Friday, September 30, 2011

Art Is...You Petaluma!

Art Is You Petaluma was amazing! If you think these people look happy, it's because they were! We had such a great time creating, laughing and sharing. Or maybe they're just so darn happy because we had such a beautiful place to create. That first photo above is from our classroom full of windows!

P.S. Somehow I don't have a photo of the amazing and inspiring Marlene Haveron. Link to her blog where hopefully she'll post her finished project. Not only was Marlene an amazing helper to Sallianne and Ellen, she was also wonderful to have in class. Hugs to you, Aunty M!

P.P.S. I had a lot more text for you in this post, but this is my third round trying to write this blog post and keep all of the photos in it (blogger and I are not friends today evidently...), so I'm calling the happy faces above good enough for now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Doodling

We took a trip in the RV this weekend, and I got a little bit of doodling time while Harper and Doug were exploring.

This last work-in-progress feels a little bit Michelle Allen-y to me for some reason.  Probably because I'm in love with her whimsical work.  Which reminds me... as much as I love looking around at everyone's artwork, I'm a little more of a mimic than I'd like to be.  I see something and it influences me.  Which is good, but sometimes makes me crazy too.
Ok, I'm off to get some work done.  Two days at the "day" job and then it's off to Petaluma for Art Is You!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Countdown to Art Is Petaluma...

The kits are shipped. The supplies are starting to go into piles.  I'm almost ready.
There are just two more spots in my each of my classes, so if you want to join in making some whimsical wonderful work, sign up!

License to Create

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I bet Martha Stewart doesn't have these problems...

Old table at Salvation Army that appears ideal for art space
Small doorway
Dremel tool
2 holes in the wall
5,682 swear words

Journaling Journey with Paper Cowgirls!

In August, I had the lucky experience (ok, there was a good bit of planning involved on the fabulous head Paper Cowgirl Cindy Mayfield's part too... not just luck) of getting to go back to Waxahachie, Texas to teach a two day journaling class called Journaling Journey.  We had a ridiculous amount of fun creating journals and playing.  Some of the ladies (yes, you, Susan and Shannon!) just couldn't quit and kept journaling until after 10 PM on our first day!
We did a little house project to work on loosening up and playing with color.  Everyone's turned out so FUN!
The talented Sandra Feazel joined us for a bit to play!
Look at Shannon's pop up girl!  (Looks like Blogger doesn't want to play nice and put my photos in the direction I want them... Sorry!!!)  Shannon was one of our late night journalers. :)
 Peggy's sweet singing cowboy collage for her grandson.  Had a great time sitting next to you, Peggy!
 THE Miss Cindy Mayfield's dream collage.  How's your cousin Tim, Miss Cindy? :)
Cindy Gilstrap's awesome collage... She took a MUCH better photo on her blog... check it out!  (Plus you just need to visit her adorable blog because it's so stinking cute.)
A sweet, whimsical vintage-y page from Susan's journal.  Susan was one of our late nighter's too!
One of Miss Melissa's works in progress.  Melissa is my soul twin PLUS bling!
Somehow I missed getting any decent photos of Dina and her daughter Natalie's work.  They were kind of jammed into the corner working away in creative bliss.

Here are some of the girls working away... oh, the fun of it!  Miss you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You're going to laugh...

First you're probably going to laugh at these really bad photos. And then maybe you'll wonder why I'm posting them. Then you're going to laugh because I'm moving my studio again. Yes, again!

(OR, maybe you're just shaking your head in dismay wondering why I keep moving my stuff and not getting any art done. I know I'm doing a little bit of that.)

The studio has been in my office, in the dining room, down in the basement, and all the way downtown. I love the studio downtown, and I'll be keeping it as a gallery and for teaching classes (starting in October!). But what's NOT working with the downtown studio is that I can't sneak there during Harper's nap time or after she goes to bed. I can't get there on lunch hours. Those were all my prime art making times before I started working part-time at my necessary job.

SO, the really bad photos are "before" photos of my new working studio upstairs (an extra guest room that's just been mainly sitting there since we moved in). It has a lovely window overlooking the front yard and an even lovelier HUGE closet!

Every time I thought about using this space for art, I'd look in there, see the wallpaper, and just walk right back out. Quickly. So yesterday, I used my Labor Day for just that.... LABOR. The "fun" labor of wallpaper removal. And it wasn't so bad. Right now, my in-laws are upstairs painting the room a lovely shade of deep gray-beige called Eiffel Tower.

