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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm Back From My Field Trip!

I returned yesterday from my short, but gratifying trip to my Sister's house in Florida. My boys and I set out on a road trip Tuesday. EARLY Tuesday. Oh yes, I pulled their little behinds out of bed at 3 am to get a head start on our 12 hour drive. What?? You don't believe me? Okay, so THEY got me up at 3 am, or rather, my oldest did. He's my protector. My worry wart. The one that will make sure every window is locked in the house and all the candles are blown out. He made sure Momma was up so we could get on the road bright and early. Our drive down was seamless, and it took us exactly, almost to the minute 12 hours to reach our destination. Now, on the drive back...hmmm not so much, it definitely wasn't seamless, not even close! But I'll save that story for a bit. First, check out the beginnings of my two latest projects:

I actually started "Faith" down at my Sister's house. I actually like my pen and ink foundation better than I like the painted version.....but there's hope yet....I have more layers to add to reach the depth I am aspiring for on this painting. I had a friend ask me today how much I thought my paintings and collages are worth and I had a real tough time answering him. How does one put a price on your ideas, your work, your craftmanship, your time? His conclusion was that the number I shot out devalued my work by saying "this is all I'm worth", but I guess I am of the school of thought, being a beginner, how could I dare command the high dollar which experienced artists rightfully do for their work. Then I have to take into consideration the quality of tools I'm using, because right now I'm just using regular acrylics and heavyweight watercolor paper or matte board. I suppose if I used gallery quality canvas or acrylics with higher quaity pigment, I would take that into consideration in my pricing....but of course there's more to setting a price than the "tools in your arsenal". It's quite thought provoking and not an easy thing for me to pin down right now, but I'll definitely give it serious consideration when I'm ready to peddle my wares!
Here's the beginning of another background for a more traditional collage I'm planning on doing this week. I am trying to break out of the rut of using a lot of yellows and pinks in my work. For this project, I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best! The first color I picked was a burgandy, and then the second bottle I picked was a brown...then I added some metallic colors as well as cream. One thing I really gave some thought to on my trip was my determination to continue on my artistic journey. I have a habit of starting something and then letting it fall to the wayside after awhile. I loose focus, I loose inspiration, I go onto the next "big thing" and I become a jack of all trades, master of none. more. I'm turning a new leaf. I'm moving forward, I'm going to hone my skills, and, and, I'm going to try my hand again at writing. I'm ready now....I wasn't ready before (after college). I guess I didn't feel I had enough to say or even know what to say that would interest anyone....I hadn't experienced anything at that point in life, or at least not enough....but's a different story seeing as though I have seen the world (through an approaching 40 year old's eyes) and fought enough battles (with myself), to have something of value to share with the world.

So you see, this vacation was an opportunity for me to plant my feet down and reflect on what I want to do with this next phase in my life. Did I come up with a plan?? Well, a half baked plan, :) but it's the making of a plan. I would list some of the things I want to do, but I don't want to be obligated to anyone but myself to make it happen.
I had a lot of time to think driving...well when I wasn't singing, I was thinking. I sing pretty darned good after 10 or so hours if I do say so myself! I'm proud of myself for being able to pick up the kids, hop in the car, and go on a trip without someone by my side. Not everyone can do that. I'm not just referencing financial ability to do so, I'm talking about the gumption to just do it....get up and do it, whether or not you have someone to help you, or to be with you to do it. Call it what you will....independence, self assurance, faith, whatever, I can do it. It's a good feeling to be able to count on yourself to get things done. Not that I don't want help, or want someone by my's just a good feeling to know that regardless of anything else, I can survive and thrive on my own and not be chained to these four walls!

Would you believe my Sis has these beautiful trees in her backyard and I didn't even steal one grapefruit from them?? Dang, what was I thinking??

Here's her house, hopefully she won't mind me showcasing it because I didn't ask! It's a beautiful home she shares with My brother in law Sam (who cooks a mean breakfast at 5:15 am I'll have you know ;), and their 3 boys. So do the math...her 3 boys, my 2 boys....that's a lot of testosterone in one house!

Here's one of my nephew's, cutie patootie Matthew. Who, by the way, if asked, he will tell you he will be 5 in 1 week. Yes, he mentioned several times this week that his birthday is in 1 week. :) We got to see my other nephew, Gabriel's baseball game one evening. He did great. Their team was behind 4-1 and in the end they came from behind and won. Gabe brought in the winning run, which was great to see. I really miss out on having family nearby to go and catch a ball game, a birthday party, a holiday dinner, or simply to just run over and chat it up for a bit. ((((Sighh)))

I apparently caught DS by surprise in this shot. I about drove everyone nuts with my camera which I had a new memory card in and it was empty to start with....soo.....I went a little overboard with the snap snaps!!

We visited a super nice beach in Englewood...and awwww....had to take some brother love pictures before they dove in the water.

We visited a beautiful shopping area in Punta Gorda called the "Fisherman's Village" and had lunch outdoors on the water. We even saw several dolphins as we were eating. I have about 20 or so pictures to ummmmm not so much prove my tale but I sure did try. Every one of my snapshots were within seconds of the dolphin popping up and out of the water. Dang!!

