Resolutions for the new year. They are inevitable. And for me they are an important road map for my energy.

So, to fully commit, I am sharing them here… my main art resolutions:

Do What I Know…
When I started my most recent market scene, I said: “This is going to be my last word on market scenes.” Of course, I don’t mean that. I do mean to take a little break over the winter and revisit the Farmer’s Market when it reopens in the spring.

I will continue with the two bodies of work that I have developed most fully:

  • The Joanne Cam Market Scenes
  • Companion Cats
  • …Try What I Don’t Know.
    At the same time, I want to expand my horizons into things I have not yet tried or not yet succeeded at. There are two types of paintings that fall into this category:

  • Abstract Works
  • Portraits
  • Yes, pretty much two ends of the spectrum.

    I’m going to try Abstract Work in a class with Tesia Blackburn, a well-known and completely delightful abstract painter and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Here’s a link to her site: Tesia Blackburn.) I don’t know if I’m going to become an abstract painter but I do love moving a LOT of paint around and playing for hours with composition. The abstract métier should help me fine-tune my skills in those two areas.

    As for portraits, I’ve been taking a portrait drawing class from Sherry Kwint-Cattoche at Merritt College. And I’ve been whining and kicking my feet every step of the way. I’m rebelling against the constraints of creating a likeness. Far too detailed for me. But I just got a book of portraits by German abstract painter Emil Nolde (half price at the SF MOMA store!) and in some of his paintings I think he’s caught a likeness while still expressing his own aesthetic. I’m going to have to really force myself to work on this idea…it seems like real work. But it seems like something I should be able to do.

    Create A Joanne-Style For New Ideas
    I’m committing to create at least two new bodies of work. By this time next year, there will be four items under the “Do What I Know” category. Some of the types of work I want to explore are:

  • Still Lifes – I’ve drawn/painted a lot of fruit in my life but don’t feel I have a “look” for the still life idea. I love the Matisse still lifes. And the small Diebenkorn works are wonderful and loose. The Joanne Still Life look remains a mystery.

  • Interiors – I’ve done one very successfully – the Paris Bistro painting that I’ve done twice – but would like to develop this concept further. I want to capture the warmth of interiors, both public and private.

  • Historical Healdsburg – I’m going to the museum in Healdsburg, my hometown, CA to look for photos from the “old days” – especially the old days that are recent enough for me to remember…or imagine that I remember. Like the 50s. I am thinking of a series that will be buildings, old trucks, the plaza, maybe some people. The museum has a huge collection of digitized photos that will be my starting point.

  • Family History – I’m going to work on more paintings from old family photos. The “Man and His Tractor” painting has been very successful. I think there is some special energy in it. “Me as Cowgirl” as well. And the ideas in these paintings aren’t just “Oh look…it’s my Daddy.” They extend to iconic concepts – farmer, father, sister, mischievous little girl. At least, that’s how it seems to me right now. I feel like Joan Didion, who once said that writers are all scavengers and they will use ANYBODY to populate their work. Look out, family…I’m scavenging the old photos even as we speak.
  • One more thing…I’m working harder on getting my work out there. Not just for sales but because I’ve noticed that the more people who see my work, the more I hear about how the work affects others. And this is important. It’s the way I can find out if I’m self-deluded or if I’m communicating what I thought/hoped I was. So, more blog posts. More entries into local shows. And finding a gallery or two where I can show some of my work.

    That’s it. Hardly anything. It’s going to be a busy year…but a joyous one. I hope your new year looks as promising. ttyl

    By Joanne

    Joanne Taeuffer is an expressive painter. She lives in the Berkeley Hills and Healdsburg, CA, with her husband and their black cats, Oscar Wild and Percy.


    1. This is quite amazing art you produced here. The detail and depth is incredible and keeps my eyes coming back for more. As a fellow artist I have to say this is truly “superb” work. Hope to see more from you in the future and wish you all the very best for your artistic future. I am sure your work is greatly appreciated.

      God bless, Anna

    2. OK….I thought that New Years Resolutions were old hat..and never followed through, but after reading your blog, I am inspired by your reflection and thoughtfulness. I “JUST PAINT” but what I truly want is to put more thought, energy and feeling into my choices. That is my resolution. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    3. Hi Jeanette,

      While I make resolutions…you make art. Your work ethic is unmatched among my artist friends. Don’t let thinking about art, replace making it!

      See you soon,


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