Courage in adversity2010 was a year of both highs and lows for me. I spent the first several months of the year in a constant state of stress over my mother’s worsening health. She was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of Gall Bladder cancer in early December 2009 and we had no idea how long she would survive. The doctors gave her two to three months to live. As it was she stayed with us until April 15th when she passed away quietly in hospice. Adding to our health stress was the fresh sadness from my mother-in-law’s passing nine months before (also from aggressive cancer), and my father-in-law’s declining health.
I had officially opened the doors to my new art business, Flying Pony Studios, at the beginning of December 2009, a mere two weeks before the doctors diagnosed my Mom.
Beyond being an artist, I am also a professional massage therapist. The first few month of 2010 were filled with my active massage practice. Once my mother passed away I took a hiatus from my human massage practice but continued to work with my animal massage clients.
In May of 2010, my dear friend Tracy and I took a cross-country trek to pick up my mother’s possessions (along with her old car) and drive them back across the country. This proved quite an adventure as the car had some major mechanical issues. We did make it, and in good time too, considering we broke down several times along the way.
While all this was going on, I was rather heroically trying to keep up with my sketching and doing whatever I could to keep my fingers artistically busy. Not an easy task!
Second part of the year
In June and July I was back out in public as a professional artist. I had pieces hanging in two art shows simultaneously, at the Gift Horse Saddlery, in Woodinville and in the WA State Thoroughbred Breeder’s Art Show in Auburn, WA. By summer, I was drawing and painting in earnest and spent many happy hours sketching and painting at several large horse events including the Evergreen Classic horse show in Carnation, WA and the Fall Hunter Classic in Monroe, WA.
In late September and early October we took a 20th Anniversary holiday trip to Hawaii and had a most wonderful time. I sketched constantly on the trip, always having sketchbook and pencil close at hand.
After returning from Hawaii, I was invited by Flying Changes magazine to be a featured artist in their December (holiday) issue. I was delighted. It was so exciting seeing things finally coming together in my new art business.
In the Fall I knew it was time to put some long dormant plans into play to create images suitable for greeting cards. It took some time to actually get my images together, but by the end of the year I had three card designs that sold well! I opened an Etsy shop, which, although still very small, will be a big part of my business in 2011.
By the end of the year I had also taken on several pet portrait commissions including a few that squeezed themselves in right at the end of 2010.
Phew! What a year!
The Bottom Line
While 2010 brought about some stark and painful endings, it also brought with it some bright new beginnings which truly rose from the ashes. Although 2010 was not my favorite year, it was a significant one. One I will remember for a very long time.