So You Say You Want a Resolution?

Welcome, 2011!

I don’t normally do the New Year’s Resolutions thing. Tackling bad habits it has taken years to acquire, and thereby attempting to remake one’s life in a short list just because it’s January, smells like a set up for failure. I resolve instead to choose resolutions that are do-able, things I might be inclined by nature to do anyway, but just haven’t gotten around to doing yet. I hereby resolve to:

Use the word brachycephalic more frequently. English is chock full of fabulous words. Bamboozle is a beauty, as is mukluk*. Just saying mukluk aloud is guaranteed to lift one’s mood. You doubt me? Go ahead and try it.


See, I told you.
Just recently I started making a series of collages featuring dogs in sweaters or doggy coats. Why? Well, as with the word mukluk, a dog wearing a sweater is so inherently ridiculous that seeing a canine so attired makes me smile. What could possibly be better than a dog in a sweater**, you might ask? Why, a brachycephalic dog in a sweater, of course! When I saw a friend’s photo of her pug in his little coat, I could not resist. Say hello to “Gus”, everyone. Isn’t he handsome?

Pencil sketch of Gus
(Oh, and incidentally that’s two brachycephalics – no three- in one post! Bazinga!)

Quit Slacking Off and Actually Get Some Work Done. I went into the studio to work today for the first time in a couple of weeks and it felt pretty good. I was a little slow getting started, but did manage to get some drawing done and to get a panel prepared for the new collage of Gus. However, my studio assistant, Tabitha, was more than an hour late. During the Christmas break, she got into the habit of sleeping in a rocker by the woodstove – guess she forgot it was Monday. That’s coming off your paycheck, cat.

Tabitha on the job- photo by the artist (that would be me).

Make more drawings of sinister-looking rodents. Shortly before Christmas, I began a drawing of our rabbit, Jasper, to give as a gift to a friend who has a fondness for rabbits. I was quite pleased with the drawing until my daughter looked at it and said, “It’s nice, but he looks kind of evil.” I ended up giving the friend a tin of Bag Balm instead. What can I say? Bring on the mice and squirrels.

Jasper – Pencil drawing ©2010 Alyson Champ

Stop swearing. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! NEXT.

Spend more time discovering the work of other artists. Here are some artists whose work I have recently discovered.
Elizabeth St. Hilaire-Nelson is a collage artist who lives in Florida. We recently “met” (in the virtual sense) and have exchanged Christmas cards (in the actual sense). I think her work is colourful and gorgeous.
Claudia Roulier makes assemblages, collages, and paintings which are funny-bordering-on-disturbed.
I have my husband to thank for turning me on to the work of Brian Dettmer. This guy carves books – yes, you read that right- carves books. Check it out. I guarantee his work will blow your mind.

Pay my hay bill. Sorry V. The cheque is (almost) in the mail.

Stop worrying about money. I have been poor, but neither I, nor my business has ever been bankrupt. Donald Trump has been on the verge of personal bankruptcy and his businesses have been bankrupt not once, but TWICE. So…. who’s the failure again? Plus, this is really my hair.

Spend more time petting my dogs, playing with my cats, talking to my sheep, and less time arguing with the humans in my life.
That’s about it. Happy New Year!

* If it’s in the OED, it’s word.
** If any of you are dog owners and have photos of your dog in a sweater or doggy coat, and you wouldn’t mind seeing your dog so immortalized in a collage, please send those photos to me at: Extra points for brachycephalic dogs. (That’s four times, baby!)