Friday, January 25, 2008

The Best Laid Plans of Wombats and Women...

Although my grand plan of two months of solid art-making isn't working out (artist's block? Too much stress? Drastically changing style? Winter blues?) I have spent my last 4 weeks getting very, very organized.

On the home front, I gathered together 3 years of utility bills from our time in this house and created spreadsheets analyzing how much we spend on anything and everything on a monthly and yearly basis. Fascinating! And fun..... Gotta admit, I was raised by an accountant, so listmaking is in the very fabric of my DNA.

I've also been doing a careful analysis of our food budget, figuring out how much we spend, on what, and where. A trip to the three different grocery stores I shop at showed which one was actually much less expensive (Sams) and the one I don't need to shop at again (Safeway)except for special items (calamata olive bread....ahhhh). My whole aim in this project was to decrease our monthly food bill without sacrificing food quality. I cook at home A LOT, so this isn't the culprit. My inspiration for creating a grocery price list was The Tightwad Gazzette, published in the 80's in a series of newsletters, then books, by the fabulous Amy Dacyczyn. I love this woman. She is so frugal and clever.

Re-reading parts of her books takes me back to the days when I'd just finished my undergraduate degree and got a job as a photo lab tech in Portland, OR. I was making a very low wage, living with 4 roomates in a big old house, driving a creaky truck and riding a svelt motorcycle. I was also successfully living off of $1,000.00 a month. Thanks to careful budgeting, I saved 20% of my income every month, as well.
Too cool.
I rocked.
I miss those days.....

Of course, owning a house, a business, and having Fromage in my life throws many more budget accounts into the mix. I'm working on getting the most accurate view possible of what we live on and how we do it. So far, so good. I think we're pretty clever with our funds. We don't have many of the accutrements that suck away money: new cars, new clothes, expensive habits (although I AM an artist...feel free to laugh at that last one...).

Other organizing: I've reorganized my studio storage, gotten rid of a big bag of miscellaneous stuff, moved furniture around in the house, and gotten a consultation on cleaning up/altering my messy arm tatoo. (That last may not seem like much, unless you've experienced wearing a messy tattoo....yes, it's a big deal.)


Needless to say: a lot of lists have been written, a lot of things have been categorized and examined. Sadly, not a lot of art has been made. It's just not flowing like I'd hoped it would...



On a more positive spin, I have been creating some really nice portfolios to send to galleries here, there and everywhere. Thanks to some diligent research online, I've found several galleries which show/sell the kind of work I make. I'm specifically targeting these as potential business places for my work. Letterhead, business cards and well-crafted digital images are all done and ready to lend a hand to future exhibits.

Did I mention I got my website underway?

www.eeroarts.com

Still a few things to add and alter, but the general body is out there.

Made Website. Check.

Sure, I've been very productive. All of this organization feels good.

I have to admit I'm not to happy these days, however. Not enough light in the day, not enough skiing to feed my soul, not enough time with friends. Too much time brooding, too much time being frustrated in the studio, too much sadness. If I could just get some real paintings underway and finished, I would actually feel some sense of accomplishment.