Monday, November 30, 2009

Jumpstart Christmas

Wow, November just got away from me, and now it's time for Christmas!  We enjoyed a big showchoir festival in Scottsbluff, and a trip to Lincoln to watch our son in the All-State Chorus.  It was dad's day at the sorority, so we also got to a UNL basketball game and the UNL v. KSU football game (which means I went shopping!)  I was subbing at the school a lot, and then hosted my family here for Thanksgiving. The school's one-act play (Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark--a spoof on Hamlet) took first place at the conference competition, and will go to District's this week. Oh yea, and the family has been hunting a lot.  They got three deer in the first hour of the season. Corn harvest is late due to early snows, so the pheasants are just now being forced out.  It's busy here.

My big art news for the last month is the painting class I've started for Cancer Survivors.  We are meeting once a week (Thursdays at 10:00am).  The hospital foundation has generously purchased supplies for us on a six month trial basis.  I've had 3 students so far, and others are welcome whenever they can make it.  Caregivers are also welcome as long as space is available.  We are starting with an old standard for me:  JoSonja Jansen's Slavic Round Design on papier mache boxes.  Later, we may try watercolor or collage, but I've found that this project gives a great introduction to the acrylic medium and forces brush control, because of the amount of strokework, which also creates a very showy piece.  And, there is so much there that people can't see any mistakes!

I also sold a painting and 5 doodleboxes this week.  I'm working on a new website...up before Christmas! Trying to meet at least most of those goals I set last year.  Have you been thinking about new goals for 2010?  It's time!  Happy December everyone!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Professional Development

It's hard to justify time and money spent on something you love. It feels selfish, especially when you come from the motherly viewpoint of taking care of everyone else, as well as the little or no income position in the family. But, with the goal of becoming a "real" selling and producing artist, part of the journey must include "professional development" opportunities. At least identifying art workshops with that lofty heading, justifies the time and money!

After several plan changes involving school musical and football games rescheduled due to October snow storms and swine flu, family catching the bug, and auto repair delays, I was able to make it to a creativity and collage workshop with Nita Leland. It was organized and hosted last week by the Beatrice Art Guild.

Completion of a new sunflower painting (shown here), progress on a couple of other works, and journaling with creative prompts adds up to important professional development. Nita is a great colorist, with insight to the world of paint manufacturing and color wheel selection. However, the best part of this class for me was the chance to be with other painters and friends. They inspire me to persevere. My friends, Sandy Meyer and Susan Hart were there, as well as two artists from Columbus, Nebraska who remembered me from an art study tour in Chicago 12 years ago! Most of these ladies had been to other ANAC (Association of Nebraska Art Clubs) workshops at Halsey. We were a creative, supportive, and extremely talented group of Nebraska artists. Our capabilities surprised our eminent teacher!

Since Beatrice is 5 hours east of here, I took the opportunity to visit a high school classmate (thanks Connie!) as well as my girls in that end of the state...a little wedding stuff exploring with my wedding blogger, necessity shopping with my college student, art supply shopping, and of course...great eating. So now I am renewed, professionally developed??, and busy organizing my studio (Nita re-encouraged this, as does every success forum ever known!), planning a painting therapy class, framing art and headed to Guild meeting. Blessed renewal.