Hemming and Hawing
September is a very full month if you're a parent with kids on a traditional school year calendar. This September was especially full, given two new schools for my 5th and 9th grade sons. As an artist mother, I was embarking on the decision whether to participate in the Thrive Together Network's bi-annual virtual artist residency, I was fearful it would be too much.
I'm thrilled to announce that I'm opening up dog portrait commissions again and supporting the Animal Protection Society of Durham during the month of August. In reviewing my history of making dog portraits, I recognized that I was building momentum in creating more portraits just prior to the Pandemic. With my relocation to NC, I've completed a couple, but haven't been able to promote them. My studio is almost 100% finished (enough that it is operable) and the renovations in our home are complete. Now, as we move into the Dog Days of Summer, I'm ready to officially open them up and donate 10% of the profits of all booked portraits to APS.
I've been making dog portraits since we rescued our first dog, Ringo, back in 2007. It started with just an oil pastel of him, roughly drawn on cardboard. I adore that drawing and have a dedicated spot in our powder room. At some point when I ran my studio/gallery in Newton, NJ, I began accepting dog portrait commissions, with one of the first subjects coming in for a photo shoot:
In April, I visited Greenville, SC, with artist Katrina Berg. She was in town visiting her daughter for a dance competition and invited me to join them for the weekend. It was a much-needed break from home and important time spent around art, seeing new places. I've been thinking about how important it is for us to experience wonder and joy, so going out of our comfort zone is one way we can do that.
Knowing I would be in Greenville, SC, I decided to reach out to Lucy Boland, an artist whom I met last year at the Artist Mother Retreat in Black Mountain, NC. Lucy and I connected over an intense hike and many art making experiences during that weekend; her energy was infectious and memorable. She's based in Spartanburg - just next to Greenville - so I couldn't drive back to Durham without meeting her for lunch and visiting her studio.
I'm so happy I saw her work in this space, especially since she's currently hosting a studio moving sale as she's relocating her workspace. It's been a bit since the end of April, and not everything is fresh in my mind that we talked about. I'll leave you with the morsels I remember, and hope you'll seek out her work and find out where she lands, maybe even collect something from her!
CHECK out Lucy's work In PERSON July 13 - 15th in her Spartanburg, SC, studio, located at 146 E. Main Street, Spartanburg. She's hoping to sell everything in her inventory before her move.
Connect with Lucy:
Meet Lucy Boland Artist (https://shoutoutatlanta.com/meet-lucy-boland-artist/)
Scroll down to see pics from my visit and you'll get a sense of Lucy's work and her infectious energy.
I fled my home for a quick weekend respite away to Greenville and Spartanburg, SC upon hearing that my IG artist mother pal, Katrina Berg, told me she was travelling to South Carolina from Utah. She was going to be in Greenville for the weekend, and once I made plans to make it happen, realized I would be just 40 minutes away from another artist mother, Lucy Boland, who I met at an artist retreat last year.
Greenville is just about 3.5 hours from Durham; not a quick trip, but given Katrina's distance from me, I wanted to make this happen. Planning this 48 hours was not for the faint of heart - my husband took over logistics with my two sons - with two different sporting obligations, an overnight stay for one of them, help from another family with an overnight, and I coordinated dog boarding. It worked! I was gone from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon - full of conversation, art, good food, and enjoying the beautiful weather in South Carolina.
This is proving longer than I intended, so read on for PART 1: Greenville. PART 2: Spartanburg is to follow. Sign up for my Newsletter so you don't miss it's publication. And, there are deeper reasons for needing a getaway - you can find out all about it in my last email here.
I was recently profiled by VoyageRaleigh, a California-based media outlet that has local bases focused on profiling creatives, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. The interviews are written by the individuals, in response to questions from VoyageRaleigh. I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to share the path of my art career, which has currently landed in Durham, NC, by way of NJ.
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Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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