Thursday, April 5, 2018

Busy, Busy, SLACK....

(One of the pieces created during a productive weekend.)

   Hello there! It's been awhile!  I have been intermittently busy, then slacking....Let me explain.

  So, I work on art most weekends and had an opportunity to get some stuff done over Easter weekend. I was on a roll, but then I hit days that are a bust. I can't get motivated or I can't come up with concepts and sketches I like. Then, I feel like all that I had produced prior to my lull, is diminished. The feat is not longer great, because I wasted another day binge watching a show on Netflix! LOL!
     I am tying to figure out why it is so very hard for me to work on art during the is what I have figured out. I work from 5:45 (yes AM) until 2:15 Monday through Friday. I either get out late, have to stop at my mom's apartment or stop to pick up some grocery items for dinner. That gets us to  around 3-3:30...Depending on the day- I may have to then feed the outdoor animals their mid day hay. (usually takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 45- depends on weather, checking on how they are doing and if I need to do anything extra while out there.) Sometimes my daughter is home and can take care of that feeding.  (More & more, she is not.) As soon as I come in, the dogs need to be fed. (and when I go fill the dog bowls, I have to stop and visit the bunny!After a few scratches and a treat or 2, I move on.)  After that, I usually need to just decompress after a full day of working with children. I guess I veg for about an hour. (I also have a snack or treat then too;) so let's say that gets us to 5pm.  After that- I need to make dinner. Depending of what we have, it can be anywhere from a half hour to an hour to get that together. So lets say we eat at 5:30. By 6 we are done. I am, honestly, tired by then. So, I sit & get sucked into my phone, Facebook or TV. I am usually in the shower/bed by 8:30/ I have from 6ish to 8:30 to work on art. If my space is disrupted, or I have a compulsion to clean up before starting, I have very little time to work. I have to be in the mood to sketch or paint. I love to do it, but if I am exhausted- I don't feel like coming up with ideas to sketch. If it was a bad day, I really need time to get ready to create something. It takes me awhile to detach from the rest of the day. That's what I know.
(One of my Studio mates...she's very critical...)

        Here is my plan of attack...I have decided to create a goal/plan each week. On Sunday, I will figure out a my goals for the week (For instance; finishing 2 paintings during the week, designing business cards and ordering, blogging, staining 20 boards and prepping them for painting on, etc.) and set a plan (in writing and on a calendar) to get that done. I am delegating some of the chores and dinner-making to the husband and child. (They do have other things going on as well- so I am going to see who's schedule can accommodate what. We also have other things that disrupt our schedules;  meetings, special events and illnesses...Did I also mention I am teaching an art classes for children -3 Tuesdays after work, this month? and an Adult watercolor class 3 Thursdays in the evening, this month?) By delegating this way, I can have some days to work on art with a longer amount of time and feel like I am not trying to cram it in!  Hence, creating time and an easier way to get into something and getting something done!That's the plan...We shall see how that pans out. I promise to keep you posted...Wish me luck!

(Another piece created during a productive weekend...)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Who am I?

Ready for the big bold statement?! here it comes....I am an artist. It is who I am (Okay... wife, mother, daughter, supervisor, and an employee are also who I am... and this post is about being all of those things!)   But there is a lot that people do not understand, about what it means to be "an artist". I have put together a list of things you may or may not know about artists; things that may help you understand me a little more :)...

1. We usually have day jobs.... I work a forty hour a week job. This helps me with insurance, gives me a steady income and provides stability for my family. I carve out time for art on weeknights and weekends when I can. I do try to make time throughout the week to just "do" art. But life happens. And problems happen. So sometimes, we put in much more emotional time that we think. The trick is to find time for your passion.