I may have finally found a space where my art making can really call home. HAPPINESS.

Expect some better photos in the next few weeks!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Growing Pains

Well, I woke up at 4 AM. I do my best thinking in the morning, and this morning's train of thought has me thinking about my work/life/art balance that I've been trying to achieve.

2011 has been amazing so far. I've feel like I've finally found "my people". People who I feel like I've known all my life after just hanging out for a few minutes. People who get me and my art. People who I never would have met had I not taken this leap.

But, all is not perfect here in Shelly-land. You see, in my attempts to balance my life, the art side of the scale has pretty much taken over. There are definitely parts of this adventure that I never really thought about at the start. Teaching at six events all over the country this year all sounded very reasonable at the time. Here's what I didn't think about...preparation for an art retreat (for me) goes something like this:

  • A year in advance (sometimes more than a year), I submit projects. Typically it takes a month to figure out and create samples for three workshops.

  • Then I wait anxiously to find out if I got accepted or not. Generally the waiting time is filled with preparations for projects for another event.

  • If I'm accepted, then I book the hotel for the event because the last thing you want to find out is that you don't have a place to stay.

  • A month or so before the event, I book my airline ticket and my rental car. (That reminds me, it's time to book my ticket to California for Art Is...You.)

  • Approximately three weeks before the event, my brain starts to worry over kits that I need to get shipped. Those of you who know me well know that this involves creating about fifteen lists. Ok, probably more than that.

  • Now that I've opened a studio, somewhere in here is also taken up with First Friday/Second Look Saturday down at the art studio... which means there's studio clean up, work to hang and price, food and drinks to buy and prepare, and then the event to attend.

  • Ok, back to the retreats. About two weeks before the event, I actually have enough lists formed and enough shopping done to make the kits. Then a trip to the post office to ship the kit materials OR if I'm going to attempt to haul everything with me, I start a new worry about whether or not all of the giant piles of stuff will fit in my suitcase and whether or not it will hit the airline weight limits or not. (Ummm... one of the trips my suitcase was 12.5 pounds over. Imagine my glee at getting to try to figure out how to repack all of that into my already crammed carry ons.)

  • About that same time (two weeks out), I start writing handouts for class. This usually finishes up by printing out the handouts about five minutes before I leave for the airport.

  • About one week out, I get out my suitcase thinking that I will pack early.

  • At one week out, I also start dragging back even more supplies from my art studio downtown.

  • This is also the point when I start tripping over everything in my office because there are piles everywhere. And when I start freaking out if my daughter comes into the office, because invariably she would like to have exactly what I need for class. And who wouldn't want all that fun stuff?!?

  • The night before the trip, I pack everything up. The suitcase is 90% art supplies, 10% clothes and toiletries.

  • Then I repack it because the suitcase feels too heavy. (I think my carry-on bag weighed 50 pounds last time with another 50 pounds in my suitcase.)

  • And now we get to go to the airport. I won't bore you with the fun details of lugging 100 pounds of stuff to and through airports. If you have kids or pack like usually I do for a non-art related trip (three weeks of clothes for two days of trip), you've all been there.

  • FINALLY, THE FUN PART! A year after the start, I get to hang out with fun people and teach classes! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oh no, time to go home already. Didn't I just get here? I'm sad to leave my new art friends, but at least the suitcase is a little lighter this time. Maybe only 90 pounds of stuff to lug back instead of 100.

  • I get home, reunite with my family, and collapse for about a week or until I remember that next year's class proposals are due or that I still haven't done the mountain of laundry that was there before I left for class.
Whew! Just writing all of that almost wore me out. And now multiply all of that times SIX.

With all of that said, I think I'm going to scale back a little bit for 2012. I only have three events booked so far (two Art Is...You events and Art & Soul), and I think I'll try to add just one or two more. PLUS, I'll be attending Artfest as a student this year, so that counts (in my husband's mind) as one more event. That will make five or six for the year.

I love this new life and all of the doors that have been opening for me. I'm sure I'll be sad when I read about/hear about events that I'm not able to attend, but my body, my brain, and my family will thank me. Well, they'll thank me once I get the laundry and dishes done, I'm sure. :)