Some final thoughts on my journey this year

My best friend and I were recently talking and she was reminding me that part of “growing up” and truly being an adult is realizing one’s own limitations and knowing what you can handle and what you need to let go of in order to make your own life more successful and whole.

I have spent the last few weeks wondering how to wrap up my posts for the Climb 365 Blog and how to admit that I haven’t gotten as far along in my Community Art Center, as planned.  I look at this year and what it has pushed me to do and realize that even though I have had limits on what I could get accomplished, not getting as far as I have in one area, has allowed me to really grow in others.  It has also catapulted me along this path that, I believe, is giving me the connections and exposure that I will eventually be able to use in order to complete all of the work that I have set out to do.

So, when I stop and think about what I have accomplished within my own limitations as a mother of young kids, full time teacher and professional who is aspiring to start a new business, I must say, I am pretty darn proud of myself.   When I created and hosted my first Evening of Sipping and Painting back in December, I just figured I’d be working with Naked Mountain Winery, and creating a program within their winery.  I had no idea how much I would be expanding this little business at this point of my journey!

As of today I have hosted five events and have more in the works for the immediate future!  I have set up a program with the winery in which I lead at least one Sipping and Painting event a month at their vineyard.  Beyond that I have hosted my first Parent/Child event which I called “Munching and Painting: Milk and Cookies” at the local community center in my town.  I have also hosted my first private wine and painting event within someone’s home.  I started a Facebook page for my business and my art and through that I have been able to drum up a bit of a following! I have supportive customers who keep returning to my classes, and whenever I post my next event they usually fill up within two days! It’s hard to even fathom that people are getting frustrated that they cannot get tickets to my events!   It is very exciting and humbling to see people so excited to come and work with me.

Through all of this promotion and discussion of my Sipping and Painting business online, I have been sought out by a local country club to begin a series of painting events at their club for the summer and fall of this year.  I have also heard from a local nursery who is interested in hosting an event at their greenhouse.  Just last week I received an email from a friend that I grew up with who is a very talented chef.  He has recently opened a restaurant and wants me to offer “Painting and Pancakes” to drum up support for both of our businesses.  I have been asked by several friends and friends-of-friends to host private birthday parties or events at their houses.  The momentum just keeps growing!

It might be a lofty goal, but as the momentum continues to build, I can envision this little business growing into a store front and then potentially becoming larger, and turning into the art center that I want it to become.  I am looking forward to the summer when I can come up with creative workshops in plein air painting, or perhaps host some lunch time recurring sessions in order to create a diverse amount of workshops and events that will get more people excited about what I am trying to do.

At each event, I begin by thanking the group and sharing my ultimate vision with them.  I do believe that as I promote my vision and goal, I will slowly but surely be able to make it happen.  I must say that I am truly having fun along the way!  I have taught art in many different capacities for over 15 years.  I have taught elementary, middle, high school, and even graduate art students.  So, when I decided to take on this business I was a little worried about the “cheesiness” factor that I would get from teaching people who might never have done anything artistic in their life.  I was worried about the fact that we might not be making “real” art.  Now, after having done it, I actually feel the complete opposite!  There is something amazing about showing someone that they have the ability, within themselves, to create something beautiful and artistic. For instance, I have a friend who has started painting on her own because she has come to my classes!  I think that I was able to give her the confidence she needed to just get started and create something.  Another woman at one of my recent sessions said that she was an Art major in college but dropped it to do something more “practical.”   We had no idea that she was artistic and she made a beautiful painting and proclaimed that she was now going to head out and buy new painting supplies so that she could pick it all back up where she had left off 15 years prior!  One of my goals in this journey and certainly in my life is to make art accessible to people who might not know much about it or have access to it, and I believe that this is the perfect format to do it!  I hope that I can use this excitement in order to build a network of people who will be willing and interested to participate and support me as I undertake the next step in creating my community art center.

I am so glad that I have been given this opportunity to reach beyond my comfort zone and start something that I always knew I had inside me.  The best thing that the Climb 365 journey has done for me is to give me the permission and motivation to start moving in the direction where I want my life and legacy to exist.  Looking back on this year, seeing the success of my little Sipping and Painting business, I can confidently say that, for now, this is enough.  I have accomplished a lot of what I have set out to do and I am happy with it.  I have realized that it will take time to meet my final goal but know now that I am building the confidence and the connections to do it.  It’s been a fantastic year of learning my own limitations all while discovering what I can do and reaching to push that even further.


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