Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm going to do it again ...

Back in 2009 I adopted 2 practices that helped me focus on my art and added meaning to my year.

One practice was to make and start keeping an
Art calendar, to keep track of the days that I incorporated some 'art' in the day, and to encourage me to do more art in my days. At the end of the day, it has become a treat for me to color in a square on my simple homemade calendar if I have done something art related. The color I choose might be reflective of the colors that I painted with that day. I've punched holes in the calendar so I can keep it in my daytimer. Whenever I open my daytimer to the calendar, just seeing the colors and the reminder of 'art' makes me smile. I enjoy this so much that I've found myself thinking 'I want to do art tonight so I can fill-in a square'. It must sound silly, but, there is something motivational to me to fill in a square with a little spot of color each day. It is fun to watch my colorful calendar quilt emerge as I get further into the year.

I originally found the art calendar idea on Margaret Ann's website. Have you tried keeping an art calendar? or does it sound like an interesting idea to you? Let me know what you think of this.

You may notice the big word, Sparkle, on my calendar this year. That is my Word for 2012. Choosing a word for the year
helps me set my intentions for the year. This is another practice that I started back in 2009 (my word for 2009 was 'Bloom', 2010 was 'Clarity', and 2010 was 'Color my world'). I like to put my word of the year on my art calendar to keep it on my mind. I have found it interesting, fun, and rewarding to adopt a special word or phrase of intention for the year. The word also gives me a lens to reflect with as I go through the year. With a new 'empty nest' at home (youngest son has gone off to college), 'Sparkle' captures for me that this is a year for me to branch out more as an individual (as well as reconnect with my husband) than focusing on being a mom. Holding the word 'Sparkle' in mind encourages me to look for ways to put more art and creativity in my days. We'll see how it goes...

I originally learned of the 'Word of the year' idea from Christine Kane's website, and I've seen it mentioned on several other websites or articles since. Have you ever adopted a word for the year? what was your experience like? or does it sound like an interesting idea for 2012?

16 comments:

Joanne said...

Great calendar, it reminds me of my writing to-do list, when it always feels good to "check" off the items at the end of the day.

Instead of a word, a few years ago my family adopted a motto for the New Year, and have kept with the same motto since ... Keep It Easy. It works wonders in our day-to-day living.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I love this idea! I totally get why coloring in that little square at the end of the day helps you do more painting! I might steal this idea and make a chart for writing and one for art and one for exercise...

I also love the idea of putting your word of the year on your chart. I haven't chosen mine for 2012 yet, but I will soon. I chose "open" in 2010 and "light" in 2011. I like the practice of word of the year, and I always take care in the choice of words, which is why I'm often slow in the choosing!

Happy New Year, Claire--I hope your year is absolutely fabulous, and you and your husband enjoy your newfound freedom.

Laure Ferlita said...

Very cool, Claire, I've done both of these in years past, but I've been more faithful to the WOTY than the calendar. However, there is something about being able to fill in those squares that is HUGELY motivating!

I've considered Sparkle for my word this year, but as of yet am still not settled onto any word. I look forward to seeing where the word takes you.

It has become very important to me to have a word to guide me each year as I think by the very nature of having a word, it helps you to change your perspective on life to something more positive.

Margaret Ann said...

I think I may be going back to the calendar again this year after letting it go for the past two. It is so refreshing to have a visual account of one's progress. I miss seeing that. Thanks for the mental nudge here...I am so glad you like using it. Our little artistic community is so very special. I love the sharing of ideas and enthusiasm that is there. Have a healthy, joyful and artistic 2012...:) ♥

Cheryl Gebhart said...

I've never done a word of the year, but I have done a calendar. I think I started mine when I took Laure's journaling foundations class. I enjoyed doing it then and it was definitely motivating to color in a square. Not sure why I didn't continue with it. I may need to do that again - thanks for the reminder.

Claire M said...

Thanks for all of the comments. It is so fun to share ideas!

Joanne - I like your family motto. That is an interesting idea - to have a continuous thread that weaves through all your days - year to year.

Kathy and Laure - I'll be interested to hear what words you choose for 2012. Many a time when I've felt a bit 'down', I've thought of my word for that year and felt an about face on my attitude.

Margaret Ann and Cheryl - the Art calendar sure is a motivator for me. Just last night I got a tinge of excitement when I thought about painting in my square before heading off to bed.

Lastly, true confessions, I don't remember 'why', but in 2011 I didn't make up an Art calendar and I really noticed the lack of using it. I wasn't as productive last year and I think there was a 'spring' missing in some of what I did. I feel better already with my 2012 Art calendar in place. Simple things...

Carol Bailey Floyd said...

When I saw your word, something between a giggle and a laugh of recognition came out of me! It's a terrific word and I am just betting that it is going to lead you to a wondrous year! Sparkle on!

My word is LOVE and now I am thinking -- how about sparkly love?

Claire M said...

Carol - Thanks for stopping by. I think "sparkly love" sounds exciting! Awesome. Have a wonderful year.

Cindy Jones Lantier said...

I started a creativity calendar a few years ago, but got bogged down with a move. In fact, I don't know where the calendar I made for that year even got to! I do think this is a good idea. I was much like you -- making time for art, just so I could fill in another square. Maybe I'll start one in February ... My birthday is in mid-February, so that always feels like the *actual* beginning of my New Year!

Your word, SPARKLE, is inspiring. I hope you sparkle a bit every day in 2012! My word is DELIBERATE; I'm still pondering how to integrate it into my daily life.

xoxo

Claire M said...

Cindy - I'm glad you dropped by. I zipped over to your blog to see your Word of the Year post and intentions for the year. Best wishes!! and hope you come back for another visit.

Karen said...

I love this idea. I decided to make a writing calendar and my word for the year is PERSIST!

I'm using colored pencils to fill in the days I write, and so far my run is 22 days straight.

Claire M said...

Karen - thanks for stopping by. Colored pencils sound like they'll be fun for the calendar. 22 days straight is an awesome beginning. Good luck with your writing calendar for 2012. I hope it gives you that little extra motivation to do a little more or keep up the habit.

Sophia said...

Wow, this is really a great idea. Brings it about visually, creating more motivation. Brilliant! :)

Charmingdesigns said...

now this is just delightful!! I'm putting you in my google reader so I dont miss any of your posts

Esther said...

i was so fed up with commercialised diaries that I made my own out of a sketchbook. I have great fun designing new pages for every week with space to write lists, quotes, ideas etc and one thing I often do is write an art log, jotting down the artwork I've done during the week. It really makes me feel good! Last week I did an art plot (the art I'm plotting to make in the coming days)

Claire M said...

Thanks for stopping by Esther. You have some great ideas. I started another one of these calendars for 2013. Hoping to do more art this year than I did in 2012.