It's been 3 years now since I retired. It's going pretty well. The receptionist at the doctors office ask me how was retirement, she was afraid she'd be bored. It is sometimes, especially this time of year when you can't always get out to do the things you like. But all in all it's pretty great doing what you want or not doing anything at all. I think I earned that right.
We seem to think we should be doing something all the time, but you have to reprogram after you retire to keep telling yourself "you don't have to do anything you don't want to do". Things that use to seem important, schedules we set for ourselves really don't matter, they'll wait till, whenever, whats the rush.
Seems like that last few months have been difficult to make plans with snow/ice off and on. But it is good time to work on those art projects I put off.
I started a commission piece, the largest I've ever worked on. A little paint, some cutting and pasting of special papers. Some torn book pages and finally some doodling. It measures 36" x 48".
This piece led to another, but much smaller piece and some experimenting with old beads and memory wire.
I was looking back at the larger piece after I finished the smaller one and realized how uptight I was the day I doodled the smaller one. Notice the difference in the openness of the design on the larger red canvas. Then look at the doodle on the smaller blue/yellow canvas. The second one is really closed up and closed off design. It says a lot about how I was feeling that day. We all have good days and bad days. An artist can't hide it so easy when their working.
Here's the bracelet I'm just about finished with using an old necklace and memory wire. I've not ever done this before but I loved the beads and this seemed like such an easy way to make a bracelet. I just need to figure out if I'm finished with it then put a loop in the wire at each end.
Seems like this time of year is always time to figure out what I want to do with my art and shows. I was fortunate to be invited to show about 20 pieces in the Valley Art Gallery in Forest Grove Oregon for January and February. That was exciting, I've never had that many pieces in a gallery show before. I was one of three featured artist for the show.
Well it's time for a glass of wine and a little work on my next piece. Then check the deadline on a couple of shows apps that need to be sent off. Lots to do just don't have to leave the house to do it some days. Got my trusty sidekick Fritz, for company. He follows me everywhere. So there you have it, for me retirement is working out pretty good. I have my art and my pup. It would help if I sold more to help pay for all the art supplies though.
My Grandson ask me recently what I do all day. Now that I'm retired and not working, I feel I don't have to do anything if I choose. But I realize my family worries about me. Use it or loose it theory.
I just want to do my art, create new things, recycle old. Take nature hikes with my pup, take photos, peruse thrift stores for treasures to doodle. Enjoy nature, she has so much to share, smells, sounds, colors its overwhelming at times and I am fortunate to live in the beautiful Northwest where greens are greenest. We have the ocean a couple hours away, and snow capped mountains in the other direction.
My daughters live in the area, and my grandsons are only a couple of miles down the road. So I get to see as many of their sporting events I can get to. Football season is especially fun, all three boys play, with my oldest off to college in the fall to play football at EWU.
I get to tag along with my oldest daughter on vacations and ski trips, although I don't ski, I get to play snow bunny, hanging around the lodge, doodling a little, meeting people and sipping hot toddys. My youngest daughter is a runner, a year doesn't go by that we don't get to cheer her on at a marathon somewhere. Although this year with 3 boys in 3 different spring sports and one getting ready for college and high school graduation, I think she's running her own personal marathon just keeping up at home and with a part time job.
I have old friends and new friends from my art group here in Vancouver that I enjoy getting together with when time allows. A neighbor I love chatting with, and of course the internet where I can keep up with friends and share my work and adventures. And Mahjong, I'm hooked on that game.
So to answer my grandsons question, my days are full, just in a different way then before. I'm not pressured to commute to work 5 days a week to pay the bills then try to relax for 2 days and do it all over again. Now it's my time, my pace.
Now, it's time for me and the pup to go hike the lake. See ya later.
The winter doldrums seem to have subsided thanks to my friend Michelle of Buttons & Shanks and her husband Ralf of Display in Style. They had arranged to display and sell their products in a shop on the Oregon coast and invited me to join them.
