Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

The Business of Art

I am in Vail CO this week on a business retreat with my mastermind group. I know....tough place to have to work! :-) I spent much of the day working on the deck with a beautiful wild flower tangled hillside as my view. We also have a stream out the front door. This week we will map out new programs, brainstorm ways we can better serve our students and clients, fine tune our goals and spend some time thinking about how we can change the world.

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business planning tools for artists!

 

We are a group of 5 entrepreneurs who share an passion for the art and business. Our businesses are all different but they are held together by the thread of art. We are great friends who support each other 100% and we also hold each other accountable to keep moving forward toward our unique visions.

We meet once a month for a mastermind circle where we brainstorm solutions to problems, set goals, explore 'what ifs' and share updates on progress on our big goals. I have to add that we laugh a lot and are frequently totally silly.

So often people forget that art is a business as well as a passion and calling. If you neglect the business side of art it will be very difficult to see your vision become a reality. I know! I did that for years and I even have a business degree!

Fortunately, I had a friend who invited me to a business networking event a little over 3 years ago. I really didn't want to attend because I tend to be an introvert and thought I hated that sort of thing. But, my friend bought me a ticket for the monthly luncheon so I went out of loyalty and maybe a bit of curiosity. This event was held by eWoman Network in Colorado Springs; a chapter of the international networking organization that is focused on the way women do business. I never looked at my business the same way again.

Not long after I joined the organization I attended their annual conference in Dallas TX. We just got back from our third conference earlier this month and you may have seen my Facebook posts about it. The conference changed the way I looked at woman entrepreneurs and opened my eyes to bigger dreams and possibilities. I highly recommend looking for a chapter near you.

I hope I don't sound like a commercial for eWoman Network but I really love being part of this inspiring and energizing organization. :-)

This week I will be working on some new programs I will be launching next year that are aimed at bringing creativity and innovation into business culture for small to mid-sized companies. I will also be working on my Threads On-Line class. I hope to have the first of the three part series up by the end of September. The technological learning curve slowed us down from our intended start date last spring. Stay tuned for updates on when it goes live. If you have taken my Threads class live you will have instant access to the on-line version!

Some time will be spent looking through all my class lists to decide what other classes I want to add to to my new on-line classroom. Let me know if there is one that you have wanted to take but just can't get to where I am teaching. I will put it on the list. It takes a lot of planning and time to shoot videos for these on-line classes so I won't be traveling quite so much next year.

I won't bore you with all the rest of my to do list for this week! I will post some photos on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr of the stream and the flowers!

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Don't worry that it will be all work and no fun. I will be doing my stitch meditation by the stream tomorrow and today, we took time out this evening to relax with a few heated rounds of Rummikub. After all the number crunching that went on today, it was too much thinking to bother to keep score during the game but I am sure that I won!

 

 

 

 

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Loving Contemporary

Loving Contemporary

I am in Dallas Texas this week for the eWomen Network annual conference. I really enjoy this conference because it is all about women entrepreneurs and the unique way women do business. Sandra Yancy, the founder, has a different, more contemporary philosophy about doing business. Sandra's tag line is 'lift as you climb' which resonates with me and the way I live my life and run my classes, workshops and lectures. We can all reach higher and bring others along as we go.

We arrived early enough that we had some free time to head down to the Dallas Museum of Art. Did you know that the DMA is free every day! Is that not cool? I grew up just outside of Washington DC so I always thought museums were free. I had quite the shock when we moved to CO and they wanted me to pay to visit! What is so wonderful about free museums is that they are teaming with energy and life. We could not believe the number of children at the museum! It was wonderful and exciting to see so many people enjoying the art. The Dallas Museum of Art has made a big effort to make kids welcome with a large engaging and interactive area just for them.

How would our world be different if all museums were free??

We didn't have much time for our visit so we concentrated on just a couple exhibits. The first was modernist jewelry by Art Smith. His pieces were beautiful and made from the late 1940's to the 1970's. They are timeless pieces that resonate today as much as they did when they were first created. These two are a couple of my favorite pieces.

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We spent most of our time in the Contemporary art hall. This exhibit ranged from abstract expressionism through the present in a large exhibit of post 1945 art. I love this period of art. It challenges me and makes me think. There were huge pieces, small pieces, assemblage, performance and even a textile piece. My favorites included the Rothko, Pollock and Jasper Johns pieces. I did have a lot of favorites though. :-) 

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Portrait and a Dream by Jackson Pollock

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Orange, Red and Red by Mark Rothko...I never 'got' Rothko until I saw them in person. His work always inspires me. If you are ever in Houston you must go to the Rothko Chapel.

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I completely forgot to write down the painter of this piece...doesn't Deb Prewitt look perfect in front of it? Very graphic! This piece has so much energy we both liked it.

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Ivory Spirit by David Hammons. This piece is ethereal and strong at the same time. Unfortunately for me it was in the same gallery as a dual televised performance piece that was disturbing...intentionally so but it seemed so jarring. Perhaps that was the intention of the curator.

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This piece, Slip Zone by Jack Whitten is my very favorite from the exhibit. The colors and texture, layers and implied aging and sense of history mesmerize me. It was very, very, very difficult not to touch it!!

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