2012 has been an amazing year for me artistically, and I'm quite awestruck and grateful for all that has transpired.
A year in review:
-I chose to extend my maternity leave to be more available to my second child, as well as my eldest. In the beginning the baby slept two naps, and I was able to paint a significant body of work. Daily walks around the lake opened my eyes to new inspiration and gave me peace of mind and body, two things that are critical to a woman post-partum.
-Little by little, with support from my husband and my friends, I was able to start making sales. A decision was made to sign up to be an outdoor vendor at the local farmers and craft market near my home as a way to learn how to sell my work in that manner. My business was officially established January 1, and by April my husband helped me set up the paperwork. Morgan Johnson Norwood Visual Art was born.
-I entered several local group shows sponsored by the League of Reston Artists, which gained me showing experience, and even landed me two awards!
-In May I began showing my work at the market, and I learned that it is a really difficult, labor-intensive process, but I had more fun than I ever thought. I am fascinated by the culture of the gypsy artist/artisan/farmer/vendor. The idea that one can set up a shop where there previously was nothing is a triumph in capitalism and ingenuity, and packing skills! Everything needs to fit in your car! I learned that selling is an art all by itself. I also learned that my work stops people in their tracks, and that pleased me greatly, but it was much harder sending the work home with someone, no matter how in love with it they were. All of these points became big lessons. I sold seven paintings this season, and made countless contacts. Definitely a good learning experience, indeed.
-In September my mother-in-law and I hung a large exhibition of my paintings at North Gate Vineyard (46 paintings, now 49 are still on view). As their inaugural artist-in-residence, I was blessed to participate in many of their functions, including my own, the Artist Inspiration Days, where 3 additional paintings were added to the exhibition. I sold fourteen paintings (so far!) from the show, and received countless comments on how beautiful the show looks in the space. As much as the paintings are like my children, I will be a little sad to bring the show home after such a radiant viewing period.
-And now my art has entered a much quieter time. Things at home require much more of my attention, schedules have drastically altered, babies are now active toddlers, and my teaching has picked up a bit more. Time in the studio is more difficult to achieve than it was, but I'm happy to say that what has been coming out of the studio is exciting to me, and reflective of all the massive changes that have been going on in the past few months. The good point about being forced to slow down my production, I suppose, is that the work has become even better. Stay tuned.