Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recapturing My Life and My Free Time Since Artist Alley

Since closing Artist Alley at the end of August, friends have been asking, "What have you been doing with all of your free time?!?!?" To be honest, I haven't had that much of it yet. As someone who genuinely likes to be busy, this is a good thing, indeed!

In the past few months, I've been cleaning and organizing my home, my studio, and my storage space. This is a work in process, and I expect that it will continue for quite some time. I have so many treasures and so many great ideas dancing in my head. Now I'm working to ensure that my digs are conducive to fully exploring each and every one of them.

I've spent time with family and friends. For me right now, this translates into more time at home with the ones I love. I savored an evening with friends and a First Friday Opening in Southern a guest! Ken and I traveled to Greenville, NC for a weekend wedding, and we dilly-dallied through The State Fair and Vollis Simpson's whirligig farm along the way. I enjoyed a lively meeting with The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild, a gallery-hopping day trip with mixed media artist Amy Smith and her kiddos, and a play date in the envy-inducing studio of of the talented Jeanne Rhea. (I've been posting photos of all of these adventures on my Facebook Page, and I hope to share more details here soon too.)

I've also been creating like a madwoman; I've been volunteering two days each month at Artist Gallery of Southern Pines; and I've joined The Carolina Artists' Colony in Sanford. And in the midst of all of this, I'm working to increase the inventory of my creations at the galleries who represent my work. This task often fell to the bottom of my to-do list during my days at Artist Alley, and I'm making slow and steady progress toward rectifying the situation. I'm ever so grateful for the nurturing women who own these galleries. They have been oh so patient with me, and my future blog posts will provide more details about each and every one of their creative spaces and the manner in which they support their fellow artists.

In the past month, I've been up and down the road bound for shows in Norcross, Georgia; Holden Beach; North Carolina; and Atlanta; Georgia. This weekend brings a trip to Savannah for a show at Telfair Art Museum, and I'm so looking forward to it! Each show has been an absolute treat, and in Holden Beach I had the privilege of spending time in the company of one of my favorite artists, Mary Neligan and her family. Mary and her husband Richard create the funky fish that adorn the walls of my home, and her family welcomed me into their home with open arms.

(This photos shows Mary's first-ever funky fish

as it's displayed outside of her sister's front door.)

During this time, I'm also rediscovering something that's been missing in my life...moments of solitude, grace, and gratitude. I'm listening to music again, and I've caught myself singing along. I'm pausing to be in the moment, and I'm taking photos along the way. I've shed a few tears at the sheer beauty that surrounds me, and I've found myself smiling for no reason at all. Dare I say it? Amidst the chaos, a bit of peace is creeping back into my life, and I'm ever so grateful for it.

It's a lovely way to spend my free time.


  1. Yeah Jean,
    You so deserve this. I'm glad things are working so well for you. I know its been a struggle to get here, but I'm glad you finally are.

  2. Yeah Jean! I'm glad to hear things are going well for you. You so deserve this.