Monday, January 02, 2012


For the past couple of years I have chosen a word to inspire me rather than making resolutions. This year's word is "intention" and while it could inspire me to live with intention and work with intention, it is more along the lines of a reminder.

I find I sometimes lose track of what my intention for my artwork is. I need to remind myself to think about what the work is about—its intention—as I prepare, and then keep that intention in my mind as I work.

Is my intention to make the work a prescribed size by whatever means? Is it to use a particular fabric that I have fallen in love with? Is it to use a nifty new technique? Is it to slavishly and literally express a theme that was invented for a particular show? Is it to duplicate exactly a mental picture I have of how the finished work should look? None of these things are ever my intention when I start a piece, but these or other equally superficial concerns often distract me from my intention.

To tell a story. To express a feeling or a mood or an idea. To make a statement. These are some of my intentions. The rest is just logistics, housekeeping. And that one about duplicating my mental picture—that's where I have taken intention too far sometimes and made it too visually specific. Discovery and serendipity can certainly serve my intentions.

So I hang my word on the wall to remind me. It joins two previous words. "Thrive" helped me avoid stress and embrace a year of intense deadlines and obligation. "Appreciate" helped me savor the rewards of the previous year's work. I hope "Intention" will help me move forward and maintain focus.

Do you have a word?


  1. This is absolutely awesom! Great work!

  2. passion! and perhaps like you I will put I up on the wall so I never forget.. thanks!

  3. Your specific thoughts about the logistics of a piece vs the personal intention of the piece are really excellent. I am so eager to see what you create in 2012 and how it is affected by these thoughts. I have a feeling it's going to be superfantastic!

  4. Yes, I have a word. I'm working on my little banner today. My word is THANK.
    I am so glad you inspired me in years past. Thank you.

  5. Gale Dupell2:05 PM

    Mine is more a phrase: One step at a time
    It is the first step, going to the studio & doing that is the most important for 2012. And also not worrying about what I create just make things.

  6. My word for 2011 was “change”. The operative word has opened new vistas for me on many planes – ended a negative relationship, retired, moved back to Montana, let go of many things (physical and non-physical) that had been hauled around with me for years, and biggest for me was changing my thinking about myself and my creativity. All of the change has provided the opportunity to be still with myself and my thoughts. Each action I choose now is clearly being done with deliberation and attention; this decision to take time with the changes has opened new possibilities and provided a year of enlightenment and found a new calm center within me. In 2012 I will take with me “kindness” for it is the watchword for how I live on the earth each day, how I care for my body and mind, the manner in which I look at and care for my creative self, and how approach all others who I find walking around and across and through my little pathway on mother earth.

    Kristin McNamara Freeman

  7. I've gotten into the habit of putting my projects on the bottom of my to-do lists as my reward. Problem is I never seem to get to the bottom of the list. I'm feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. So, my word is "Priority". I'm putting my creative notions at the TOP of the list--those other things will always be there and the pressing stuff does manage to get done!

  8. I love what you've done!
    I think my word might be simple - I find myself gravitating to more simple lines, softer colors...odd. not sure what that's all about but maybe I should make a pennant about it !

  9. I also love the idea of a 'word' for the year instead of making a resalution. Last year I had 'relax' this year I'm choosing 'focus'. I need to focus on all aspects of my life, health, family and art.

  10. Awesome! I love your little banners--I will steal that idea if you don't mind...
    I do have a word for this year: Hope. I wrote about it on my blog a few weeks ago, and I continue to have hope for the year. Good luck with your "Intention." Again--it's wonderful!

  11. I love this. As soon as I get my word narrowed down, I am going to make a banner.

  12. Excellent idea. My word is Focus:
    On the creative side of me.
    Only do the really important things.
    One project at a time. No starting 37 other things and finishing nothing.
    No new hobbies this year.
    Create every day.

    It kind of all goes with 'Focus" if you squint a little. :) I love your little banner idea.