This past weekend wrapped up the end of the 2015 Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours and my first year participating as an artist.
The weeks leading up to the 2nd weekend of the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours were stressful to say the least. I think the most stressful day was the day I was focusing on getting my online store up and running properly. I was trying to code something new and my husband got home from work early. And then my daughter came over so my usually quiet house was not so quite anymore. Before plugging into my headphones to block out the world, I let my family know what I was doing. Well, my husband loves to egg me on when I’m stressed out. And despite me telling him many times in the past that it usually makes matters worse, he continued on. And then my daughter started in on me. Hate to say it but sometimes the only way to be heard is to say it really loud. That worked. Soon my daughter left for home and my husband retreated to the bedroom until the next morning. That was probably my worst tale of the art tours.
Then there are the projects that I just ran out of time to do. Like creating wallpapers for mobile devices to sell on flash drives. Or framing a historically view I had captured a few years ago. I had planned on trimming it with aged barbed wire and then using old wood to frame the overall piece. Yeah, the coding on the website took way longer than I anticipated.
How about that phone call late Friday afternoon asking if I had any more catalogs to distribute to a local store because they had run out. The store closes in less than 90 minutes and I’m completely out of catalogs. And who has time to drive to the distribution center, pick up catalogs and drop them off at the last minute. Not this artist who was busy struggling to get everything she needed to get done at the last minute.
So those are probably the worst of the tales, which are totally over-shadowed by some of the best stories from the art tours.
Like getting to meet a virtual friend for the first time. We’ve been friends online for several years thanks to an online class we both attended via CreativeLive. I don’t know why it took us this long to meet in person, it’s not like she lived far from me. Seriously, she lives maybe 10 miles from me. I’m so glad she decided to visit me in the studio during this year’s art tours.
And I won’t soon forget the older gentleman who came by the studio numerous times throughout the weekend. Strange but interesting fellow. Had quite a few interesting conversations with this man. And he even brought me a gift on the second day. A CD of classical music that I’m listening to right now as I type this post.
Then there’s the story from client’s of mine (quickly becoming good friends) who came to visit me on Saturday. While on their way to the studio they came across another couple who got stuck in soft sand. Apparently they were following the GPS directions after leaving another studio and the GPS lead them straight into a sandy wash and they got stuck. Fortunately my friend’s live in the desert and have a 4x vehicle and were able to pull them out of the sandy wash and helped them get on their merry way to their next stop on the tours. Which was studio 54.
One of the most memorable moments was meeting a complete stranger who has apparently been following me for some time on a Facebook group I belong to. As the art tours approached she saw one of my many blurbs about the art tours and decided that she was going to come out and meet me. And she does not live close. But as we got to talking, I learned that she is a veteran of our armed forces. I shared some of my military homecoming stories with her and then she shared her own heartfelt story of how she does not have any portraits of her in uniform from her days of serving. Which is the motivation behind a project she is wanting to do. Portraits of women who have served. It’s going to be an amazing project and I can’t wait to see it.
Another moment that is close to my heart is when my daughter brought several of her friends out to the studio to see my work and introduce them to her mom. My daughter is a huge supporter of my transition into the art world as a landscape photographer. She tells me often how proud she is of me for never giving up on my dreams and pursuing them no matter what age I am. And before they left the studio she made sure to get several photos of all of us together with my work as the backdrop.
And I can’t forget my fellow artists with whom I was sharing a studio with. I had so much fun getting to know the both of them during my weekend on the art tours. We shared many laughs, a few selfies and they were happy to share their knowledge and experiences with me from past art tours. This year’s art tours was less about making money and getting famous and more about strengthening the relationships with family and friends and forming new bonds with new friends.
I also completed a project during the art tours this year. I decided to set up my camera on a timer to capture an image every 10 minutes. It was quite interesting to see all the happenings throughout the weekend. And it will be a great way to remember my first art tours many years down the road. Those same images helped me remember some of the tales I wanted to share in this blog post as well. Enjoy the video and let me know what you think.
I’m relieved it’s over and I can’t wait for next year’s Art Tours. And now on to the next deadline.