June is a very busy month, plus this is my last month working for the state of Oregon as a graphic artist, designing publications for Oregon OSHA. I am retiring at the end of June. My first official retirement day will be July 1st ! Bon Jour et Bon Soir to an incredible 17 plus years of working for a state department filled with wonderful, kind, and caring individuals. I’m going to miss seeing these people, and working with them everyday, but my life is so full and overflowing with other opportunities and passions that I am sure to keep as busy as I was working full-time.
My house has been neglected for a while and it definitely needs attention. I need to clear out all the accumulation of possessions, organize what I keep, and clean the cobwebs out of the corners. I need to refinish the staircase, paint walls and update some things that have been put off. like the kitchen cabinets, the basement, and of course ~ my art studio.
Aside from my full-time job, I’m working on the World Beat Festival program, one of my annual outside graphic design projects. Also, I organize the Artists in Action booth at the festival, which is on June 24-25. The AiA booth is set up like an art gallery for the weekend, showing the art of participating AiA members. It’s fun to be at the festival, but it’s a lot of work to set up and tear down. This year there are six AiA members and myself, which is down from previous years, but it will all come together for a nice art show.
I have a dozen of my paintings showing in a downtown Salem location that I hosted on Final Friday Art Walk of May and First Wednesday of June. This is a solo show of my landscape paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolor, that is open only when I’m there to open the doors. It’s a nice opportunity to have a room, for free, to show art! The owners of this downtown building, the Salem Arts Building, 155 Liberty NE, offered the empty spaces to artists in order to utilize the rooms, and to draw more people in and potentially find people to lease the rooms for their own shops or galleries. I’m able to keep my art in the space until the room is leased. The time frame is uncertain, but for now it works great for me.
Once I make it through this month, I’ll be home free! As much as I’m thrilled to be retiring, I’m entering a new phase of life that seems very open-ended and free, but with that comes a need for self regimentation and willful organization of time. Being responsible for my own comings and goings may be a shock to my system at first. But…. I’m willing to give it my best.
My plans for retirement include painting, painting, and more painting. Plus, I love to be outdoors in the garden and doing yard work, especially when the weather is good. It will be a big change from sitting for 8 hours in front of a computer, but a healthy change! Between painting, gardening and all that house work I’ve stored up, I will be at no loss for things to keep me occupied. Then, there are all those grandkids to visit and places to go! I will be keeping you posted.
My next solo art show will be October-November 2017 at Roy John Designer Goldsmith on Court Street in downtown Salem. I plan to have all new paintings for this end of summer show.