Monday, May 20, 2013

Studio Inspiration - Art by Amy Smith

It was another wonderful weekend of organizing and creating in my studio.  I continue to make progress every day, and I'm finding motivation in this positive development.

While the results may not be apparent to the untrained eye, a few of my newly clutter-free horizontal surfaces have already inspired me to take action on the ideas that are dancing in my heart.  (In my world, no horizontal surface stays empty for long, and in this case that's a very good thing!)
"Oh, isn't it curious?"
Yes, indeed!
Amidst my creating, this blue bird caught my eye.  He's one of my earliest purchases of original artwork by the talented Amy Smith.  Amy was one of my first true friends here in North Carolina, and she's encouraged my artistic development from "Iwannabe" to "IthinkIcan" to "Ireallyamanartist".  For this I will always be grateful.

You can view Amy's recent work on her  Facebook Page, in her mixed media online store, or in the store that she's dedicated to her handmade glass beads.   

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sharing The Wonders of Pea Island Art Gallery

Pea Island Art Gallery...the southernmost building on the sound side in Salvo.

During our Outer Banks Adventure in April, Jodi Ohl and I visited with Kim Robertson at Pea Island Art Gallery in Salvo, NC.  Visiting with Kim is a treat, and our time together always passes much too quickly amidst laughter, sharing, and of course the delivery of our latest work for the season.

As an artists, Kim's talent lies in the medium of mixed media photography.  As a gallerist, she has the uncanny ability of making each individual who enters feel like they're the most important person in the world.  This comes from a genuine place, and it's apparent as soon as she greets you.  This is the one single almost indescribable quality that I seek in the business owners who represent my work.  Kim has it in spades, and I'm so grateful for the love that she puts into everything that she does.

The latest installation at The Pea. 
A screen painting by Anna Pasqualucci.
Whenever I visit The Pea, I always have the best intentions of taking enormous numbers of photos to share.  Inevitably I get lost in the moment, and forget this completely.  :-)  Good news!  You'll now be able to find beautiful views of the interior space by visiting The Pea Island Art Gallery on Google's website.  There you'll be able to navigate a 360 degree view of the interior space in all of it's glory.  You'll also find The Pea on Facebook, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll have the opportunity to visit in person sometime soon!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Favorite Things - A Pet Peeve

This little fellow kept me company tonight as I endured several hours of studio organization.  He's a "Pet Peeve" (Isn't *that* appropriate!?!) , and he was created by the talented Cindy Biles of Out of The Fire Sculpture Studio.  I found him during my first visit to Sax Artists in Saxapawhaw, and I've been enamoured with her work ever since..

What struck me tonight is that amidst the clutter in my studio there are oodles of artworks, treasures, and trinkets that I absolutely adore. I took time to focus on those tonight. Each piece brings a memory to my heart, and I'm going to try to share those memories here more often.

I suppose that there's a bigger lesson in this...something profound about appreciating the little things in life or taking the time to slow down and truly see what's around us. For now, I think I'll just continue to focus on the smile that crosses my face each time I visit with this particular Peeve.

Thank you for sharing your creativity with me, Cindy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fresh From My Studio

Today my work was filled with texture, patina, layers, and lots of movement.  These pieces make me blissfully happy in person, and the results will be unveiled at my trunk show at Vintage Cottage in Asheboro, NC on Friday from 5:00 - 8:00.  Similar creations will soon be found in all of the galleries and boutiques that represent my jewelry.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Time Management - What I Know For Sure

Make Time to Appreciate Unexpected Treasures. 
(It mattered to this one.)
Tonight I'll meet with the local members of The Women's Art Works Alliance. Thai food is on the menu, and we'll also discuss the results of six weeks or so of tracking our daily activities and the manner in which we spend our time. It's been an interesting exercise for me, and it's also been enlightening. It's made me more aware of the demands on my schedule and the excuses that I sometimes make, especially to myself.

As a result of this endeavor, here's what I've learned...
  1. Physically recording my daily activities is a challenge for me. Time-card-follow-through is not one of my strong suits!
  2. I expect too much of myself. My daily to do list would require superhuman strength and speed for completion. I'm good; but on some level my expectations as they're contained on these lists set me up for daily failure.
  3. I chronically underestimate the time that it takes me to do most everything. I suspect that my optimistic nature works against me in this regard. "Of course I can do it!", and the time that I expect *it* to take is generally 50% or more less than the time that it actually takes to perform the task.
  4. I'm officially the queen of "Just One More Thing"; in fact, this will be the title of my unwritten autobiography, and it may also be the inscription on my tombstone. Even on the rare occasions that my schedule is running on time, I seem to self-sabotage my efforts with my obsessive need to try to cram "just one more thing" into every spare moment of my life. Inevitably my "just one more thing" takes longer than expected (See #2), and the rest of my day's schedule is derailed as a result.
  5. There's been no daily routine to my schedule. "Routine" seems to have gone out the window after I left Artist Alley. My need for more time in the studio was one of the main reasons behind my decision to close the gallery, and since then my life has been filled with a variety of unpredictable family happenings that have precluded this from happening.
  6. My life is too unpredictable to have a routine to my schedule This is one of the excuses that I've been making to myself, and I'm choosing to no longer accept it.
  7. My life as it is now is what it is. Some days, the label of "Controlled Chaos" is actually a generous one; but it's my life, and I love every crazy, chaotic, unpredictable minute of it.
  8. Unpredictability isn't the exception in my world; it's the rule, and I need to develop new ways to productively manage my time given this reality. I know that I need to develop flexible routines amidst the chaos, and I'm happy to say that I'm making progress in this regard.

A recent week of business and bliss in the Outer Banks provided a much needed reflective period for me, and it helped me to clarify my plans for the future. A few of the more practical practices that I recently put into place follow:
  • I start each day at o'dark-thirty over coffee with my husband.
  • I dedicate one early morning hour daily to decluttering in the studio.
  • I spend time on phone calls in the morning and evening.
  • I limit my email and Internet use to a half hour or so in the morning and another at the end of the day...more for the pure pleasure of it as time allows.
  • I resist the urge to check voice mail, email, and Facebook throughout the day.
  • I'm enjoying social media again. I love the connection that it provides, and I'm balancing this with the time that it takes from my real in-person life.
  • I begin each day with some type of physical activity. Our local pool opens tomorrow, and I'm more excited than words can describe.  In no small part, this excitement has been heightened because my first ankle injury of 2012 occurred over Memorial Day Weekend, and I spent the entire summer pool-free in a boot.

Perhaps even more important than the practical realizations and changes brought about by this time management study, are the reminders of many heartfelt things that I already knew for sure.  A few of these follow:
  • Chaos is my friend, and I suspect it's a fundamental part of my nature.
  • My life is richer because of the presence of my family and friends.
  • I'm blessed by a loving left-brained husband who sees the goodness in me at times when I'm challenged to find it in myself. 
  • I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at this point in my life.

For all of this and more, I'm eternally grateful.

Penny Arrowood discovering and sharing
the magic of Ocracoke.