Saturday, June 16, 2012

Random News

With wrapping up the school year and participating in the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour, it has been a busy couple of weeks, and it appears that my summer is going to stay just as busy. So, I wanted to share a random smattering of things today. I apologize for the mishmash of news and thoughts.

First, this summer is a big time of CHANGE for the Journal Fodder Junkies in at least one big way, and for those that have been following my change initiative, you may find this all a bit synchronous. Both Dave and I are changing jobs. Dave recently accepted a job at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. So, after three years in Boone, NC at Appalachian State University where we were a six and a half hour drive from each other, Dave will be moving to my wife’s home town, where he will be a mere 45 minutes away. Closer proximity means better collaboration, and hopefully more ideas, projects, and events that we can put out there.

As for me, after ten years of teaching high school art, I’ll be returning to the elementary level as I move to Tolbert Elementary School in Leesburg, VA. I taught elementary art for four years prior to teaching high school art. I am very excited for the change after feeling rather burnt out and stagnant teaching at the high school level. Actually, the move has been part of my recent busyness. Although my official last day was early last week, I spent the rest of the week packing up the classroom that I have been in for the last ten years, and moving the 40 or so boxes, bins, and pieces of art. I’ve also started organizing the new artroom, and I still have quite a lot to do. I’ll be spending most mornings next week trying to finish up.

 Sixteen years of teaching packed up in 40 boxes and bins.

 The last look at the classroom that was my "home" for 10 years.

Second, the Studio Tour was another success this year, and I had about 150 people come through my studio last weekend. I did a little better this year than last, and sold quite a few pieces and quite a few books. Events like the tour reinforce my commitment to my art and have me jazzed to make new pieces. I appreciate all those who stopped by to take a look, to buy some art or a book, and to talk about art. I am really in my element with these types of things, and again and again I had people tell me that they came to my studio because my art was very different than others on the tour. After seven years, the tour is definitely a big event for the artists of western Loudoun County, and I big heartfelt “Thank You” goes out to the folks who organize and promote the event.

My studio during the tour.

Third, I got a couple of wonderful surprises over the last couple of weeks. First was a beautiful handbound, mini journal from my wonderful friend Erin, aka Bean. I’ll share more about that in a later post. The second surprise came from Strathmore Artists Papers. I came home yesterday to find a box of new hardbound journals from the company. I didn’t even know they were launching a new line of art journals. Similar to their Visual Journals, the hardbound art journals come in a choice of fine art papers and include a 80 lbs. recycled drawing paper, 80 lbs. toned sketch paper (gray or tan), 140 lbs. watercolor paper, and 90 lbs. mixed media paper. They also come in three different sizes; 5.5” x 8.5”, 8.5” x 11”, and 11”x 14”. Because of the heavier paper, the journals contain fewer pages than traditional blank, hardbound sketchbooks, and they are a bit more expensive. I am looking forward to trying them out once I finish my current journal. The timing is interesting because, I was recently thinking about ordering a few new blank journals to have as I wrap up my current journal, but I held off buying any only to receive these wonderful journals. I haven’t seen them available yet at online retailers, but I’m certain that they’ll be coming soon.

Well that's about it for today. There's still more to catch up on and to post, but it will have to wait.

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