2017 Looking Back + 2018 Resolutions

2017 definitely had some ups and down. The first half of the year was amazing! I was running, accomplishing the goals I had set out for myself and was really enjoying the year. July was another story. It all started at Ragnar Relay in Tahoe. I was so looking forward to this, I’d wanted to do this relay for the past 4 years (when I started trail running) and it was finally happening! I was part of an amazing team and we were in it for the long haul. I was having such a great time until the yellow loop that I was doing at 1am. I was running along fine, having a great time and really paying attention to the ground (because it was pitch black, except for the odd headlamp here and there) and really feeling great. Once I got to the wide fire roads I let my stride take over and really started hauling – that’s when it happened. When I fractured my ankle and tore ligaments. I kept on running and finished my loop and the next loop that next morning. One week later I finally went to the doctor and found out what happened. I am so happy that I was able to finish the race with my team and get the coveted Ragnar Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to use this time to heal my broken bones & ligaments and try to lose the weight I’ve been trying to take off for 4 years. I joined a special weight management group through my hospital and have lost 45 pounds so far and have slowly started running again. I have to be a bit careful because I am only intaking 960 calories a day unless I am running more than 4 miles then I am adding in an additional 160 calories. I feel so much better now that I’ve lost 45 pounds but there is more that needs to come off. (resolution for 2018).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are my 2018 resolutions?

Well, for one thing I am going to start looking for another job. One where I can utilize my talents and passion on a daily basis, where I am happy to go to work everyday. There is a lot about my job now that is a struggle, it feels like it’s draining my joy & happiness everyday. I go to work and put on a happy face and leave my feelings at the door each and everyday. I don’t want my customers to suffer because of what’s going on in MY life. They shouldn’t have to pay for my unhappiness.

Secondly, I am going to lose an additional 25 pounds which is going to greatly impact my 3rd and 4th goals this year. Losing the additional weight is absolutely doable especially with the support team I have and the amazing group I go to every week. I am so thankful for my group. One of the first amazing things that have happened so far since I’ve lost the weight was winning a first place in my age group at a trail race. I was so surprised and happy to find out I’d won 1st place in my age group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third goal for 2o18 is running a 3 day race in April. I am going to run Mokelumne River Trail Race. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I will have done so far in my running career. It’s a 1 mile fun run the first night, a 50K race the 2nd day and a 1/2 marathon on the 3rd day. I’ve hired a running coach to help me with training for this race along with my goal number 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 and my big goal of 2018 is to run a 50 mile race in September. I wanted to to run this race last year but was sidelined with my injury. I am going to run Headlands 50 miler in the Marin Headlands, California. It is my favorite place to run and I know those trails like the back of my hand. I’ve run over there so much during the past 5 years. I love it there! Those trails hold a very special place in my heart. I love those trails and am so excited about this year and the adventures that await.

2018 is going to ROCK!!!

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Encaustic Demo Love

Two of my favorite things to do are to paint and to teach. Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be a teacher. As I grew older I realized that it’s a profession that doesn’t really embrace financial stability. So I decided to go to art school – financial stability? Art? What craziness!!! Well, I believe I can do both and have stability in my life and be happy. I love art and I love to teach! The best thing for me would be to combine the two together. I have yet to become financially stable doing the two but I have to tell you, I am so glad that I am trying. I have a full time job in the art industry which is great for motivation, inspiration and pays the bills. What I am working on now is the ability to transition this life into one of teaching, doing art and fully supporting myself and my family.

I will be offering classes soon in my studio – but until I do, here are some fun pictures of artists and their art from a hands on demo at Flax Art Materials in San Francisco, CA. The first image is a piece I created a 3 from my students. Feel free to check out my website – Etsy site and share with all those you think would be interested in learning more about Encaustic!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

http://www.theravensnestart.com/

photo 2 copy 4

 

photo 1 copy 4 photo 1 copy 5 photo 1 photo 2 copy photo 2 photo 3 copy 5 photo 3 copy photo 3 photo 4 copy 2 photo 4 copy 4 photo 4 copy 5 photo 4 copy photo 4 photo 5 copy

 

 

 

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

I am FAMOUS!

