Monday, October 6, 2014

Stepping Back to Move Forward

Lately, I've been feeling so very blessed and many of you have been asking how I'm doing since my move, so I thought I would share some of what is happening. It was such a huge leap of faith to make this move and I just believed that with hard work & a little bit of luck that it would turn out great. And it has. So here's an abbreviated version of my time in California so far.
"Heat of the day"
Landed here in December, started teaching a drawing class in January, then quickly added another 10 week session and as well as an oil painting class.  I have wonderful students that have become my cheerleaders.  In fact 2 of those cheerleaders recommended me for a teaching job at Pasadena City College (PCC) which I just started a few weeks ago.  Once again, an opportunity arose to add an additional class this session and I've have invited back for next year. I also,started a Sketchbook Monday" class with students meeting me at different locations around Pasadena to experience drawing from life. I love teaching, meeting new students and seeing the joy when someone has an "Ah Ha" moment. And I believe in the end, it makes me a better artist.

"At the Fair"
My time here has been an exploration in whether I could make a living here in a very expensive area of the country and to that end, I'm making good progress.  A couple of months ago I became an assistant for the fabulous oil painter, Lori Putnam.  The opportunity to work for such a kind and very talented artist is a true blessing.  I get to see the behind the scenes of a very much in demand artist and what it truly takes to make it in the art world. It's a lot of hard work and perseverance. This opportunity has given me a road map for where I want my career to go.

In addition to teaching and working for Lori, two weeks ago, I launched my Artist BFF Virtual Assistant service, designed to help artists on a project oriented basis with tasks that range from marketing ideas, social media to starting a newsletter, and everything in between. I've had such an amazing response. So much that I now have a waiting list of clients.  As the saying goes, "See a need, fill a need". I'm a lucky girl with some great clients that I learn from every day.  For my artist friends (shameless plug), check out my Artist BFF services to see how I can help you.

Between the teaching, working for Lori & the Artist BFF, I'm looking for extra hours in the day.  Where does my art fit into this picture? Well at the end of the day, I'm a painter.  It's what feeds my soul. So not having the stress of my next sale to pay the bills, has presented a wonderful chance for me. So I've made a decision to take the rest of this year & 2015 to focus on my growth as an artist.  I can paint and challenge myself in ways that aren't possible when you are painting for galleries & shows. I'm excited, terrified & fully realizing that sleep might be a luxury over the next 15 months. Sleep is highly overrated. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

"Fence Line Flowers"
While you might not hear from me as much on this blog, I do plan to post on a more regular basis on my Art Tips blog.  And I will try to share some of my artistic journey along the way.
I want to thank my friends, family & students both here & across the country for being my cheerleaders. And for being a shoulder to cry on when needed as well as pushing for me to challenge myself.  I feel very blessed by having each one of you in my life!

I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to call or email me.  I promise to respond and remember the time difference for my east coast friends.  So I think I can officially say that I'm a California girl! The water is warm, everyone is welcome to join me but just not all at once.

Blessings from a very happy "southern" transplant.

Kelley





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