Art walk tonight, plus "deep thoughts" on goals

It's looking like a gorgeous day today, so I'm going to try to get out and do some painting outside before heading downtown to get the gallery ready for the First Fridays Downtown Art Walk. Tonight's artwalk opening continues a showing from last month called "Spring Mix". The theme is gardens, flowers, anything Spring. But since my place is primarily an art studio, I've always got new stuff on view, even when a show carries over. June will be my last Art Walk of the season, debuting my 2nd annual "En Plein Air" show. As expected from the title, it will feature work I've done on location. I'll have new  and recent local paintings of Richmond, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and some from my upcoming travels to southwestern France. Here are the details for the May and June shows:

Where we are: 

Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery is located at 16 East Main Street, (between 1st and Foushee) two blocks east of the Jefferson Hotel.

We're open during the First Fridays Richmond Art Walk from 6 to 8:30 PM and by appointment at other times. The Art Walk season continues right on through the summer, but we'll be taking a hiatus in July and August. For additional information contact us or call 804-254-1008. Click here to view a map and get driving directions from your location.


As I look ahead  to the end of  the Art Walk season (for me) I am thinking a lot about personal vs. professional goals. Working full time in this art thing, I've accepted that there is always going to be a lot of overlap. My art IS personal (I'd have it no other way) but it is also my business, and sometimes it is really a challenge not to have those two aspects completely blur.

Since I've been at my downtown studio, my focus has been on the professional end of things. Namely, how can I (with an artist's budget) best market and utilize this space? How can I maximize its potential (it IS a gorgeous space)? I had many openings, joined committees, changed my hours a few times (now back to "by appointment"), and hosted a workshop (a first at this studio).  I've had some wonderful experiences and some times when I feel as if I've fallen flat on my face. But, that's pretty much par for the course in any business I guess.  In any event, in the relatively short amount of time that I've had the studio gallery, I've learned a great deal, about my business and (perhaps more importantly) about myself. 

 For a while now (at least in the last 6 months, maybe more) I feel like I've been involved with a lot of business (busy-ness!) and less and less painting. For me, the painting (or drawing, or printmaking) has always been the driving force and that's where I need to return my focus for a while. And painting for purpose of expansion rather than for production, if that makes any sense. I look forward to it. 

I'm kicking off with a plein air painting trip to France, but my goal for the summer is to devote more time to those things  that have always fed  my spirit and ultimately helped me to advance as an artist and as a creative liver-of-life. More plein air painting. More drawing. More experimenting. More reading. More time at home. Gardening. Travel. Finally taking a sewing class. Learning about web development and redesigning my website (here comes that blur!) Teaching, if it's in the cards. And yeah, more relaxing!

Okay, that's a pretty ambitious looking summer list, but I'm thinking of it more as a summer menu. A few of these things take priority for me, and the rest I can select according to time and desire. As I said, I look forward to it.