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A Great Week in the Studio

For the past week I have enjoyed the ability to spend almost all my time in the studio. Now that I am retired I look forward to every day. I have been delayed posting by internet problems. It goes up and down and is one of my biggest frustrations and concerns now that I work for myself.

I made 50 frames for my most recent paintings, and after mounting all the paintings I find I need a few more. Not all 50 paintings are from this week, I have only finished about a dozen since my last blog post. Most of the remaining paintings are from earlier this year. My header photo is from my shop showing some of the frames in process.

I work in watercolor but I like to spray them with a UV protection and finish with Kamar varnish so I don’t have to use glass. I like the matte finish of the final product. The frames are all made from cedar that I cut to size and that lets me set the subject in the best position. Making frames is enjoyable and I love the smell of cedar.

Finishing without glass makes the paintings of bunnies, puppies and birds appropriate for a child’s room. No broken glass if one gets bumped off the wall.

I Painted some puppies this week.

I’m going through the stack of finished paintings and photographing them, and once my internet situation improves, I will post to my gallery pages.

Enjoying Life….

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Buzzing Around My Studio

This whole weekend I have been buzzing around my studio jumping from one project to another. That’s when I’m not out blowing snow from the recent storm. I will admit that time on the tractor is a way to slow down and not feed the frenzied thinking. After doing 5 neighbors I ran out of warmth and snow.

All I can think of now that I am no longer tied to my job, is all possibilities to make art. When I go into the studio I find that I’m trying to do them all at the same time. I pick up one item and while holding it I will see something else that I also want to do.

Even when I settle on a project, I will find myself thinking about all the things I want to do to begin to build my art business. I’m sure that this state of frenetic activity will calm down as time passes.

I needed to end the day today with my paintbrush, just to help myself to slow down. I chose a calming subject, Sleepy Puppies. Of course I still couldn’t just do that, so I set up a way to shoot a time lapse video of the painting process as well. Ooh, Now I have to figure out how to post it, and feed Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.


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Preparing for Transition

This week is very odd, I am working with my team in the office to prepare them for my departure. Friday is my last day at my job and dumping all the key information in my head to my team is harder than I thought. I touch on one thing and a dozen other important tidbits pop up. Trying to stay at a high level, it’s nice that my guys are so professional, and it really helps that they are all smarter than me. That is the key to success, hire people smarter than you, set high expectations and turn them loose. They have never disappointed me.

I will miss my team and many of my colleagues. The nice thing is I live in a small town so I will bump into them often. I hope to see them at local craft markets.

I have not gotten depressed about being laid off, quite the opposite, it’s hard not to smile. With the company struggling, I was anticipating drastic changes. I’m not surprised it was me that got laid off. I developed an incredibly strong team that are more than capable of carrying on without me. I basically have worked my self out of my job, and I’m proud of it.

I do feel for the others in the lay-off. I am the lucky one where I had planned for this. I have contacted several others to pass along contacts for potential jobs. Good thing the local job market is strong.

I do have a lot of things to take care of over the next month or so due to the changes. Finding good affordable healthcare options is the big one, but I will take advantage of the employee assistance program to get things started.

My plan is to take a few weeks to enjoy not having a day job and spend quality time in the studio. This is the first time since I was 15 that I have not had a job working for someone else. I’m sure I will learn a lot about being a full time artist, and plan to make this blog a journal of my journey.

Sleeping baby chickadee wood carving.

One thing I am scrambling to do is get more of my artworks onto my web site. Like this carving, the challenge is getting good pictures.