Monday, September 29, 2014

Back in School


The summer went by and I did not make one post!

It was a busy summer since I worked most weeks 6 days a week, whether in the Tibetan shop, teaching privately, or in my Rhinebeck studio.  I took a week of to go to the Cape, but the rest of the summer I was hard at work. Since I left teaching, summers off are a memory of the past. I thought that I would have a hard time working all summer for the first time in many years, but when you are doing things that bring you joy, and are no longer in a soul-sucking job, it isn't much like work at all.

While on vacation I got a phone call from Lea at Marist College, asking if I was interested in being in a class thru WEDC, an educational program for women in business. It was a no-brainer, and I soon found out how little I really knew about being in business.  It is a 60 hour class, and I get a certificate at the end of it. I  have to write a business plan, present it to the instructors, the class, and other outside agencies.

Being at Marist is like being in a bubble. The campus is pristine and lays along the banks of the Hudson River. I went to community colleges and state universities because I had to pay for my education and I could not afford anything more expensive. Going to a college like Marist was an unattainable dream. Though WEDC is only "housed" at Marist, and not actually part of the college, I still attend classes on campus,and I love the energy of being with the college crowd.  I am learning a lot, and can't say enough good about the program.

I have been working hard in the studio, slowly getting new clients, selling some art, obtaining new wholesale accounts. Olana and the Red Lion are doing well with my cards, and I am working on getting them into a few other local historic sites.  There is an article in progress which I will post when I have the link, and I am painting as much as possible outside before the weather takes a turn for the cold...though I may still try and paint outside.  I am thinking of trying to paint from inside the CRV if I can find places to park and paint. Sexy Sadie in not conducive to doing much more than getting me to my destinations, or doing some small watercolors inside the car.

Though I struggle at times financially, I have not broken the bank, and am keeping the studio bills paid, which is pretty good for being in business less than a year. My goal however is to start MAKING a little money so that I can draw as a working 4 days a week for no pay is tough on paying the bills at home. Besides, I need to start saving for my next vacation to the Cape in the summer.

Stay tuned, as I have promised myself to post on a weekly basis. I have adventures every week, and my new life is rich.  I leave for Barcelona in 10 days, my daughter is having a baby in a few months. It is my busy season... (those who know me are laughing, as they are thinking "when is she NOT busy??!!) Two craft shows, and holiday open house Thanksgiving weekend. It's all fab!

PS photos are of Marist, and Larry has three photographs in the Faculty show there in the art building/gallery.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Junking on the Cape

I love Cape Cod- the ocean, the dunes, the hiking, the salt marsh, the food.
Whale watching.
Mack's Shack.
Jules Besch.
And junking.

Garage sales and estate sales abound on the Cape. Even if you don't buy a thing, you get to see the inside of many an incredible (and some not so incredible) homes.

This trip's finds were not as plentiful as usual, but still for under 30.00 I got the following

Foley Food Mill 2.00 (oh all that tomato and apple sauce I will make with this)
1907 6" thick illustrated Webster dictionary 2.00 (collage heaven)
Stretcher Bars 1.00 - for the roll of canvas I will be getting from a friend
Frames 1.00 for the little watercolors I do.
2 vintage John Denver songbooks 1.00 - that is to resell on eBay
Phillips charging/speaker system for iPod/iPhone 20.00 for my studio.
Old glass slides to make "slides" with. (I use them to make ornaments) 

I can't wait to use all of this...and got my fix on my tiny budget.

Lots of antique, junk, and swap shops on the cape.  And I'll be going back in a few months to shop till I drop.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Life as an Artist.

I write less than I have in the last five or so years.
After retiring/reinventing my life, I thought that I'd have all kinds of time to write.
But I am busy working a bunch of jobs, and trying to get my studio/shop off the ground.
I made a new website for my studio in Rhinebeck, P.A. Gibbons Studio.  I started a blog under the same name. I joined the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce, Art Along the Hudson, and am part of the Artist Studio Views in September. All require money, and all require writing in one form or another.

Most of my creative writing these days are in the form of my morning pages as I am revisiting The Artist's Way.  Having done it about 10 years ago gave me the confidence to build my studio at home. Now that I have opened up a new studio, one that is a little shop/gallery/studio/teaching space, I need to work on building my confidence as an artist and business owner. It's been a lot of hard work, and some hard lessons. Like YES it DOES take money to make money. No getting around that. And I have to work a lot for not a lot of money. But it is joyful work, and I am hoping to grow from this next experience. It will be interesting to go back and read my pages from 10 years ago, and see the differences a decade has made.

I have given a lot up to do this. Breakfast is the new dinner. I have learned how to eat well on 5.00. I recycle and discover ways to make art without buying much in the way of supplies, and part of my teaching is to show other artists the same. I am trying to grow a lot of greens and veggies in the garden so I can eat from my little piece of paradise. I don't buy clothes. Or rarely. I still have the convertible as it was a lease, but in a year I have to think about what I am doing to do for transportation, reliable and safe being the operative words here. I still take mini vacations--when I am invited to a friend's house, or when I have a little bit of money to stay in a B and B for a night. Luckily I live in the beautiful Hudson Valley, so any town is a mini vacation spot. A late afternoon painting when the light is best is as good as a trip away. And NYC === if I take the train or mid week by bus, is affordable on occasion and I can go to the MET for next to nothing.

I no longer have a stomach ache on a Sunday night. Monday I work in a Tibetan store, which is a wonderful place to work. I no longer spend hours upon hours writing lesson plans, reports, putting together binders full of nonsense.  I am rarely sick due to stress and stale air/sick kids. I teach what I want to teach, not what others dictate me to teach.  I miss my old friends from work, but I make sure I see them on occasion. And the kids, I run into them from time to time and do miss some of them, but I find joy in mentoring women who welcome my knowledge.

Sorry for my silence. I've just been busy reinventing. If you are local, come see me sometime....I'd love to show you what I've been doing!