When the green light finally went on after my injury earlier this year, I realized that sitting at that red light for so long had made some major, but subtle changes in my thinking . . .
Basically, I just wanted change. I wanted to do things differently, although I didn’t have specifics. And the specifics are only now making themselves known to me – one by one.
There are keywords:
Slow . . Simple . . Easy . . Mindful . . Serene . . Art-Full . . Joy-full
I have been examining everything that is important to me in my art life: my gallery, my new vacation rental home, my garden, my online activities.
An important lesson learned is that you don’t have to throw things out if you can make them dovetail so they are all a part of a bigger whole – rather than a scattered mess that keeps you in a state of overwhelm.
My gallery and my vacation rental dovetail. They market each other because art from the gallery is shown in the house, tenants are given a gallery discount, and we are constantly meeting potential vacation renters that come into the gallery. Nice mix.
And my artwork dovetails with both of those.
My garden, my painting, and my art journaling go hand in hand with each inspiring the other.
And then we come to the hard part – my online presence and business.
I love to blog, and blogging is a great marketing tool for Sheer Heaven, workshops, retreats, etc.
But, as you all know, I blog large – usually with posts that take more time than I have.
Therefore I don’t blog often, and I don’t share most of what I have to share. I think that’s a waste.
I have often thought about blogging shorter posts more often. What stops me is that I think the folks on my mailing list would not like that many email from me.
Speaking of too much email. Unbelievably enough, on my main email address (15 years old), I have to sort through over 1000 junk mails per day to get the one or two that may be real. That is crazy and I have to fix it. Yes, I have spam filters, but the emails I do want end up invariably in the Trash folder, so that does no good.
I have not been a big social media person. I really don’t have time to hear about the minutia that people are sharing with close friends and family on Facebook – even when they are my own close friends and family.
I enjoy Pinterest as an inspirational “art magazine” and am happy it is NOT very social.
I can’t see any use whatsoever for Twitter.
And I used to feel the same way about Instagram.
But I gave it another chance. Watching the way that some other artists use it, I started to see it as a mini-blog.
I could share some of the things you never see because they are just too small for a blog post.
Like the “Gardener’s Hand” photo at the top of this post.
I took the first version accidentally with my iPad when I was trying to get a close-up of a flower.
I went to delete it, but it captured my interest because it had so much “story”. That is the cuff of one of my beloved and worn out “Big Dog” sweatshirts. I loved them so much because of the breathable nature of the fabric, and I bought several when there was still a “Big Dog” brand. I wear them to work in the studio and in the garden and greenhouse. They are getting SO worn!
But the other component of this photograph is my beloved hand – the most amazing tool in the world, and for all I have put it through, it is NOT getting worn out. No fancy manicures, sometimes garden soil or paint stains here and there, but a wonderful hand nevertheless.
I took the photo again – on purpose this time – and I wanted to share it, but that’s not enough for a blog post really.
So I shared it on Instagram.
I didn’t have any followers, of course, so nothing much happened, but there was a button to post it to Facebook as well. A two-for-one! Easy – I like that.
I got interested enough to poke around and to follow a couple people I admire, and I started to like it.
It’s a great way to share any special photo or thought or artwork quickly and simply.
You don’t have to post anything to belong to Instagram – you can just look.
My Instagram link is here:
And is always in the side bar.
I have 31 whole Followers now and get some likes and Comments, so I think it is worth building a space there.
JESSICA’S LATEST BIG (small) IDEA . . .
I have this beautiful house that is a perfect retreat get-away, and I had to cancel all my big retreats this year, so an idea for small (tiny) retreats occurred to me.
At first, I thought I should wait until next year.
But then, I thought about how the Fall is Studio Tour season here and how much fun it is to discover some of New Mexico’s quaint villages along with the great art in the studios.
It occurred to me that a four day journaling retreat centered on a Studio tour weekend would be awesome.
Here are the two best studio tours (in my opinion) for taking in the experience of the place as well as the art:
Oct 17-18, 2015 Galisteo Studio Tour
And the Grandaddy of them all (33rd Year):
Nov 7-8, 2015 The Dixon Studio Tour
So, here’s the plan . . .
Four Days/Five Nights
You would arrive on Wednesday by evening and leave Monday (although folks who wanted to stay longer could do that at a reasonable rate.) I would pick up anyone without a car at my gallery in Santa Fe late Wednesday afternoon. (You can take a shuttle from the airport to downtown Santa Fe).
You do not need a car because we can all fit in my Caravan.
The retreats are limited to only 3 attendees or four if two people want to share our twin bed bedroom.
The cost would be $1000 with lodging, workshops, and some lunches included.
You would stay at my beautiful Casa Artista
The guest rooms would be first come/first served. The master suite with its own TV and bathroom would cost a little more. The other two rooms share a bath.
I would stay at my own home, but spend the days with you.
We would combine art journaling lessons with the studio tour adventure. Maybe we would make a handmade journal the first day and fill it over the week-end.
Maybe the whole thing would be an iPad Art Journal retreat (this would depend on the desires of attendees).
If I do this, I have to reserve the house for those dates, and we are already taking reservations for October and November.
So, I am throwing this out there for takers. If you have interest, please email me at
Tell me which weekend would work for you and whether you would be interested in iPad or traditional art journaling or a combo of both.
If I get three people right quick for each Studio Tour, we’ll do it. If not, I will let other parties rent the house.
Talk about a fun girlfriends week-end! Even if you are meeting new girlfriends.
Lots of good stuff in this posting! I like the part about dovetailing, and I think the keywords you mentioned are spot on—they’re ones that most of us would like to incorporate in our lives. They’re kind of meditative. About blogging: Your blog is one of the very few that I read as soon as I see it no matter its length. But if given a choice, I’d vote for more frequent, just because I love seeing what you’ve been up to! Social media—I agree with you about Twitter; I just don’t get it. I like Pinterest, but I’ve never been on Instagram and hadn’t seen the need. But now you’ve piqued my interest so I’ll have to take a look!
There’s a new trend for some bloggers called SLOW BLOGGING. I think the name tells the story. And I haven’t been blogging very much because it takes WORK! Yes, I need to resize photos and Yes, I need to find something to write about. But I love Instagram (thank you for following me, BTW). And I usually post the images to FB also. I know other photographers like IG and the link to FB. Whenever I am sitting around and getting bored for whatever reason, I pull out my iPhone 6 and start looking at IG. I use Pinterest for inspiration but often forget about it. But I’m a regular IGrammer.
Is there such as thing as a posting too short for a blog??
Many bloggers post Wordless Wednesdays, or mostly photos with very little dialog. I would think you can blog any way you like!!
I do a lot on Facebook. I have an Instagram account. I may have gone there once or twice. It has been so long, I don’t even know what it looks like. I will check it out again. Twitter never interested me. It turned me off in the beginning because of all of the self importance. I don’t have a Twitter account.
I do wonder how people have time for all of this social media. I can’t keep up with my daily life let alone posting all over the place.