Well, semi- famous, I got mentioned in the SF Chronical’s SF Gate. I had a show 2 weeks ago with support of Urban Solutions, San Francisco Arts Commision and 2 Blocks of Art. It was fantastic show, I sold 3 paintings, did 2 interviews, got invited to a friend’s Open Studio in December and made some dough. I couldn’t have asked for more.

I am working on 4 new paintings right now and will be showing them along with some of my past work at the Open Studio, December 15th and 16th and my friends Studio/Gallery. It is called The Clay Underground. Here is the link to my   friends place. http://www.theclayunderground.com/

Here’s the link to the article in the SF Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-stroll-that-became-a-headlong-run-3972369.php

Here is the link to my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

 

 

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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Encaustic Painting Diptychs

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I have always loved painting with multiple panels. Whether it is with oil or encaustic. I love being able to bring the viewer from one side to the other with my painting. It feels more complete to me; maybe it’s because I have had 2 families –  growing up with an adopted family and as an adult meeting my birth family. I think in twos….two mothers, two fathers, two families etc.

I also love layers; when I was growing up I would always look into other homes, through windows to see if that was my birth family. I think being able to see through to another world is one of the reasons I love encaustic painting so much.  The wax is the window and even though it may be distorted; if you look close enough you can see what lays beneath. You don’t always see everything but you usually get the feeling of what is there. If you look closely to my work you will see what lays beneath. Have a look!

You can also see what else I have been up to at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

 

Getting ready for the World

I feel like I have been at this for a long time and yet I still get freaked out when thinking about preparing for a show. My head plays all kinds of games: is anyone going to come? Are they going to like it? Will anyone buy my paintings? Will they think they are original and will they get it?

The list goes on and on, but I have to stop and listen to my heart. I am doing this because I love to paint. I want to share what I love with the rest of the world. Yes, I want people to come to my shows. Yes, I want people to buy my work (they already have). Yes, they are original and people so get it. I have to keep remembering that people like my work; they have actually said so – to my face.

Working with Encaustic is very difficult for me, coming from an oil painting background and having control over the paint to using wax, heating it up and feeling totally out of control really has been a learning experience for me. Sometimes I love the outcome and sometimes I think – what the hell just happened? Is is good? Do I like what happened? Should I just leave it? Should I throw it away? I have done both in the past and feel fine about the decisions I made about each one.

While trying to get ready for the last show, I was frantically trying to make sure everything was perfect. Well, being that I am human I forgot that I needed to put signs up for the titles and the prices but what happened was in the last minute I came up with a great idea and people like it.

I have to remember that I may not always be prepared, I may not please everyone but as long as my work makes me happy and brings me joy all the other stuff will come. People who matter will eventually see my work, I will start to remember all the things I need to have a successful show, I will sell my work and my life will be great! If I can stay positive and keep putting out into the world my work, great things will happen. I had 7 pieces in the last show and I would like to share them with you.

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50 Paintings in 6 Months

I was told by a friend of mine that any reputable art gallery won’t show your work unless you can show them you can do 50 paintings a year. Well, I took that as a personal challenge – to do better than that; I am trying to do 50 paintings in 6 months.

I have been writing this blog for 3 months now and went into my studio today and counted all my paintings to make sure I was still on track. I counted 32 paintings so I am ahead of schedule and pretty happy with the way things are going.

I have been putting myself out there, talking to people, owners of galleries and doing what I can do put myself and my art out into the world. I started an Etsy store and have been working really hard to promote myself and my art and have sold 3 paintings from the store. If you would like to see what I have in my Etsy Store please visit it:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

There has been two results of my personal challenge; one I knew would happen which is producing a large body of work to show to galleries and put my paintings in a show. The second side effect of my personal challenge came out of the blue – I feel better about myself, I am happy in my life, I feel calm, complete and joyous every day I wake up and think about what I am going to paint today. What a wonderful side effect!

What is my wish? My wish for myself – to find the perfect match for my paintings in a gallery – for people to be moved by my paintings and to be able to continue my passion.

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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