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It’s tough for me to come up with art-related New Year’s resolutions. It’s not like vowing to lose weight, exercise more or save money — I’d actually feel obligated to keep at the art resolutions for the year.

So instead of racking my brain for resolutions, I figured I’d see what other San Diego County artists were committing to in 2011. On Thursday, I sent out an email to more than four dozen artists: Give me your art-related resolutions by 5 p.m. on the last day of 2010, and I’ll put you in my blog.

Eight people replied — some you’ve met in my blog before as well as a few new faces.

Here’s a peek at what local artists are resolving to do in 2011:

Benjamin Heneberry

Benjamin Heneberry lives in Golden Hill and paints over collages he’s made. I interviewed him before his first show ever, which happened at Alexander Salazar Fine Art, a downtown gallery.

His resolutions:


2. To go deeper, to challenge myself to express broader emotional, intellectual and psychological concerns in my work.

3. To found an art movement that’ll revolutionize the world, or, failing that, just make boat-loads of cold hard cash. Hey, I’ve got bills to pay…”

Julia San Roman

Julia San Roman lives in El Cajon and is an oil painter who focuses on the human figure.

Her resolutions:

“1. To create more work with better formal and conceptual qualities that is authentic to my vision.

2. To be more prolific.

3. To reach to other artists in the community and abroad.”

Isaias Crow

Isaias Crow of Sherman Heights does multi-media and spray paint/graffiti art. His first resolution names several local places where he hopes to collaborate with other artists and show his work:

“1. Collaboration and integration of my work with The Roots Factory, Zea Mays Productions and Thumbprint Gallery for three months.

2. Give and receive

3. Continuation of self-observation”

Kathy McChesney

Kathy McChesney of Bird Rock primarily paints the human figure with acrylic, watercolor and other media.

She resolves to:

“1. Take my work seriously, myself less seriously and let my creativity have its way.

2. Keep trying new stuff, recycling old stuff, and mixing it all up.

3. Keep my head out of the box at all times.”

Richard Allen Messenger

Richard Allen Messenger of Ocean Beach is a painter who made up a word to characterize his work: post-modern “realizationism.”

He sent one resolution:

“My life can be found in every painting I do — the dark truth or at times the enlightened being I am. It emerges on its own and if I try to change this truth, I ruin it every time. My resolution has been the same for some time now. To be the best person I can be.:

Gail Oyer, aka Mercedes

Gail Oyer, aka Mercedes, is a Carlsbad oil painter specializing in realistic paintings, often depicting flowers.

She put specifics in her resolutions:

“1. To put into action a creative business plan with current representatives (or alone if necessary) that gets my work received enthusiastically into galleries.

2. To maintain at least an average of six hours a day, five days a week on my art without letting family matters distract me.

3. To paint at least one painting just for fun, experimenting with something that I have wanted to, but not taken the time to do.”

Wendy Starling

Wendy Starling of Oceanside creates mixed-media abstracts blended with original poetry and prose.

In 2011, she says:

“1. I will create a new body of work this year.

2. My work will have more depth — both color and feeling.

3. I will be showing and selling in new and amazing venues where many, many people will see and love my work!”

Rae Barney

Rae Barney of Vista is a sculpture and clay artist. I visited her Escondido studio last month.

Her resolutions are also quite specific:

“1. I will grow my studio classes and art sales to bring in at least $5,000 every month.

2. I will create several lines of unique products and find local retailers to sell them.

3. I will expand my programs to offer reduced fees for low-income and disadvantaged students.”

OK, these guys have inspired me with their practicality and savvy. So here’s what I’m willing to commit to in 2011:

I, Dani Dodge of North Park, am a mixed-media artist.

I resolve to:

1. Build my body of work focused on people and their relationships to each other and their world in urban settings.

2. Begin to actively look for representation by spending more time in galleries, and determining where my work will best fit.

3. Continue to explore San Diego County’s lush culture of art and artists, with the goal of enriching my world and the lives of those who read this blog.

What are your art-related New Year’s resolutions? Leave a comment, or you can reach me at

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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