2. We have homes and families....My home is also the home to my Husband, my daughter, our 2 dogs, 2 horses, 2 goats, a bunny, a mini horse and 12 chickens. We have 5 acres and lots of critters to care for. We feed the horses 3x a day, everyone else is 2x. We also need to feed ourselves! And in my house, I tend to be the primary cook. I only prep one meal a day- Dinner. We tend our make out own  breakfasts and lunches and/or eat leftovers. We also have 5 acres of fences to care for, lawn to mow, snow to remove (even by gates to pastures/pens and chicken coop). We clean out horse sheds and their dry lot, we shop for our food and theirs (grain), and we go get hay and put it in our hay shelters, we have to clean tack and groom animals...We have laundry and cleaning to do as well. We have daughter in sports, FFA, NHS, PSEO classes, as well as other extracurricular activities. She rides horses competitively. So the summer is filled with horse shows, lessons, and training.

3. We have father has passed and my mother is aging. She needs help with finances, with cleaning, shopping, making and going to appointments, remembering meds, reminders for everything. She has the beginnings of dementia- which is sometimes worrisome and heart breaking. I see her almost daily, and get multiple phone calls when I don't.

4. We value our art time....Sometimes its 10 minutes. Sometimes its 10 hours. I may need time to just think on the business end of what I am doing, marketing, taking photos, buying supplies, finding reference material, and then....there is time to create. I wish I could devote more time to art, but having a family means a bit of a sacrifice. So when I DO have time, I get really picky about my space, and my choices. Please do not tear apart my space to find something, fix something or make something. If you wanna get in there, ASK! Don't just do... Because, if I want to get in there- I can't if you are. Or if you do ask me to use my space, put it back the way you found it! Just check with me before using it. Don't tell me. I may not be in that room right away; maybe I need to check my email, order business cards and get something to drink before going in... I do take my time to arrange some things before I start. I am weird. (Maybe it's a creative person's OCD?) And pleeeeeease....DO NOT hang anything on my easel! Not sure why it gets me, but it does.

5. We need support...If you know its a rough week, give us time. Art is a release. It's cathartic, it's therapy. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means. Be critical,but don't criticize. Give your opinion in a non judgmental way. We need to push ourselves, but don't push us over the edge;) If you visit someones space, if you go to an opening...DO NOT tell the artist you'd love to put a piece of their art in your's tacky. Seriously. You could have a million dollar bathroom, but the first thing I think is crapper! Ew!  We put a lot of time and energy into what we create. You are getting a piece of their soul, a part of who they are. I know that I have a hard time pricing and tagging some pieces, as they are special to me. Some never leave me:) Go to their shows, their exhibitions, to the art show of students they've taught. Ask to see what they've been working on. Go on an art day adventure- go to a museum! Go to another artist's show- we love that! It gives us perspective and time with the people we care about.

So, take from this what you will...I needed a little time to decompress and this list helped get a few things off my chest. It also helps me realize we all have a lot on our plates. Remember to take a minute to see another person's point of view. To walk a mile in their shoes.  Life is short. Create something; a memory, time for someone to get away, a work of art. Be the person that inspires, that supports, that has an open mind. Help someone else make a little room on their plate....

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gettin' Down to Business...



 So, I have been very busy! Gettin' down to business! I have titled and completed  a couple more paintings since last week! I finished the 18" x 24" piece titled "Reckoning", one 3" x 9" canvas titled "Twilight Tree" and another 12"x 24" canvas titled "Day Dreaming". Whew! I am feeling really good about what I am doing and felt very productive (and excited!).  I also prepped a few more smaller canvases- they are ready to be turned into something special!
Small Canvases, Waiting to be finished Masterpieces...
        I attempted (and by "attempted", I mean struggled, lol!), with a few tasks to get ready for this summer of trying/selling at art and Ren fairs.  I need a Tax ID in any state I wish to sell goods. I already have my MN one, since I had my Studio in St. Paul.  I started to go online and check out WI tax IDs, and since I will be a vendor (more than an artist in a set place/studio), my title is somewhat changed. I need to read through a bit more and figure out what I need to do. I also started to look at Credit Card swipers. So I can start accepting credit cards. (Giving me more probability of sales, to those who would like to purchase my wares;)  Each of these tasks lead to more & more questions about bank accounts, costs, what taxes are applicable where, am I a vendor, sole proprietor....So, needless to say, I didn't finish either task, but made some headway on answering my questions. One step forward, 2 steps back- lol! I started to organize a three ring binder to hold all of my info. I also need to pick up an account book- In studio, I used to simply deal in paper sales receipts- old school. But think I will need to be a bit more tech advanced as I go into my next venture. I still have certain personal touches when it comes to selling original paintings- I am attached to them and sales are sometimes bittersweet. It's personal, and I want the buyer to know that each piece is very special to me. Putting price tags on things you create is sometimes very difficult.
        Well- that's a short update- I promise to be more verbose next week- and maybe less distracted. maybe I can pick a topic and share some good info...Thanks for checking in, I'll leave you with some pictures of the newly created art....

