News and Upcoming Events: 2019

I’m pleased to announce that I will be represented by Rijks Family Gallery in Historic Crested Butte Colorado beginning 7/1/19. I will also be the featured artist in July. See below for details. My work will continue to display in Hunter Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs and Two Old Crows in Pagosa Springs.

One Artist Show: Rochester Hotel, Downtown Durango Colorado 4/25-6/29

Opening Reception: 4/25 from 5:00-7:30 at the Rochester Hotel in Downtown Durango, Colorado. Meet the artist and enjoy snacks and drinks at this historic hotel in the heart of Durango. www.rochesterhotel.com

Old Colorado City in Bloom, Hunter Wolff Gallery, Colorado Springs, Colorado 5/11

I’ll be doing a painting demonstration and displaying new works at Hunter Wolff Gallery in historic Old Colorado City in Colorado Springs. Enjoy the spring weather and meet me and other artist from Hunter Wolff Gallery. 10:00-5:00. www.hunterwolffgallery.com

July in Crested Butte, Rijks Family Gallery, Crested Butte Colorado 7/1-8/1

Opening Reception: 7/3 from 5:00-8:00 at Rijks Family Gallery in downtown Crested Butte. Meet the artist and enjoy historic, funky downtown Crested Butte. Stick around for the 4rth of July activities! Show runs through July.

Artwork at Animas Chocolate in Durango, Colorado 10/1-10/30.

Animas is a boutique chocolate and coffee shop in downtown Durango. Details to be announced.

Artwork at Pikes Perk Coffee, Colorado Springs 11/1-11/30

Opening Reception: 11/1 at Pikes Perk North on Academy boulevard in Colorado Springs. Details to be announced.

Q4 2017: New Beginnings

Here's a quarterly update about what I'm doing with my art and for fun.  I'll also talk a bit about my transition from corporate America to professional artist and my learnings.

Prelude:

I spent 24 years working in multiple operations roles in auto, food and medical device sectors.  I ended my career as an Operations Director at a med-device company in Colorado Springs. The company I worked for was bought, resulting in my stock options vesting. This wasn't a huge windfall, but it did allow me to retire a couple years earlier then I planned.  My retirement at a young age is the result of years of frugal living and aggressive investing before I married my lovely wife.  This blog is really about the transition into semi retirement and beginning a new career in art.  I've painted casually since I was a child but had become a more focused and productive painter over the past two years.  My last day in corporate was 9/5/17.  This was my first official day as a full-time artist.

The Transition:

My wife is a successful professional writer.  She writes textbooks as well as some business and personal writing.  She inspired me to make the jump from corporate to dream job.  She spent her first career as vice president of an outdoor products company. At 48, she quit and started writing (her dream job).  Each year since then, she's substantially grown her business and still works less than she did in a traditional career.  I decided at 46 to follow her path.  

The biggest transition point for the two of us: I'm home WAY more then I used to be and I'm an interruption to her work day.  I used to be gone 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week and travel 3-5 days month. Those of you who know me know I have a lot of energy.  I think I'm driving my wife bonkers.  I can't cute or funny my way out of it.  She was constructive in pointing out that I need to ensure she has few interruptions while she is working.  Since this discussion, I have moved my studio to a different floor in the house and try to take at least one fishing or skiing excursion per week so she has some time to herself too.  I also try to work when she is working and have started doing a lot of the cooking.  I've discovered that I like cooking.  I'm working through Hello Fresh meals and starting to make original meals.  When I was a bachelor, the only food in my fridge was an old pizza and a six pack of Fat Tire.  Who would have guessed?  I hope I'm reducing the interruptions; I'll let you know the verdict next quarter.

I'm lucky that even though I was passionate about and took pride in the work I was doing throughout my career, I don't think that my work really ever defined who I was.  I've always defined myself by the relationships I had and activities I did outside of work.  I am working diligently to start up the painting career, so I'm not really having dull moments so far.

There are some perks to semi-retirement.  My wife and I take the dog for a hike in beautiful country almost everyday.  We go and see movies and do more social things.  We get to visit my parents for longer stints of time and don't have to worry about being back to work Monday morning.  I sleep 8 hours every night: no calls, no worries about work.  We went to Florida to visit friends and family, minimal planning required. I went to Park City to meet up with one of my best friends to watch him run an ultra race. Next, I fished on the Green River with another friend, mid-week, no schedule.  Went to my first concert in I don't know how long. We fish and ski often.  I've also had time to reach out to some friends with whom I lost  touch.  I'm truly enjoying myself at 4 months into it.

 

The Painting Start Up:

I'm learning that the art market is a perfect supply and demand model.  Your work will sell for a given price at a given pace based on the following factors: quality/appeal, the size of the market, and the price point of the market.  This being said, my number one priority is to improve my craft.  I've spent the last few months enjoying my retirement, while painting as much as possible: creating 13 new small works and quite a few failed paintings.  I learn more from my failures than my successes.  I'm studying different artists' techniques and renewing my focus on composition and color theory. 

Some artists sell mostly prints and some sell mostly originals.  I would like to sell mostly originals, however the majority of my customers are not willing to pay the price of an original. (back to that market demand and supply thing)  My number two priority is to increase the size of my potential market and reach a market with the financial means to buy originals.  I'm learning that building your painting career is like building  a traditional career.  High-end galleries that sell only originals will not look at you if you don't have talent, sales history, awards, and experience.  This brings me back to priority 1: get better at painting...  I am also applying to more galleries and will enter my first painting contest in 2018.  A win, show or place in this would be an accolade on my resume as well as some potential press in a major art publication.  It takes time to get into a gallery.  My last  acceptance took months due to lack of available space.  I have also learned that building a relationship with perspective galleries is beneficial.  The owners teach you so much about the industry and when a space does open, they know who you are and that you will be a good business  partner.  I've been accepted to three local galleries and left one.  This is where I'm at now.  More to come next quarter on how I'm doing.  If you've enjoyed this blog, please follow me on:

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