New Year 2008 - Change Jar

Ink & watercolor, 5.5 x 7.5″ (Larger)

I heard Nigela Lawson on the radio talking about New Year’s dining traditions in different cultures that all included eating round things (the shape of coins) to create prosperity in the new year. It inspired me to finally paint this former candy jar where I put the change I find in the dryer and washer after my son does his laundry at my house. The jar never fills, so I assume he also makes withdrawals.

The foods included lentils, grapes and sliced salami. One tradition said to eat 12 grapes, one for each month of the year. If the third grape was sweet it meant March would be prosperous; if it was a sour grape, March wouldn’t be good.

I’m usually more concerned with peace and health than prosperity, but after watching an insipid Suze Orman TV special about women and money last month, I decided that prosperity would be nice too. She emphasized that women often feel they have to apologize for having money, or feel guilty if they are have anything for themselves before everyone else has their needs met.

But of course the key to prosperity is very simple:

Want what you have; Don’t want what you don’t have

Easier said than done, especially in the U.S. where overconsumption is considered to be patriotic.

Art Goals

My art goals for 2008 are also very simple: to enjoy myself by exploring whatever directions I find interesting, challenging, exciting, pleasurable, fun. In other words, learn, practice, grow, but do it in ways that are good for me, that are satisfying and healthy. No lists of shoulds, no rules other than play, practice and enjoy the journey. Be prosperous in the pleasure and enjoyment of the process.

My hope is that by this time next year I will have earned enough competence with oils that I can comfortably and freely work in the medium most fitting to the subject or idea I want to express, whether it be ink, watercolor, oils, goauche, or monoprint.

Art theory, Drawing, Glass, Painting, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life, Watercolor

Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. Happy New Year, Jana! Your goals are excellent, they are really what it’s all about, I think. I look forward very much to following your journey in 2008!

    The jar is beautiful, the colours gorgeous, but the comment about it never filling made me laugh. Kids eh?! It’s kind of nice too in that it represents an on-going, never ending, steady relationship!



    May 2008 be the very best — health, wealth, joy, love — and creativity!!

    HAPPY 2008, CARA MIA!



  3. Happy New Year, Jana! Thank you for being there – you have been such an inspiration to me over this past year. I wish you much prosperity in 2008. And now I shall go eat something round…


  4. Love the candy jar. Your use of colors in a watercolor never cease to amaze and inspire me. Best wishes for 2008! I look forward to following you through the year in whichever direction your interests take you. Please don’t stop sharing your watercolors as you explore oils.


  5. I hope to follow you along that carefree path as well! May the coming year take you along the creative path without too many bumps in the road. You are an inspiration and your encouragement is so very appriciated. Happy 2008!


  6. I echo Shirley!
    Thankyou for all the enjoyment, both here and in commenting at my place over the past year.
    Good paint to you, Jana!


  7. Happy new year, Jana! I gave lentils to all my friends at a party night before last, but to sketch raw lentils didn’t seem the way to go. I applaud your sane and grounded goals and I look forward to seeing your gouache, oil, watercolor, ink, acrylic works this year!


  8. Happy New Year Jana …

    Great post about the New Year and the foods.
    Love your watercolor and ink candy jar.


  9. happy new Year to you Jana

    you are a continuing inspiration to me!


  10. Ah, you are after my own heart! No resolutions, no goals, no rules…just follow the path which is laid before you! A true inspiration!

    Happy New Year!


  11. I love your drawing and the story behind it. I also find the eating of round things very interesting…probably good that these traditions did not begin in the age of paper money or plastic credit cards! 🙂

    You seem to have a very balanced approach to goals/resolutions for your art. Some people need more intentionality, or maybe even a list (not necessarily of “shoulds”) to pull something like that off, I think, but your passion shines through in your blog and I think that goes a long way towards assuring you will accomplish what you are setting out to do.

    –Liz 🙂


  12. Happy New Year! That’s a great drawing, you do glass very well. I think I need to set my art goals.


  13. Love your jar Jana! It reflects your goals perfectly. Thanks for a year of wonderful inpiration and I’m looking forward to the this year’s journey of exploration!


  14. Jana,

    Your goals are the simplest and best that I have read so far! Interesting to read about the round traditional. By coincidence I just happened to serve up lentil soup on New Year’s. Maybe I’m just in synch with prosperity and I didn’t know it. 🙂 Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2008. I really enjoy your blog.


  15. I see Nigella Lawson is going for world domination! (heehee I love her really!) Happy new year Jana – I look forward to a new year of visiting your lovely blog!


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