Summertime is solidly encamped here and I can't believe it's nearly half over! Summer runs twice as fast as the rest of the year. I had finally gotten into a good routine during the school year and then summer blew that all to smitherines. It's been a challenge to balance work with the kids being home and I often feel like I'm doing neither one particularly well. Luckily my kids are old enough to generally entertain themselves but one of the reasons I choose to work the way I do is because I value this time with them. I want to be able to drop everything and head to the beach if the weather is nice. I want to have a picnic lunch on a Wednesday just because we can and abandon my computer to see the butterfly Ben found in the garden. So I'm finding my way through this summer season with both frustration and success. And I'm fully aware that once I get the swing of this schedule it will be time for everyone to return to their regularly scheduled programming! Lessons to tuck away for next year undoubtedly.
I continue to try and build my portfolio this summer, which has been my year-long, long-term, never-ending project. You may have noticed my new website (ta-da!) which I did a couple months back and there's a new portfolio page which I'm trying to fill up with my latest work and some older favorites. Eventually there will also be a private portfolio gallery for potential clients. I've shared a few new patterns here on the blog but lately I've been working on some paintings and illustrations because I'm doing a gallery show (!) at the Chaska Community Center starting July 17.
I work part-time at the Community Center teaching art classes and camps for kids from pre-school age to about 10 and was asked if I'd like to share my work in their gallery. I cautiously and trepidatiously said yes and next week I'll set up my show which will run through the end of August. It's a great opportunity to share my work with the community I live in but because I don't really consider myself a "fine artist" I was worried that my work might not be a good fit for this kind of venue. I know I'm not the only one who fears their work isn't good enough or "right" or has a certain kind of value. But I've jumped in with both feet and hope to do a show that shares my love of bringing art and design to the everyday. More details and pictures to come!
Summer also brings some fun vacations for our family and in June we spent about a week at a resort on a lake in northern Minnesota which I always love. It felt pretty good to walk away from everything for a little bit. I've always felt very at home on the water - when I'm trying to relax I always picture myself sitting by a lake. That trip made me think I should do a few pieces about my home state and inspired this Minnesota watercolor collage.
I'm coming to appreciate how the gallery show is forcing me to think about my work from a new perspective and think about the story I want to tell and how other people will view it. In the meantime I'll continue to navigate the sunny, sticky, and breezy summertime while getting some work done and plenty of fun done too.