This was all I needed to get fired up to move forward. Not only did I set up with them this last weekend at Rockaway Bearch Oregon's Beach Crafter's Mall on Hwy 101, but I booked four summer shows and got busy working again. I just needed the right motivation. Here's a photo of our space in the shop. I also talked to the shop owner about setting a small table and doodling on site some weekend soon.
You will find my recycled candlestick birdhouses and picture frames. Also cards, prints and my colorbooks. We took the things we had on hand, as new things are made we will take them down to the shop. I even took a couple of small framed original pieces.
Michelle has a separate display of her Czech glass buttons and beads while Ralf's woodcrafted products and my work share this 8 ft wall and shelf.
Please stop and take a look if you are traveling the Oregon coast.
Some work just finished and lots in progress. Journals to order from the printer and more cards to create. Lots to do. Just the way I like it.
It's that time of year to spring forward already, March is here and Easter is just around the corner.
The grandsons are done with basketball now on the baseball and track. Soon one will be off to college to play football. How fast life changes.
How do you get your ideas? Sometimes for me it's just sitting down and going thru all the stuff I've collected. Like these recycled items I have setting around my work space.
I pulled out the old weathered fence slat, then started playing around with the branches I had dried. I recently picked up at a thrift store a bag of little birdhouses so I added one. Moved the branches around, then set it aside for a few days, when I came back to it with the birdhouse which I had covered in paper, torn from a used brown paper bag. I rearranged it a bit and decided it needed something more. So I cut some leaves from paper scrapes and old book pages. Slowly I can see it coming together. Yesterday I thought of adding another birdhouse. The birdhouse is going to get some doodles yet. Still not sure if I'm ready to secure it all in place. It helps to just let it sit a day or so and come back to it.
It's kinda fun working with recycled items, I do like using bits of nature. I'm always bringing something home from walks, bark bits, leaves to dry, nuts, and pods. I've even thought of putting together a collage of trash found along my walk just to make a statement.
As you can see my trusty companion is always by my side. Fritzy follows me everywhere. He is such a comfort. I never realized till we got him just how much a pleasure a dog can bring. There is something about touching and petting him that is so calming.
I will be adding 2 more designs in the next couple of days. It takes 3 designs to have a storefront. They will all be free spirited, wild child designs, with strong independent women in mind. I have some Coco Chanel, Anais Nin and Erma Bombeck quotes to add to my doodle designs.
Hopefully you will find one that empowers you, and makes you feel strong to wear the shirt. Stand tall and show the world you know who you are and what you want. Go girl!!
I chose the yellow to set off the design but you can choose other colors and other shirt styles.
It's called Teespring, I design the shirt, they print and mail. I get a small percentage. But this way I don't pay for the shirts or the printing or try to figure out what to do with the unsold shirts. This is an effort to control my up front cost. Which is something I haven't been good about. If I ever hope to show a profit I need to be smarter. I guess there is still hope for me.
Thanks for sticking around the last few years while I find my niche.
Summer has finally ended, Fall is here. Most of the leaves are down, but still haven't had frost on the pumpkin.
I decided not to do any holiday sales this year, finished my last sale early in October. I just don't do that well this time of year with all the holiday sales and bazaars.
So after loading everything back into the house and trying to find a place for some things I just hated to pack away I finally hung some of my original work. I have a few older work on my walls but hadn't hung a lot of the newer work.
I had a lot of my earlier mixed media work on my walls but none of my recycled art or original doodles. A pretty diverse mix of work. I do get bored doing the same thing all the time. Always like trying something new.
At least now everything isn't packed away in bins for Spring sales. I really hate packing my framed originals around with me, so this is nice to find a place for them.
Update from my last post about the grandsons football season. My high school grandsons team won the district title so now on to state playoffs. It's been an exciting year and still more games to go.
I've been pretty bad about posting on my blog anymore but I do like to update once in a while although I'm not sure how many read it now. For those of you who still follow my posting thanks for sticking around.