It was 2005. I had taken a few art classes and done a few paintings. Tried charcoal, graphite, pastel, and watercolor in group classes with art teacher, Debra Jones.
Then a three day workshop with Eric Wiegardt. I was by far the least experienced artist in the room and I was open-mouthed at the great paintings they were all doing. I was making a mess, but having fun. And absorbing as much as I could hold.
Another student in that workshop whined, "When will I be a good artist?"
Eric quipped, "After you paint 250 paintings, you might start to get good."
He was joking.
But, I went home and counted how many paintings I had done. 36. I had a long way to go.
That's when I started keeping track of my work in the journal. At first, I just wrote the date, the number of the painting (trying to get to '250' so that I might start to get good), and a general description.
Over time, I've expanded my notes. I still keep track of the date and the number of the painting, but now I include the size of the piece, what I was trying to accomplish, the location (if plein air), and my own critique of it. It has become my art journal. I write in it most days.
2009. A new year. And today, a look back through the entries in my journal.