Thursday, July 26, 2012
When I became a resident artist at The Banana Factory, (an arts & education center in Bethlehem, PA) I was asked what my ultimate studio would look like. My response was something along the lines of, "A great big studio with a view." This is that space. As there are a very limited number of open studios, it is common for artists to take whatever studio is open and then move once a more suitable space becomes available.
I wanted a space with a view - but not one that is distracting. I can see loads of sky and clouds with this northern exposure and it makes me very happy.
The image above is from when I first moved in and was trying to decide where everything should go.
I wanted to set it up in a way that would be very open and inviting. The larger space will allow me to comfortably do group lessons and mini-workshops - stay tuned for more details on that. (Fearless Art Warrior classes coming soon!)
As with my previous studio, I paid close attention to the rules of Feng Shui to set up a comfortable energetic flow within the space. (I use this book: Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life: How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect, and Happiness)
The slideshow above shows me moving in and setting up studio #250
The video above shows the last walk-through I did in studio #249.
My studio hours vary, but when I am there working during building hours, you are welcome to visit. Want to schedule a visit? I will do my best to accommodate - contact me: stephanie at biffybeans dot com.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Sometime around 4pm on March 2nd while getting ready for my First Friday as a Featured Artist at The Banana Factory, I called it. I said to my husband, "I'm going to sell the mural tonight." And that's just what I did. I had no idea who I'd sell it to, I just knew I'd sell it.
The whole night was a blur... My Mom and Stepdad came out, my friend Diane from Long Island had driven down, oodles and oodles of friends new and old came to support me that night and I remember hugs and kisses and well wishes and conversations and answering questions to a group of high school girls about my work and, and....
About halfway through the night, I was approached by a woman who tells me that she wanted to purchase the mural. I didn't get it right away, as if she was speaking a different language. Wait...You mean for real? Holy cow! On top of that, she tells me that it will be permanently installed in a new healing arts center in my area and I can't imagine it going to a better place. Tears of joy? Oh yeah, you bet.
Not long after, I start to go a little crazy as a plethora of emotions go surging through me. "I did all that work, I worked so hard, and I sold it. I visualized it sold and it sold." That day when I got so emotional before it was finished? Even before it was completed I was starting to let go because I knew it would be leaving my possession.
I had wished that more of my Rhythm Friends had come to the opening - but wasn't that what this was all about? Letting go of feeling that I "need" them around me to tell me that I did good? I worked my ASS off, of course I did good! Gratitude. Humility. Acceptance. I am very excited. Some artists go their whole lives creating important works and never selling them or even having the opportunity for people to see them.
07/19/12 It had been my intention to initially publish this post closer to the actual event, but I felt I needed time and perspective to really put words to it.
I've been a resident artist at the Banana Factory now for just about 8 months and though I understand I am exactly where I am supposed to be, I still often feel like I am struggling alone in a strange new world. For 24 years I worked jobs to pay the bills because that was pretty much all I knew to do. Growing up, it never seemed to be an option to explore a career in something I was good at or enjoyed. I remember receiving college catalogs for the Art Institute of Philadelphia, but I couldn't seem to get anyone's attention about my wanting to attend college at all. I guess I came to believe that college was for "other" people, and making a living through art was absolutely and completely out of the realm of possibility.
It took my own perseverance in finding my tribe - my family of people who love me unconditionally and who are able to see in me what I can't always see in myself, to help me onto this path and for that, I will be forever grateful.
While this mural was first started with only a very loose concept regarding transformation and growth, as it grew, so did I- in understanding how everything is connected. You can't be who you are without all of your experiences, and all of your relationships. My issue, (one I continue to work on) is that I hold on so very tightly to specific memories of people or situations that it inhibits my growth.
We must let go so that we can grow...
The creation, completion and subsequent sale of this mural is what I expect to be one of many grand exercises in my emotional healing. I just wish it wasn't so painful to keep shedding all these layers.
Speaking of shedding, I am currently working on another large piece entitled "Foundation of Belief" for the upcoming Artist's Annual exhibition at The Banana Factory which opens Sept. 7th 2012. It pertains to the way we learn many helpful and unhelpful core beliefs from our parents, religions, family, peers, educators and employers. It has me looking at everything I know to be true in this world under a microscope and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. Stay tuned for more updates about this piece.
She Continues to Grow Part 8: She Sells and I Let Go