"Day Dreaming"

"Twilight Tree"
Mini canvases
"Water Lilly"

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sticking to it!

        So, here I am, a couple days late... but here nonetheless! YAY! It has been a relatively productive week. I have been working on a acrylic on canvas painting, finished a small acrylic on refinished board, finished 2 mini paintings and did a bit of research on showing art in other states/doing craft fairs.
Finally Finished this piece in December and Just titled...
"Into the Rapids"

        First, my paintings. I am loving the way my current piece is going. I have worked on it here and there through out last week and this weekend. It's quite cathartic. When I stop to look at it, I find myself pulled into the other small pieces I am working on. The mental break from one painting opens myself up to feeding into another. It is a small release, but a very productive side effect!  While working on my larger painting (not BIG, but larger than the others... I will have to get the dimensions) I have finished the 3 smaller pieces. My larger piece is an abstract, filled with raw emotion and feeling for me. The last bits I added have really caught the spark of what I'm doing. Or at least trying to convey. I have a working title of "Reckoning" and that is exactly what it is...My  calculating, my estimation, my opinion, my judgement...MY decision to get back into what I love. A commitment via calculated thought to be mindful, present and accountable for creating. Honestly, I FEEL better when I am making something. It makes me a better person... A whole person. A mentally healthy person...okay, that may be debatable, But I think it all contributes to my physical well being. I do think it is a need for me....   I am overwhelmingly enjoying having a space to work, listen to music and paint. It has been too long! Now I just need to organize my days a bit better to accomodate the business and marketing side of things.
        I am not business minded, in the sense of numbers and accounting. I do, however, love to market. I just need the time and the means. I have a great friend that has given me some awesome advice on doing these craft fairs.  So, I've been finding things to do before I get going this summer. I am on set up mode. I need to organize my time in order to send in applications, get my tax ID for any state other than MN I plan on showing in (have my MN one:), get inventory together, create displays,get my books in order, order new business cards, possibly order postcards, make tent weights, and I need a tent. That's all.... It is a bit overwhelming, so that's where I need help. I have to spread it out in a logical order and start keeping books. Good thing I am starting in January! Ah well...It'll happen. I just have to keep up with it. (gotta stick with these resolutions!:)
        Well....gotta go work on....something! Paint? Taxes? Scheduling? hmmm...


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Power of Intention...

         Well, it's the first full week back after Christmas break... And here I am! Woo Hoo! Blogging away! After my New Year's Resolution of making time for my art and working at getting myself back into the art world... I figured, a great way to get the creative juices flowing would be to Blog each Monday! Yay! I am, now, home from work, have finished running my errands/tasks, and now I am ready to sink my teeth into working off my creative energy.

        Sooooooo, let me tell you about how I got to this point....
Since Christmas, I've been organizing my space and getting ready to do some new art work. I have a crazy, overwhelming need to organize and tidy my studio space before I can work. Since moving my studio into my home, I haven't carved out a space where I can work freely. I have worked on the dining table, in the kitchen, and wherever I could make a mess for a few days. Then I had to clean it up and stash my supplies somewhere. This past Summer/Fall,  I  have been slowly making our walk-out into my space. My husband, Mark, made shelves in the closet for my supplies awhile ago....and everything BUT art stuff filled them! LOL! After a purge of stuff, buying a new work table and setting up this Christmas Break...I should be good to go this week! I even meal prepped this Sunday in order to make more time for myself during the week. (I also started getting my "books" organized for recording/documenting new work, financial records, project planning and goal setting.)

