Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Good Thing That Happened, Part the Third

Waaaaaaay back in June 2022, I visited the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, MA. And then, I applied for one of the live/work spaces called The Lofts. It was quite a process with CVs, artist statement, portfolio, proof that I'm a working artist and showing my work - luckily I had a "museum show" at the time! 

It was at the same time that I put my name on the waiting list for the puppy! And guess what? I got accepted at the Studios on the same day that I learned I'd be getting my puppy!

I'm so excited.. but now I am on the waitlist for an actual Loft space... who knows how long that will be? I'm hoping it will be this year or next year. I'd really love to be in a place with over 300 artists!

The Studios building is the one at the far end of the parking lot and has 300 artists on 5 floors plus a brewery, and galleries, and a coffee shop. The closest building (in the photo) is The Lofts. There are 50 live/work spaces here plus gardens. The Pawtucket Canal runs right along the side. The windows are 22' wide and the ceiling are crazy high. Oh, and pets are allowed! 

If you are really curious, this VIDEO shows a tour inside the Lofts. If you are impatient, jump ahead to around 5 min. to see some empty Lofts or 7 minutes to see a gorgeous, lived in one. They are only open to the public during the Open Studioson the first Saturday of each month (this Saturday!!) The Studios are open whenever the artists are around, but Open Studios have so much going on, plus Food Trucks! And then, there's the rest of Lowell - so many Galleries and events!

Can you tell how badly I want to be a part of Western Avenue Studios?! 

Good Thing That Happened, Part Two

Oops, fell behind again. These Anxiety-Depression Attacks are kind of like a neurotypical person getting the flu. They knock me out and leave me so exhausted and then feeling like I have to run to catch up!

So I told you about the puppy I'll be getting in April, the second thing that happened was this great show I was a part of at Two Villages Art Society in Contoocook, NH!

I was very excited to be part of an exhibit with so many inspiring artists. The opening reception was very crowded and I'm so proud of myself for even entering the building never mind TALKING to people. My friend, Laurie Strysko, AKA my Paparazzi - got lots of great photos (evidence?) including me talking to live people! I got to chat with Kathleen and Dave Dustin, just days before she flew off to the other side of the World. She is the Queen of polymer clay and is working with women artisans in India - if you're on Facebook, check out her posts - so many adventures.

There's a shot of Ty Meier, behind the desk, he's the Secret Organizer of the Crimson Sparrows -and he has his own mind-blowing show on exhibit right now.

And both of my kids were here for the opening too - Alex came up from Boston just to see it... actually he came up to play D&D with his sister and her friend, but let me pretend... great shot of them (crammed) in my "Introvert's Gallery". It got crazy crowded when the music started and I got squeeeeeezed out and fled home. Yeah. I was social... then I needed a few days to recharge.

Now that the show is over, I have a big pile of matted prints and a long todo list of what I should do with them! I'm working on it...

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Geeky Girl is Getting a New Teddy Bear!

There has been SO much happening, I admit I have been really overwhelmed!

There's been some really bad stuff with medical and mental issues and words like "cancer testing", "inflammation", "... indicators", and "more extensive testing..." And the Depression and Anxiety have gotten so bad... well, there are a whole bunch of new Inner Demon characters in the works. (Yeah?)

Ok, got that out of the way, on to the GOOD STUFF! I'll break it up into separate posts. Puppies first.

If you've been following my Service Dog Saga, it's been a few years since Theo had to retire because he had osteochondrosis in his shoulder and developed intense anxiety from the pain. He was adopted by my friend Mark and is enjoying retirement on the seacoast.

I had started the process from scratch, with a different company, and made it through a few rounds before they decided it would take 3-5 years just to find me the right dog. So I researched until I found the right kind of dog and the breeder, here in New Hampshire - Monadnock Labradoodles. They only raise Australian Labradoodles - a mix of Labrador, Poodle, and Cocker Spaniel. They are allergy friendly with the temperament of a service dog.

I've been on the waiting list for a year and just got the news that I'd be getting one of Georgia's new litter (born on Feb 9th). 

 "Her wonderful laid-back temperament gets her noticed everywhere she goes!"

This is the dad, Moose - "Moose comes from therapy lines and it shows! He is friendly, calm, sweet, goofy and happy-go-lucky."

That's a great combo of personalities, and each parent is 25lbs - I am so excited to get my puppy! 

I won't know which one will be mine for another four weeks. They'll temperament test them to find the one best suited to being my service puppy. My puppy will have a week of puppy training at the breeders, then some more board and train with All Dogs Go To Helen. I am really grateful to have resources and support. I am very aware that I lack puppy skills... and will take full advantage of any help I can find!

There will be ongoing puppy training, then service dog training, socialization, and introduction to different situations and experiences, as well as desensitization. Honestly, much of the training is the same for the dog as for me! I think the puppy, even without training, has better social skills than I do... so much to hope for.

I've been redoing my website and working on setting up an online store. I was encouraged to include a "Buy Me a Coffee" button. If you aren't familiar with that, it's just a way that people who read your blog, or want to encourage your artistic endeavors, can contribute a few bucks easily. 

I took it a step farther, with a "Buy My Dog a Bone" Button! So anyone can contribute towards Teddy Bear's training. You can click on the links to see - they're both really cute! Don't worry, you can look without actually being charged. And if you have time, go click around the new website: and be sure to let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

It's Been a Minute... or a Few Years...

 I'm working on doing a new overhaul - of everything... website, online store, my life - it's all in there. I'd put this blog on hold while I was in school, then again a few years ago while trying out Patreon. I'm not sure that's my place, so I'm returning here, to the Belfry. 

It's really dusty in here, and I need to do what I do - moving everything around a few times, reorganize all the drawers, and pull out some old projects to resurrect. And of course, I need to find all of You again, my Tribe, and a way to share info with you all. I feel really Hopeful though - I have hired two ladies to do a "deep clean" of my business and my brand and help get me moving again.

I could say that the past few years have been tough and all the other stuff everyone is saying about the Covid Years, but, honestly, all years are tough for me, plus - there were a lot of surprise benefits that came from the World experiencing Anxiety and enforced Introversion. Technology that has made groups, conferences, classes, and doctor visits accessible from home has been, literally, a lifesaver. The business I'd worked so hard to build - was no longer possible - and maybe I didn't really want to be doing that anyway.

Going forward - I do not want to teach live or online. I do not want to be in situations involving crowds. I do not want to do freelance illustration. I do not want to mask just so that other people don't feel uncomfortable around me.

I DO want to create more art, paintings and comics. I DO want to learn how to be myself and find friends and customers who like me with my quirks and glitches. I DO want to produce more card packs and comics about mental health, being Neurodivergent, medical issues, and the Inner Demons. I have so many cool project ideas! I DO want to be helpful and share my experiences and knowledge. And I DO want to learn to take better care of myself, be kinder, calmer, and focused on what matters to me. So this is the direction I am heading starting this year:

Unmask, be myself, do things differently, embrace my Inner Demons, draw and paint a lot.


Related Posts with Thumbnails