It's been much longer than I ever wanted to wait between blog posts, but life has been very busy with many challenges. I had a gut feeling that 2012 would be a year of change for many, and me in particular, and it's definitely turning out that way.
The biggest news: we are moving to California in July! We have dreamed about and planned for this move for years, had anticipated doing it in 2013, but things happen, minds change and I can say whole heartedly: IT IS TIME.
Time to go live where I have always felt at home from the first day of ever visiting that beautiful state many years ago.
Time for the next life phase, no longer putting others' needs ahead of myself, I am doing what the inflight announcements on a plane tell you to do: put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE putting it on children or anyone else who needs help. This is hard for me as a mom, but IT IS TIME.
Time to focus full time on painting and reduce the hours of flying.
Time to start my life with Rich. Sam will join us for a while, but she, too, will be an adult next month and the phase of my life where I was a full time mom is coming to a close.
This year I will turn 50 and it's time to live in a place that inspires me, gives me life and energy, lets me breathe, and to pursue long held dreams without excuses or distractions.
Some may say it's a crazy time to move to a more expensive state, to give up the "known" for the "unknown", to start all over. Yes, it's scary, but also very exciting! There have been other times in my life when I decided to jump without seeing the net first, but once I take that leap of faith the net has always appeared and I trust that it will again be there for me. There are many uncertainties in my life right now, such as my employer being in bankruptcy and not knowing what my job or pay will be like, but I refuse to live in fear and sit and wait until THEY decide what's next. I cannot control my day job, so instead I will focus more on what I really want to be doing anyway: painting.
After we are settled into the new house and studio, which is just north of LA, I will throw myself into my art work, focusing on building a body of work to present to new galleries, doing much more plein air painting (my set-up is already nicely organized in one backpack ready to head out the door and into the hills), pursuing commission work and connecting with the local art scene.
I will also continue to work on my non-profit foundation Moni's Kids. The trip to Ghana this summer had to be postponed because of the move, but we are sending about 8 boxes of books to the kids of Touch a Life Foundation ahead of visiting them. We plan to meet them in person early next year and start the new series of portraits.
The next few weeks, I am finishing up a couple of commissions, packing up two houses (Rich and I will finally take the big step of living together, yay!), having a garage sale, and an art sale of earlier work at great discounts (more details to follow), getting some remodeling done on the new house and then driving across the Southwest to our new home.
I plan on staying in touch with old friends and will be in and out of Texas frequently. We'd also love to have some visitors in Cali! If any of my artist friends would like to come and paint "en plein air" with me, come on out! My main focus will remain on portraits, but painting from life is a necessary practice no matter what one's usual subject matter may be. I look forward to doing it in such a gorgeous place with so many awesome spots to paint!
On a personal level, Rich, Sam and I are excited to get out of the Texas heat and into the ocean breezes of Southern California, to hike the hills and mountains, sit on the beach, walk by the lakes, surf, kayak, bike, run, ski, you name it...just enjoying the outdoors and exploring our new home!