"Life Goals" 2022

It continually amazes me. You want to take the tiniest break from something, and suddenly it’s been a month and you can’t figure out how things got so far out of control. Please, folks, forgive me for not updating this blog for a while. I’d like to tell you that amazing things have been going on, but the truth is I’ve just been busy and had a lot on my mind.

Equine Art

July 17 I drove up to Emerald Downs to pick up my art from the Equine Art Show 2022. No awards this year, but I did sell the painting “Trust.” A red dot award is ALWAYS appreciated.

“Trust” (2022)

Obviously, I got a bajillion reference photos while I was up there.

I’ll have lots to paint between trips (as if I didn’t have enough reference photos for three lifetimes.)

In other equine art news, my painting “Transition” was accepted into the American Academy of Equine Art Fall 2022 Juried Exhibition.

“Transition” (2020) – 11″ x 15″ watercolor on paper

I am always THRILLED to get into this highly prestigious show, but the inclusion this year is slightly bittersweet. It’s my third acceptance, but not the third within five years. In fact, I was previously accepted in 2015 (Shoes & Shadows) and 2017 (At Liberty).

There wasn’t an exhibition in 2021, and I don’t think I applied in 2020 (right around the time of my solo show.) So, this inclusion means that my clock starts ticking again. Here to two more between now and the 2026 show! I’m also slightly amused that ths painting was juried in instead of “Patience” or “Pretty Pickup Pony”. I thought both of those were “better” horses, but anything involving just a head shot is a hard sell for an equine art jury. Note: Do more full body horses.

The Big Project (continues)

As I mentioned in my last (long ago) post, I am working on a big project. I have set my syllabus and recorded the necessary paint sessions. In addition to teaching the class “live”, I am putting together a video so people who don’t want to come to the convention can take part. The entire project has eaten up a lot of my painting time, whether painting or putting together the video.

WSO Entry

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. Tomorrow I’m taking Key to a nosework trial, and the deadline to submit entries into WSO is August 1. So, my big goal for the weekend was to sit down and finish the last two paintings on the easel.

These paintings are a departure for me, and I have limited hopes for their success. But while I’ve done a lot of painting in the last six months, I haven’t done a lot of good painting. It’s a phase. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

NWWS Entry

On that note, I’m only a couple of weeks out from the NWWS entry deadline. I’ve decided to submit paintings that are a little older, but within the two-year cap. After all it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel every time. Right? I’ve decided to submit three entries. “Fleet”, “OSIFS”, and “Yellowstone Dancers.” These are all three paintings I am exceptionally proud of and that I don’t think have been “around” much. In fact, “YD” has yet to be in any show.

Volunteer Out

In less artistic news, but definitely art adjacent, I am looking forward to having more free time after the WSO convention. Over the last few years, I’ve really let myself get over-enmeshed into the WSO volunteer scene. As the webmaster, it was all too easy to see a task and just decide to do it. Almost a year ago, I told the WSO board that I wanted to retire in October of 2021. A variety of factors led to my bad decision to stay another year and try to work through some necessary changes. Fortunately, a replacement webmaster has been found and will start “full time” in October. I’m training him, and he’s doing a great job, but almost every time we talk, there is some job that he’s been asked to do because I used to do it, but it’s not really a webmaster thing. The phenomenon is creating a lot of tension as well as underscoring what I’ve been saying for years about needing more people helping with digital tasks. While words cannot overstate how excited I am about handing over the responsibility for all the “WSO stuff”, it’s another thing that is bittersweet because I don’t feel like I’ve always handled the last 18 months with “language befitting a knitter” (if you know what I mean.)

I bring this up mostly to emphasize October is becoming something of a “finish line” and I’m getting impatient to reach it.

And All the Rest

With all of this going on, you’d think I would be sufficiently challenged. Ha! I’m not content until my hair is on fire.

A few weeks ago, I woke up from a vivid dream and what I remembered was being at the beach house and being happy. Since changing medications in April, I’ve been having a lot of these vivid dreams. I remember the colors and the emotions, but little else. To recap my recent housing history, when Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she moved in with me at the Salem house until she died (Dec. 31, 2018). After a year of mourning, I decided to sell the Salem house and move to something a little more upscale but also one story. I put the Salem house on the market the same day as the original COVID lockdown order. Then purchased the Keizer house during the following ten weeks. During the period between the two houses, I lived at the beach house. In the last two years, I’ve said many times that if I had known how COVID was going to turn out, I would have skipped buying the Keizer house and just moved to the beach full time. I have really loved the Keizer house, but it’s always been in my thoughts to retired at the coast when the time is right.

After the dream, I pondered a few things. Everything, including my job, is going to hybrid workspace. While there has been some discussion about having more people come more regularly to the office, such significant changes have been made that being physically present is just not necessary. I was having a quarterly check in with my boss soon, and I resolved to ask her what it would mean if I did move to the coast. Essentially, she told me that if I was willing to come in once a month, there was no reason it couldn’t work. I mulled it all around for a few more days, looked at my calendar, and realized that I had virtually nothing happening in the month of August. If I spent that month moving out and fixing up, I could list the house in September and probably be out by 2023. Anyone who knows me knows that I am incapable of doing anything slowly. This process “officially” started on July 21, and I’m starting to turn off utilities, arrange for furniture donations, and other things necessary to consolidate the households. I’m going to try not to push, but no one should hold their breath.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer. Does anyone else find it wrong that they are already advertising back-to-school?