50 has Come & Gone and I am Grateful

Well, my birthday has come and gone. I am 50 and it seems like things are still as they were, nothing feels or  looks different. I had a wonderful party with loads of friends, good food, and lots of laughter. I think it was probably the best way to spend my birthday. Sometimes when I think about my age it still freaks me out at bit, I think “how did I get here – wasn’t it just yesterday I was living in France and going to school?”

Life moves so quickly,  I need to remember that and live each day like it is THE most important day. I must remember that I have a sweat life; a partner whom I love dearly and who loves me more than anyone has my whole life. I have the dog of my dreams, I have wanted this dog for at least 20 years. I have a wonderful home and have the best job in the world, AND – I get to create art everyday in studio in the back of my home.

Through out my life, people have come and gone – family has come and gone but through all of this I have loved everyone. I know that one day everyone will know how much I have loved them. I have lived my life with respect for others and tried to be the best person I can. I have tried not to judge others and  tried earnestly to live and let live. I know that even through my life’s choices some of my friends and family have judged me and have said and done things that have been hurtful.  What they don’t understand is that the choices I have made through out my life made me the woman I am today. We all have made choices in our lives that others may not understand – but that’s the funny thing about our lives – they are all different. My choices and decisions that I have made throughout my life have brought me to this most awesome place – and at the age of 50 I can say it with all my heart – MY LIFE IS GREAT!

I am grateful for all the things I have done, the places I have gone, the adventures I have been on (good & bad) all the people who are and were in my life – all of this has shaped who I am today – I KICK ASS 50-year-old woman, artist, dog mom and wife.

Pictures below: 1. Me and my partner 2. The view from my studio 3. My dog – Chimay  4. My last art show in San Francisco

birthday pic looking out my studio

My Belgian Malinois playing at Yosemite - Chimay
My Belgian Malinois playing at Yosemite – Chimay

Raven at the Gallery

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2012 was a great year!

What a year 2012 was! I was so busy; busy creating a space to paint and giving myself time to do what I love. It’s very hard to juggle working a full time job, having a family and painting. Luckily I have a studio in the back of my house which allows me more freedom to work on my art and spend time with my family. I also spent a lot of time planning.

“Plans are Nothing, Planning is Everything.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower

I spent a lot of time before each show planning; planning what I was going to paint, actually painting, figuring out where the paintings would hang on the wall and how I was going to promote my show. My first show really was exciting, it was a group show at a gallery in San Francisco called 4N5, it was a huge space so I really needed to work out how my Encaustic Paintings were going to look on the walls. For this show I already had a large body of work so planning what to paint was removed from the equation. The show was a success and this is the only painting left that didn’t sell. It is titled “From the Safety of Paris.

Je t'aime Paris

My Second show was in downtown San Francisco put on by the San Francisco Arts Council and was very “urban” I had some really fun times in this show. The council shut down 2 street blocks and the invited artists hung their work in store fronts. It was a lot of fun; there were street performers, trucks with mobile art for everyone to participate and lots of media. I planned how to promoted this show and sent out postcards, posted an event on facebook and word of mouth. I didn’t realize how much word of mouth really works. My planning for this event worked really well too. I only had a few paintings left after this show.

gold leaf sacred heart

My 3rd show was also downtown San Francisco and was sponsored by the Urban Solutions San Francisco. It was an art walk and really fun. I had put up a bunch of paintings in this really awesome pizza place with bright yellow walls. It was fun. I got my name in the San Francisco Chronicle paper and sold a few paintings. The planning I did for this show really paid off.  This is the article in the SFGATE which is the on-line newspaper.

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-stroll-that-became-a-headlong-run-3972369.php

show picture

The rest of the shows during the year were also about planning, and the most unexpected wonderful thing that happened was all the great people I met during this past year. I made me realize how important getting yourself out there and meeting people really is. I loved it and it made me feel so wonderful to have met and created friendships with people I met during 2012. I am working and planning what I want for my life and for my art in 2013, pay close attention it’s going to be amazing!

Preparing for Shows – September & October

My last post I talked about thinking like an artist. Well, I have been living the life of an artist which includes NOT being on the computer, that is why it’s been awhile since my last post. I have been trying to get my art out there into the world. I have applied to be in a book, I applied for a juried encaustic show in New Mexico. I should hear back from both of them by the middle of September.  I am feeling pretty good and no matter what happens, whether I get in the book or in the show it will be okay. I am trying, I am working to become a true artist and I feel my art is good enough for all those things and more! I know it’s just a matter of time before other people know it.

Recently I was asked to participate in an art walk put on by Urban Solutions SF, a non-profit organization here in San Francisco. I will be participating September 28th  as well as October. It is very exciting because it will be 2 blocks of art with live music and art at every turn. The Central Market area of San Francisco is an up and coming art mecca and I am proud to be a part of the new growth. I am really looking forward to have a show with all my art and talk to the people in the neighborhood. I want to do what ever it takes to put myself and my art out into the world.

I will also be participating in the Mulford Gardens Art & Music Festival, September 29, 2012. It is located in San Leandro, California and will be from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. I have been making a lot of handmade note cards,  handmade journals and handmade address books for this festival.  I will be selling a lot of other goodies that I have put together for this show along with all my art.

Here is a slide show of some of the stationery sets and handmade journals I will be selling at this festival. I hope you all come out, it should be quite fun.

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Thinking about Mother’s Day

I have been thinking about the fact that Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I don’t know what to get my Moms (yes, that’s right – plural). I have a birth mother and an adopted mother both with which whom I love. I wanted to get them something heartfelt but don’t have a lot of money. I know my birth mother’s favorite colors are purple and orange and my adopted Mom loves blue and green. I decided that I would make some small encaustic paintings in their honor.

I sat down in my studio with the idea that I was going to make 2 paintings for both of my Moms. What happened was that I ended up being super productive and completed 10 paintings in one day (ONE DAY), which is so amazing for me. I was in the Zone! I am happy with how some of them turned out and not so happy with others but I have had some compliments from people I don’t even know so whose to say what moves people and what things people connect with.

When it comes to me and my Mothers; it doesn’t matter that I am almost 50 years old, I still feel like a kid when it comes to my Mothers. I want to do the best, be the best I can be for them.

Here are 6 sweet mother’s day encaustic paintings that I did and am listing them on Esty right now. http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

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Here are the “non” mother’s day paintings:

The Keys to Love

I love keys, painting and Paris; you could say I am a Franco-file. Since living there and going to school there, Paris has held a special place in my heart. I love the key to my old French Apartment, it was one of those old skeleton keys and it was hard to open my heavy wooden door but I loved it none the less. This encaustic painting is from my heart, from my memories of France and with all the love I have for my life right now, my past life and my future. I have decided not to be afraid anymore; I am not going to be afraid of doing new things, afraid of what people will think, afraid of becoming popular, afraid of people liking or loving my work. I want to live in my life without fear!

Encaustic painting is living without fear for me! I am going for it and really enjoying myself, I am scared out of my mind but I am still doing it. When I first moved to France I didn’t speak ONE word of French but I still went and I learned French. I was scared out of my mind then and it was a hard road for me but one that was worth walking down. I would never change that experience for anything. This feels the same to me, I am learning as I go down this path and even though it’s hard it’s worth it!

The keys to love for me is living the life I have always dreamed and that included painting, writing and sharing my joy with all who will listen.

LISTEN – LOOK – LOVE and ENJOY THE KEYS TO MY LOVE!

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