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Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Last 20 Miles....

Hey my peeps!    

This little birdie pretty much says it all!  

"I'm on a Mission" !

It's funny, I was telling someone yesterday that when I agreed to do x y z months and months and months ago, it all sounded doable and like a great idea, and believe me, it all has been great (lots of fun once I'm in the moment,   fun meeting everyone, and fun preparing...eehhh hmmm...well, fun painting not packing,  un packing, hauling stuff around and driving from one end of the state to the other 2 or 3 times this week...haha)!  But really, things could not be crazier lately! I haven't cooked a home made dinner in a bout 2 weeks for the boy!  Well, a little exaggeration, I did make home made  white chocolate chip Belgian Waffles and bacon this morning for lil man.  

Here's how my last week and half have been:

Sample from my class at Random Arts, "Skinny Little Mini Cities"
So some of you that follow me on Facebook know that last Thursday  through Sunday I was just outside of Asheville  (about 4 hours from home) teaching at Random Arts a 3 day workshop (oh my gosh..soooo sooo much fun!  I'll be back next September if not sooner for another round of artsy goodness).  
My demo piece from my class at Random Arts,  "Wild Flowers"
Choose Wisely,   16 x 20 abstract featured at Artful Living Group in Carolina Beach through October

 Monday I headed back to the new studio to finish hanging and pricing my work for my next trip down the coast to Carolina Beach (3 hours from my house).   I had most of it finished but you know how it is, there are always last minute touches that need to be completed.   

Not having a lot of time to spare, I had to return to the studio Tuesday morning  at 5:30 am after taking Josh to football to pack my car  so I could go down to the beach to hang my work for my featured artist show.  

For those of you not familiar with NC...Saluda is in the Western Part of the state,  I live in the middle of the state, and Carolina Beach is on the  southern coast of NC...altogether from one end to the other we are talking about 8 or 9 hours a part. travel down to the beach Tuesday morning,  hang the work in about 2 hours, drive back that afternoon, collapse in a heap of exhaustion evening.

Wednesday, not a bad day considering all the running the last few days... got up at 5:00 am,  took little man to football, cleaned the house, finished packing for my next trip, worked on some writing material in the afternoon,  dinner out with lil man evening,  then slept like a log before heading back to the beach for the show the next day. 

Several of my favorite pieces from the collection at Artful Living Group. I have over 25 new pieces featured!

Thursday, finished some personal stuff then headed back to the beach (another 3 hour drive) in the afternoon,  I wasn't sure how all  the weather was going to effect attendance, with Joaquin looming out to see and rain that hasn't stopped in about a week and half, but I was hopeful nonetheless.

We did have a few brave souls that came out to the reception  (which the gals at Artful Living Group did an awesome job of preparing tons of great appetizers and other goodies). however the weather was so uncooperative, it wasn't as good as it could have been.

I  met some really wonderful people and reconnected with old friends,  the collection looks fantastic, we had a great spread, I had a wonderful crab cake dinner afterwards, and my hotel (despite the rain) looked out at the amazing ocean!  All in all...not a bad thing.

Drove back home Friday, unpacked the car, then headed up to the studio to work until early evening with my studio partners to get ready for our Grand Opening Saturday of our NEW studio...swept, rearranged, hung, signed, tidied up,  and put the glitz on our new shop.....yep...went home exhausted, collapsed about 8:30 in the bed.

This a view of where my side of the studio started off at the beginning of the month....

Finally--Saturday arrived and our Grand Opening was here!  Jan, Jean and I along with a host of other friends who helped out in numerous ways over the last month or two were all  ready to meet and greet   our guests bright and early-whoa nelly, it was busy right from the get go, full of friends, family and community members!

Here's 2 of our first guests getting settled in while their Mom shopped:


You can see me in the background making some last minute signs while our visitors colored at one of our classroom tables. :)

Remember my side of the studio from the first picture--here it is now all set up (well kinda of, there's another section the picture cut off but who's counting):

Doors are open and we are now open regular hours of Monday thru Saturday, 10-5pm. Additional hours for classes or special events  as needed.

By Saturday evening we were all ready to crack open the champagne and celebrate all the amazing things we accomplished in the last few months and relish in how the studio opening event went!  

We hope the community embraces a new artistic endeavor  and we become a destination place for those that want to take creative classes, one on one workshops, and of course peruse the array of offerings by largely NC artists along with specialty art supplies to sooth your creative muse.

So here I am Sunday evening, bleary eyed but happy,  exhausted but energized. And guess what...I'm working on getting ready to head out again on Wednesday to drive to Missouri for my weekend of workshops at KP's Rubbermoon Studios!

Like I said in the beginning, it all sounded like a great idea at the time...sure I can handle it (and I haven't even talked about perhaps one of my biggest projects of my entire life that I'm working on in between all of this!!).     It all HAS BEEN great!!!! I created a painting to communicate the emotion I've been feeling lately:

It's called: "The Last 20 Miles"....  it's that point where you are sure to run out of gas, you are on empty and you don't think you can make it any further than you already have gone.  Somewhere deep inside of you, you pull out that last ounce of strength you have so you can go that last 20 miles.  You never know how far you can go unless you push yourself to the limit and out of your comfort zone. 

With that said, I haven't been all that realistic as to what I'm capable of.  My house is a  state of organized mess.  My laundry is just barely kept up.  I've been missing my boy because we've been passing like ships in the night, and I have been stretched with how much work I physically can do.  The point is, I am going that last 20 miles by tackling each day as it comes and pushing myself to do my best no matter what.  No matter how tired I am. No matter how long it takes.  But also, I'm taking moments of self care so I can keep up. Going to bed relatively early.  Deep breathing.  Early morning wake up in peace and quiet. Reading when I can.  Staying focused within each project and not jumping around. Stopping every here and there to take it all in. For as crazy as these last few weeks have been, I am beyond lucky to be able to do what I am doing  for a living. 

If you don't stop to enjoy it, you rush right through the good moments.

My only conclusion to this whole laundry list of to-dos and to-dones:  In the future, I am going to space out events a bit better. Haha.  That's it, my words of wisdom.  Get a better calendar :) Oh, and keep a sense of humor, surround yourself with people who will lift you up when you fall to your knees, or who will kick you  in the butt when you say you can't go any further!

Until next time!!



To find more of my classes, check out this link HERE:

Can't attend an in person class, try one of my online classes or purchase on of my DVD's!

Will you be in the Carolina Beach/Wilmington/Crystal Coast  area this October?  Stop by
Artful Living Group to see my featured artist show, "Land of the Whimsical and Odd".

Last but not least,  please stop by our new studio and gallery, "Creative Studios, NC" in Vass, NC and like our Facebook page to keep up on the latest and greatest! I'll be scheduling new classes at the shop soon! In the meantime,  Jean, Jan, and several guests artists and teachers will be hosting classes, meetups, and workshops on a monthly basis!

Wandering the Precipice 24 x 24 (one of my newest abstracts)  available at Creative Studios NC!


Maureen Hayes said...


I know it is exhausting, but I am sooooo proud and soooooo happy for you that all of this good stuff is happening (even if the spacing could have been better. . . Lol). I know there are even bigger things looming in your future because you are a talented artist, but also because you are an incredible person who truly cares for others. I will NEVER forget your kindness and you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Try to enjoy all the good and rest when you can 😅

Lots of love,
Maureen Hayes

Jane LaFazio said...

Wow! Well done! I thought I was busy, but I'm exhausted reading your recent schedule!
Best to you Jodi, your work is and will pay off. And please, to to your calendar right now and block off some time in your schedule.
Xoxo love your latest painting!