5 Items on My Studio Bucket List

By Carrie Lewis in Art Business Advice > Motivation

Everyone has a wish list, I suppose—a list of things they hope to do before they die.
I have one, too. It’s several pages long; much too long for publication (in fact, it’s long enough I’ve even categorized it!)

So today I thought it might be fun to share an excerpt of my studio bucket list with you with the hope that you would be inspired to take the time to write your own:

1. Create something monumental

When I was working as gallery director I had the opportunity to meet and chat with many artists. Some did miniature work; some worked large. Some worked realistically; some specialized in impressionistic or abstract work.

But one of the things that moved me most from all those exhibits were the big pieces—the paintings that took center stage and could be seen all the way across the gallery.

It didn’t seem to matter what the subject or how it was portrayed. What made the impression was seeing those paintings across the room and feeling the pull of them, inviting me to approach for closer inspection.

Ever since then I’ve wanted to paint or draw something big. My largest recent work has been only 24 by 36 inches, and it went to the client as soon as it was finished and framed.

But I want to do something big like that—or larger—again. Something for myself.
Something monumental (by my standards, that is.)

2. Visit the Rockies

I’ve never been further west than a little town called Walsh, Colorado. (I know. Living in Kansas—the center of the United States—and with Colorado so close, you’d think I’d have ventured further west than that.)

But I haven’t.

I want to visit the Rockies, maybe even do some plein air drawing or painting up there. At the very least, I’d like to see historic places, visit Estes Park, and take tons of pictures.

There are a lot of cool galleries in Colorado, too. It’d be wonderful to see a few of those. Or, better yet, do a gallery walk some brisk autumn evening.

Walk the Appalachian Trail

The entire trail.

I realize it’s going to take a body that’s in better shape than mine currently is, or maybe it’ll just take several trips. (It is possible to walk the trail in sections, after all.)

You may wonder what this has to do with the studio. There’s a lot of wonderful scenery along the Appalachian Trail. Scenery that most people will never see outside of photographs and a lot of it that only those who walk the trail will see.

But can you imagine a drawing trip along the Trail? Documenting the adventure with a drawing journal? That’s what I want to do.

4. Spend August in Saratoga Springs, New York

The primary reason is horses, and horse racing is at its best in Saratoga Springs, New York during the summer meet. Top races attract top race horses from around the country. A race goer can expect to see a Kentucky Derby winner (or two) as well as horses from other parts of the world.

But there’s more than in Saratoga Springs in August.

Local art galleries are flush with new art. Equine artists from around the country and world gather in such numbers that art exhibits can be seen even in many hotels and other non-gallery establishments. An art lover could spend the entire month browsing and never visit the same venue twice (though there’s nothing wrong with that.)

Even the race track itself plays host to art and artists: many artists even work on site during the race meet. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and visit with favorite artists from all over the world.

But let’s not settle for merely visiting. Let’s up the ante.

I’d also like to participate in the exhibits as an artist. What a delight that would be! My colored pencil drawings or oil paintings of racehorses and racing in some exhibit somewhere. Now, that would be a trip to remember.

5. Visit Italy

I would love dearly to visit Rome, the scene of Renaissance art. There’s so much art history there. So many methods of painting and drawing that I admire have their roots there. To see it would be a dream come true.

Of course, the only way to top that would be a tour of famous art locations throughout Europe and the British Isles. So much to see. So much to do. . .

It takes my breath away just thinking about it.

And that’s a sampling of my studio bucket list. Some of those things are pretty ambitious, but now that they’re out there, it’s time to start working on accomplishing as many of them as possible.

As I mentioned in the introduction, my hope is that you’ll do more than just read my list; I hope you’ll take a little time to think about your own studio hopes and dreams and to write your own studio bucket list. Then, start accomplishing those things!


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