I’m doing it! 

Hi Everyone!

Lots of To Do’s have been done around here this week. We finished a shelf for the bathroom, more work on the barn, garden and yard, ordered new tires for my car (yuck) and today we will be getting up hay (double yuck).  Life as usual. So how are things in your world going?

I won’t blather on this week, but I am patting myself on the back a little.  Now that I have some time back to call my own and knowing next week will be a slow work week thanks to Memorial Day weekend and one of my printing suppliers being closed, I jumped into the BIG scary stuff. 

Over the years I have drawn many portraits in pencil and charcoal, but if I painted portraits it was back when I used crayons. Even during college I don’t remember any of my art classes requiring painted portraits. Lots of drawings of people, but no paintings. 

After completing the grandpup paintings I have been feeling a little more confident as my skills with acrylic paints have started to return. In case you are wondering, I do not use oil paints. I don’t like dealing with the solvents and I have no patience with all the drying time involved. I appreciate them and love the blend-ability, but that is where my love for them ends. I may try them again one day and change my mind, but I’m not there yet. 

So, this week I drug out some photos of my kids in the early years and have jumped into portrait painting.  These are still works in progress and there have been several moments of total frustration. I realized today that my easel was turned the wrong way. Once I situated it where the natural light was on the painting life got much better.  Don’t you hate those slap yourself moments? 

Honestly, it is freaking terrifying! I think painting my own kids was a bad decision. I know their faces so well and the events and emotions tied up in these that it makes them harder to paint than someone I don’t know. My next attempts will be of strangers. Do not be surprised if I ditch these and redo them in the future. Overall though I’m getting the feel for this process and I’m not hating these paintings. Practice, practice, practice!


Have a great week and go do something terrifying!

Stepping up

Hi Everyone,

Hope you had a lovely week.  Here in North Carolina we are alternating between Winter, Monsoon Season and Spring.  In other words, every day is a weather adventure. nc-weatherI just logged in to write a new post and realized that this one did not go out last week.  I am so sorry! Darn it, I was even ahead of myself for once.  So, here is what you were supposed to have last week and I will now go and write this week’s post for next week.  So much for the best laid plans.

This past week became a big decision week for me.  I have been sort of lost as to what direction I need to go in career wise for the past six months.  Usually I have my design business plus a side job for backup.  I lost my office manager job when I got married and moved to the hills and have been wandering around somewhat aimlessly since then during the hours I would normally be working there.

As D.s retirement is upon us the end of next month we have been going through the budget with a fine tooth comb and checking it twice. There are not many part time employment opportunities locally and we both still need to work (even if we didn’t financially then for our sanity).  So, I’m going to do what I have always wanted to do and that is to see if I can make a decent income from what I create.  I’m making this art/craft/maker/designer gig full time now.

I have started on a new work schedule.  Those of you who work from home probably know, it is easy to lose focus when the laundry/dishes/yard all need attention. I have to write it down and look at it several times a day until it becomes a routine.

There have been hours of research the past couple of days.  Thanks to a nasty head cold and guilt for being sick, research has been conducted from a prone position on the sofa, but surprisingly productive considering.  I have a long list of sites to sell my work, boat loads of info on SEO, hashtags and social media strategies.  You will probably see a new website and blog layout here soon.

I realized that I have stacks and stacks of work already that with a little more attention could be good work to put out there in the world.  As most artists/creators are, I’m very critical of my own work and often get frustrated and shove it in a drawer before it is either finished or given a fair evaluation. Here is an example of a piece I started last week and sort of like, but then again…

Along with the career decision, I have started, once again, to clean out and organize all our stuff.  I say ours, but most of it is mine.  There is a box of paper scraps getting donated to a friend who works with kids at her church and old magazines and reference photos going away, dried up paint and markers have been cleaned out.  Here are some of the harder things to let go of…   

And now that deer season is over it is time to get back to house remodeling, garden planning, barn, chicken coop and dog fence building.  Nope, BOREDOM is never mentioned here!

Join me and go do something this week you have always wanted to do, but scares the heck out of you!

 

Photo credits…I have no idea about the NC weather, but all others are from yours truly.

Jumping

We are expecting our first big winter storm to start tomorrow.  The grocery stores are almost cleaned out of bread and milk already.  No, we don’t get piles and piles of snow here, but we do get ice and some snow.  Ice is much worse to try and function in plus there are always power outages.  We look crazy to our Northern friends, but if you have ever had to spend a few days or even a week or more without power you will understand.

This week has been a little difficult.  It has been one of those weeks when things don’t go as planned and some situations need to be re-evaluated for the future.  A week full of frustration to be honest.  I happened to see this video on Facebook of Steve Harvey talking to his audience about taking a chance and jumping.

Normally I would view this video as a motivational speech, but for someone who has “jumped” several times in her career and personal life it was more a reminder to me that jumping can be painful at times.  A reminder that just because you got up the courage to jump doesn’t mean that the outcome will all be soft breezes and sunshine floating in your parachute.  Sometimes the parachute doesn’t open or you have to fly through a few storms.

Several times I have been asked  by people about how to start a business or if I thought they should. First, I find this interesting since I am not what you would call a role model for financial success.  I live very simply and accepted long ago that I did not pick a lucrative career.  It’s fun, but not necessarily a great money maker.  Second, I don’t tell these people what they want to hear.  I am all for doing what you want to do in life.  If working in a cubical is a soul sucking existence then find something else. Life is too short.  BUT, jumping is scary because it involves some high risks.  Don’t jump until you have looked at the ground with binoculars.  Know what is below you to the best of your ability.  There will still be things you don’t see coming, but learn what you can and take off the rose colored glasses.

I’m sounding like Debbie Downer today, but one of my saving graces in life has been my ability to see reality.  No fairy tales for me.  Jumping is exhilarating when you finally take that leap.  It is heart stopping.  It is breath taking.  It is also heart breaking, painful and to be horribly honest there can be a fatally hard and sudden stop.  Jump, but jump with a well prepared parachute, milk and bread.

Photo credit