1Q2008 Review of Goals, and a Nautilus

Nautilus macromphalus

Nautilus macromphalus by Meg Lyman

11×14″ gouache on Pastelbord


I am beginning to think I set unrealistic goals at the beginning of the year. I underestimated the amount of time required for things like, say, putting my house on the market. It has been hugely time-consuming. However, having that list of goals has helped keep me motivated during the long, full days, even if I’m not perfectly on track to finish everything.

Nautilus macromphalus WIP 1

N. macromphalis WIP 1: Background. See this post for my laments about Pastelbord, the Magical Brush Eater. The cheap synthetic brush I used to complete the painting held up surprisingly well.

Here are the goals and my 1st Quarter commentary.

  • Register my business by March – Done. I want to frame the certificate.
  • Redo this blog to greatly expand its content and interactivity – Not done. I had hoped to finish this by now, but… yeah. Still in the works, and I’ve actually done some coding.
  • Trim my website into a portfolio – See above, re: coding.
  • Time all my projects with the new stopwatch Santa got for me – Doing. Doesn’t work nearly as well when I have 5 projects going at once…
  • Complete the 100 Cephalopods projectNo way is this going to happen. I have a grand total of 2 done. Commissions got in the way. Working for dollars is way better than working on spec, though, so I’m not bummed about missing this one.
  • Promote my art on MySpace, etc. – Slowly working on that. Check out my MySpace page if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Do 10 shows and/or conventions – Going to happen! I have done four already and the rest are planned out.

N macromphalus WIP 2

N. macromphalus WIP 2: Whites. I didn’t do much planning for this piece. For example, I hadn’t planned to push the boundaries of color. These are all supposed to be shades of white, but at this stage I kept thinking, “Looks like metal. Maybe I should change the name to Robo-nautlius.”

I have done something list-worthy that was never an explicit goal of mine: I’m getting faster. I knew this would come eventually with practice, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it’s already happening. It took a friend saying, “you’re getting faster” for me to notice. Duh.

N macromphalus WIP 3

N. macromphalus WIP 3: Almost done. The oranges really balanced the blues and made the whole thing look properly organic. Nautilus, check. But the background was distracting. I took a sponge to it, which did the trick. Pastelbord is also the Magical Sponge Eater, and I spent 15 minutes picking bits of sponge off the painting.

Another list-worthy mention: I’m making a conscious effort to work on my style. Maggie and Rita encouraged me, and I worked out a list of things that make my paintings “mine.” One of those things, which had never occurred to be before (and never would have without this exercise) is that I love to use warm browns and oranges and cool blues and greys in combination. This may or may not be related to my love of da Bears.

So, that’s where I am after the first quarter of 2008. How are y’all doing in terms of goals this year?

9 thoughts on “1Q2008 Review of Goals, and a Nautilus”

  1. Good review so far Meg!
    I’m inclined to think that once you get your house situation taken care of it’ll be a load off your mind and the pace of artwork will go up. Selling a house/ moving is uber stressful.

    Love this piece, there’s a great sense of depth to it with just a bit o’ humour! :D

  2. Love the colors in this, and the background looks great with it.

    Goals? I’m gonna burn that stupid list. ;D

  3. Hello Meg,

    Very nice one ! I love the glossy effect on your cephalopod.
    On my side, I started my own artistic project/concept as well, based on financial markets. Painting 001 is already reserved !!!
    And I will most likely go to the Larry Elmore Art class in France (my country) in June. Will you attend it again ?

    Best regards,


  4. And my own goal for this year is to paint about 12-15 paintings in my TradeArt Concept Series, and sell them all ;-) That should not be difficult (at least for the making part, selling is generally more difficult) as my works are small sized and I use various techniques such as collage.

  5. Rita, I do believe you’re right about the house situation. And glad you like the depth – I think that’s one of the strong points.

    Lisa, don’t burn it! Just… edit it. ;D

    Ced, thank you! I am keeping an eye on your project. I like your goal. The selling is the hard part! And I had forgotten about Larry’s class this June – I won’t be able to make it, but it rocks that you’ll be there!

  6. OMG! That is so freakin’ fabulous! I have half a nautilus shell that I’ve been meaning to paint (actually both halves) but wow, yours is so awesome!

  7. Amazing to see the work done, finally! ;) I like the lighting fx on the shell. That’s a cute beanie.

  8. Tigress, thanks! I’m glad you see a lollipop shrimp, because that’s what it’s supposed to be. ;D

    Misti, thank you! How’d you get a nautilus shell? That rocks! I hope you do paint it.

    Nathan, thanks for all the inspiration. It wouldn’t be nearly so cool without your input.

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