I made my sister pull the car over so I could run out and take this picture. She's like, dont want me to pull over, do you?? Hell ya, pull this baby over so I can take a picture! She was cracking up at me...I ran out took the picture and then proceeded to fall in a ditch and about twisted my ankle. But I got the picture, so it's all good!
Before I knew it, the trip was over. My dear brother in law got up early as we were getting up on Saturday and made us a huge breakfast--pancakes--sausage-bacon-eggs-toast--. I thought that was great for him to do for us. It was great that they let us stay in their home--especially since they had just had visitors, I mean literally---his sister and family (6 of them), and my other 2 nieces and 1 girlfriend, had stayed the previous two weeks. They left at about 1pm and we pulled in at 4 pm!! LOL I don't think I could have pulled it off!!
So to summarize, I'm glad I had a break because it gave me a good opportunity to think and plan out some of my next steps or at least to get a game plan going & I'm excited to be embarking on a new phase in my life. It also was really wonderful to spend time with my boys and my sister's family. A lot of things can be taken away in life, but you can't take away memories. AMEN.
Swap news---Hello all you Spring Fling Swappers out there!! Don't forget, April 23rd is the deadline to ship. Be sure to check out Sweet Swap Goodness for a link to the flickr site set up to show off all your goodies!! I also linked it on the right hand side of my blog. I hope you all are springing ahead and making headway with your packages. Mine is almost done!! Yippee skippee! I can't wait to send it to my partner Raesha!


Christy said...

Boy you had a lot to say tonight! I'm so glad you had a nice trip to your sister's. Sounds like a great time for everyone.

I really like the burgandy, brown and cream background. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Anonymous said...

Well my goodness girl, you sound full of spit 'n vinegar now! So getting away did you good (insert thumbs up) - and now let the new chapter begin!
Thank you also for the fun bday comment :)

Raesha D said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip - both physically and emotionally:) Those are ALWAYS the best kind:)

Dinah said...

I can hear the happiness and the confidence in your words since your trip. It sounds like it did you a lot of good to get away for a bit. And I'm sure it was the same for your boys. Kids need that break too.
I think I need to take a trip myself now!

SHERRY said...

I love your pictures and your project you started here. It is so nice. Truly enjoyed having you hear miss you already!! You can come anytime. Yes the INDIAN that we pulled over for was so funny. Hopefully you will share your hearts with all your friends that you found here.. You need to share the picture of the PUNTA GORDA POLICE from the playground. That was funny too she was so excited to take pictures as we were driving she took a picture and the cops were i think in it. LOL! Jodi you are the Best. I can't wait to see you in June! I will be there. Take care and I am glad you were able to relax you needed it. NOW BIG SIS YOU GO AND START THE NEW CHAPTER you are BEAUTIFUL and have so much to offer. LOVE YOU SOO MUCH!!

Rebecca said...

It sounds like a wonderful vacation! I miss my family, too. I'm happy to only be a 4 hour drive from them but I still know what you mean.

I love that painting with the red and the fleur-de-lis. Keep me in mind if you put it up for sale!

Mizfixit said...

Oooooooooh! LOVE the burgundy fleur-de-lis design!!! You must let me see it when it's done!!!!! Actually, I love all your creative stuff :) And I know what you mean about pricing your work. I have the same problem...wanting to be fairly compensated for my creations yet not wanting them to be too pricey to sell. What I've learned is that no matter what the price, if your works "speaks" to someone and they truly have to have it, the price really doesn't matter. Not to say that we should be completely outrageous in our selling prices, but we shouldn't undersell ourselves either! I know I've had the "have to have it" feeling myself and have spent more than I should to buy something that called my name! Also, if you have to move it, you can always have a sale!

And....a big welcome back! I missed you! I'm glad you got some time to decompress, contemplate and have fun with your family. You really needed it!

By the way, I have whale pictures that would go great with your dolphin pictures LOL They are tough to catch on film!!!

Jane said...

Great pictures! I like how these collages are starting! I used to love to tie dye paper towels with left over egg dye! My mom always made me toss them out though. Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Susan said...

Beautiful photos of Florida. (We're heading down that way tomorrow and I can't wait for a little sunshine after days of rain here.) Gumption is a good thing. Keep it up and I very much look forward to hearing about your next phase...

monique said...

What a beautiful pictures!
I'm almost ready to send my package out. I'm having a lot of fun getting it together.

Handi Dandi Mandi said...

What an exciting trip you had! I feel it's always good to get away for a little while. You see things differently when you're not staring at the same four walls! I love to stop and snap pics of scenery myself. In fact I take tons of pics of scenery (always working on the portfolio) and sometimes I actually remember to put people I know in the shots. not often though...

FrostingsNSparkles said...

It is hard to price your own work, I totally agree. Pen and ink are awesome, I can't wait to see the finished work :) Your trip pics are awesome, such a gorgeous place, and your kids are so cute!

jar said...

Glad to hear that you had a good time on your trip.
I think setting a price on artwork would be hard.

linda t said...

Sounds lovely! And the pics are so Florida!
I admire you for taking that trip... you should be so proud of yourself! Good for you Lucy!