       Now, What to create?? I am debating on what medium to begin with. I think I am going to start with an acrylic on canvas. No pre-sketching. Just painting.  Thinking this will help my unconscious to let go of any preconceived ideas of what I THINK I should be creating. I have mental lists of things I want to make, but need to do some sketches before attempting the pieces I'd like to do on recycled wood, on jewels, jewel boxes and mini canvases. So, today, I will continue my journey! Off to go paint!
Hurray for new years resolutions and for making time for creativity!WOO HOO!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Years Resolutions...

        So, I find myself in a scramble updating my web page, working on new art, expanding the way I create....and I happened along my very outdated and neglected blog. As I am going through these scattered (and no longer cohesive parts of my artistic soul)...I am thinking of how to put humpty back together again..
        Once again, I am trying to prepare myself for a New year. I have the same old resolutions of wanting to better myself, lose weight, be healthier...but I have sorely neglected my art these past couple of years. I have had a couple of job changes-sowed some oats- only to realize I needed the calm that I had left. ( A few major health problems have helped guide me back to a place where I can once again, be who I truly am. As they say, Life is too short.) I am back in a position (for the past year) that should allow me the time and space I need to, once again, cultivate my passion.  I have had the opportunity to resume teaching art classes to both children and adults through our local Community Ed program and grants. I also had an amazing opportunity to do set painting for a wonderful local Theatre group in Forest Lake. Masquers Theatre Company hired me to paint the set panels for their holiday production of "The Happy Elf". What a blessing! As stressful as the timeline was- I felt more myself and alive with creativity than I had in ages! My kind of people. Creativity is sometimes lacking the further away from the cities you go, but I am finding small niches of fellow artists and creative individuals around me.
2 panels of "Bluesville" from "The Happy Elf"

        So back to resolutions...I have a dear friend, Lori, who has teamed up with her family to create a family run jewelry business. They fashion rings and other jewels from coins. They have been traveling and exhibiting their work at art and Renaissance fairs. I am intrigued and for one of my resolutions, plan on exhibiting/selling at few shows this summer, to see how it goes!  I may pursue this as a summer vocation in the next few years, if it proves lucrative and makes me happy. BUT...This means I have tweaked my work to fit a market. I am producing work on recycled wood and jewelry boxes, creating small miniatures and creating smaller pieces to sell at the fairs. All this in addition to creating work in my own abstract way:)
Example of my current abstract painting...
Watercolor and ink,( smaller 5"x 7")

Crosshatching sketch

        Another resolution...I need to set aside time to work on my blog, website and the creation of new art. I will be devoting specific days and times to get my work done! Once a week blog, photographing my art and cataloging, expanding and re-creating my mailing list, becoming a bigger presence on FB and social media, networking and finding new places to exhibit my work, and just being around art! I miss going to openings, art crawls, having a presence in what I love. Time to put myself back out there and to give myself the time to pursue what I love.
        As I write this, my heart is filled with passion, my soul ready to be rejuvenated with a new sense of purpose and fulfillment. This years resolutions are a gift to myself... I am ready. I need this. Because this is who I am.
                                                         Much love and Wishes for a Happy New Year!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

So...It's been awhile...BUT,
I am on a new journey. After a year of transitions from studio to home, from full time employee/wife/ mom/teacher to making time for me too...I am opening an Etsy account, blending my country/mom/wife life with my artsy life.  I'm finding middle ground. I am going to create, paint and craft, and restart my studio life!
I am incorporating my renewed love of horses (have always loved and adored from afar, but having them in my backyard has created a whole new appreciation!). I am crafting, creating and making more space in my life for me again;) So...Stay tuned...I'll be sharing more soon:)