she’s been gone there have been almost daily photographic reminders of her time in our family. And one of the more specific ways we’ve seen E work through her grief was to first go through all of her own photo albums, adding post-it note tabs on any pages with pictures of her cousin, and then to request a new album to fill with just photos of her. I’m acknowledging the importance of this documentation, and I’d like to spend this month focusing on photos in several different ways.
Keeping with the “format” of these goals – to-do’s I’d like to get to, ways I want to push myself to learn something new, and a description of the way I want to feel at the end of the month.
To-do’s related to that theme:
1. I started a system when the girls were born to sort and store photos that we take, and then to print them and slowly fill albums for their grandparents. I’ve done the same for them as well – filling up sets of albums that they might one day take with them when they are grown. I’m behind on doing this, and so one of my goals this month is to get caught up on that sorting and printing. I already own the albums, I just need to sit down in front of the computer for a few (billion) hours and do it.
2. I’d like to set up a more regular system of backing up photos this month. Teaming up with M on this one.
3. I want to devote some real time this month to helping E sort through the photos of her cousin, send them off for printing, and helping her assemble them in her album.
Learn something new: (And finding time to do things that I love to do, but don’t do enough of.)
1. Back to the basics. I took my camera in for cleaning – the lenses were all good, but I need some cleaning on the sensor, and am leaving that work up to the professionals. I should have it back later this week, all clean and ready to go.
2. While I was in the store I asked about taking some courses there this month. M mentioned taking some classes together with E, and I might do that too. There is also the option to pay an hourly rate to meet with their photography pro – something that would work well for the three of us (minus the little one) to do for an afternoon. That way we could really customize what we’d like to learn more about, and have the undivided attention of the instructor. I haven’t made any reservations yet, so if you know of any good photography classes, or local photographers that like to give one-on-one instruction, I’d love to hear about it.
3. I used to sketch / ink / watercolor all the time, but I don’t do it on a regular basis anymore. Last year I found the old oversized sketch pad I used for a college art course, and E was so fascinated by it. It was full of work from my figure drawing class, and a few self portraits as well. (Old school selfies!) I think I’d like to set up a time (or two) this month where the whole family sits down with sketchbooks and we draw portraits of each other. I’m also going to hunt around for a figure drawing class to take again – but this time with E. She’s really expressed interest in it, but she told me she thinks she’ll be too embarrassed to be drawing nudes, so I’ve got to find a nearly-nude one. We might not actually do this during the month of February, but I want it on my radar for this year sometime.
4. So… this kind of ties in with to-do’s and learning / making / doing – I want to start working on a really big portrait wall. It will incorporate photographs we’ve taken previously, portraits we’ve made in various types of media, and some new work as well. I’ve been saving people drawings that the girls have made – I’ve always been in love with the way their drawings evolve over time. I’m not limiting myself on size or color or even subject – I might throw in some random portraits for fun. This will tie into the work / progress we’ve been making on the long-suffering stair hall that cuts a thirty-five foot vertical slice through the house.
How I want to feel at the end of February: (Does warmer count?)
Organized, artistic, family-focused, and mostly appreciative – of the joys that abound in our lives as reflected in the faces of the ones I love the most.