checking in

When I began the process to form Create Art 4 Good over eight years ago, I had no idea where I would be standing today. As I write this, the snow is falling gently outside, the hum of the heat is clanking in the building I rent, and yet it is otherwise quiet. Most of the other humans who create in this building have yet to arrive. This moment feels so peaceful and so intoxicating I wanted to take a moment to notice it. 

When I quit my job in June to give all of my energy to this gallery, the artists I am honored to represent and the vision I have had in some form since I was seven years old, I had no clue how magnificent this would all be. For me, this is not about selling art. While that is a lovely byproduct of what I do here and also a rather necessary one, it is about the energy, the encouragement, and the beauty.

It is about a new artist thrilled that she got into a juried exhibition. It is about the look on her face that suggests dreams DO come true. 

It is about First Friday when the public makes their way through our studios, walking through doorways, appreciating art, enjoying conversations with the artists, and supporting their endeavors. 

It is about moments of creative facilitation, possibility, and joy. Watercolor on tables (and maybe hands), scraps of collage paper here and there and messy hands. It sounds silly, but it evokes such joy for me. 

It is about pushing through the dark moments of doubt to stay true to the path, the mission, and my heart. 

At this moment, I don’t think I could be more grateful. I am so incredibly excited about the next steps, the infinite possibilities and even the unknown. (this, by the way, is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I ALWAYS want to know what comes next, but I have learned that this process is not linear and that is okay- sometimes even great!)

This month has been all about gratitude for me, and for a few others who have decided to tag along. I wanted to thank you for your love, your support, every piece of art you have purchased here, every card, every encouraging word. 

I am off to begin the flip of the studio. In the next week, we shall go from a lovely small gallery to WOW, glittery and beautiful holiday boutique! 

See you soon?

Big huge love and gratitude, 

Susan

 

Gratitude.

So… today, if you listened to the news, you heard that there was yet another shooting. This comes the day after someone was arrested for sending pipe bombs to prominent political figures. As an artist that lives in Rochester, New York; a place where I don’t feel particularly powerful I don’t know how to fight this kind of horror. To purposely want to murder someone because of their political beliefs or their faith astounds me. 

I am a wife, a mother, an aunt, godmother, grandmother, sister, friend and well… you get the idea. I want to shield my loved ones from horror. Truth be told, I want to sort of live in a bubble and not attach to any of it as well.  Over a year ago, I consciously made the choice to stop listening to NPR. I honestly couldn’t take it. The horrors, the rhetoric, violence put me in a bad mood and kept me there most of the day. I couldn’t sleep at night. I HAD to let go for a while. 

A few months ago, I started listening again. You cannot make changes unless you understand what needs to change.  I wish to be an informed participant of our country. I wish to have a clue about what is going on in our world, even if it is hard to listen to.  I have tried to not let it take over my day, my ability to function, some days I find it more difficult than others. 

So today, listening to the fact that people gathered to worship and were gunned down, saddens me to the deepest level. I don’t know how to make it stop. As a person of faith, someone who believes in prayer, I pray. I pray for not only those close but also the country, our leaders, the world, peace….. well, you get the idea. But praying doesn’t seem to be enough. Today these people who were senselessly gunned down WERE PRAYING! They were bothering no one. They were murdered in one of the most vulnerable places one could be. 

I believe in the power of prayer. But I need to do more than that. It’s not enough. I believe in the power of knowledge. I am proud to say that I am an informed voter. Again, not enough. 

So here I sit, the world seems so dark and yet I have faith in the light. It would be easy to allow fear to take over, it’s human nature. It seems everywhere we turn there is another tragedy. 

Darkness will not drive our Darkness – only light will do that.  MLKing, Jr. 

I know I have written about it in the past,  today is no different. When it is the darkest dark, all I know to do is to take inventory of what is right in the world, in my life and celebrate it. If gratitude is the whispering light in the darkness and love defeats hate, then we need to gather together to fill the world with hope. I don’t know how to fight this hatred, this bigotry, and this complete discord. I only know that I have to love bigger, be more grateful, and be more proactive. 

This is where you come in… I invite you to join me. This month (November) we will explore gratitude. I promise if you dive in with me, you will see a new perspective. You will hopefully feel move love and more love. Each day you will receive a prompt. It is up to you what happens next. 
I hope you will join me. I hope you will find bountiful reasons to be grateful. I know that you will share your light. 

To join, just email me: Susan@CreateArt4Good.org – I will fix you right up. 

Until then- I am grateful for you! 

Blessings and love, 

Susan

October- Enlightenment

 

 

Life. The twists and turns that have inspired and kept me on the path have been nothing shy of incredible. I have taken chances I would have never believed, felt joys and successes that I only dreamt of. 

The path to the creation of my dream in Create Art 4 Good has been and continues to be a path of self-realization for me. You learn about yourself with the stresses and strains of a small business owner. You grow, you struggle, you blossom a bit. It is a journey I could have never anticipated but one I am incredibly grateful for. 

October 4th is the 5th anniversary of my first opening at the Hungerford. I am sure you have heard the story of how I got keys to my studio just about a week before, and even though I was working full time, I pulled off an opening (with buckets of help from my family) with seventeen artists represented. It was a proud and scary moment. The opening was wonderful, well received and feels like a million years ago. 

Now five years later, about sixty openings later so much has changed. In June I left my position of thirteen years to fully commit to this dream. I have changed studios, I have grown my business plan. I even have an official Create Art 4 Good checking account!  (hey,… it’s the little things) I want this opening to be a celebration. I want it to be a yes, it might have been more difficult at first, but I DO see the forest AND the trees. 

And I continue. 

To seek wisdom, beauty, and wonder. 

I continue 

To pay it forward, and to support my fellow human. 

I continue 

To hold creative opportunities and support art in the world. 

I continue 

to live this incredible dream.

Thank you for walking with me. 

with love and gratitude, 

Susan

 

it’s starting to be real…

In June I left my position of nearly thirteen years to live the little girl (and big girl) dream of being a “REAL” artist 24/7. I no longer have to divide my time or my energy with two full-time positions, but one. ONLY ONE. 

I could have never anticipated what happened next

First, I am well aware that life does not roll out like it does in the movies. The main character whom you have cherished during the previous 79 minutes of the film gets her dream after enduring and overcoming every possible obstacle. All the sentimentals in the theater get a heavy dose of dopamine as the credits roll and all is right in the world. What we don’t see is the main character’s struggle AFTER the credits roll. What we don’t understand is that even when dreams come true it does not guarantee success nor does it ignore the fact that it is usually a heck of a lot of work. 

AND…there is the fact that the entire game has changed. What you have done for decades you are no longer required to do. There is comfort in routine. There is comfort in having a backup to your dream plan. There is comfort in knowing that you have your fingers in several pies… 

So, all of that said, this is a very vulnerable time for me. I am trying to focus in spite of a few unexpected challenges. I am trying to build the new road and focus my energy.

Here’s the thing. This is scary stuff. The summer has been hot and humid. That encompassing overwhelming feeling you get on a really hot and humid day is sort of how my spirit has felt for these last two months. 

But today- I woke up, and I felt stronger. The air had that autumn crispness to it. I feel rested for the first time in months. I feel like I was able to make a difference in this day. I feel strong. I feel focused. 

The new normal isn’t always a linear path. Sometimes you have to dig around to find out where the road is and set with intent the destination. I have dreamt about a vocation as an artist since I was a very little girl. I have felt the joys and balance of my own spirituality and wonder every single time I have held a colored pencil or paintbrush. I believe that this step is vital in my pure authentic life.

Today I do not have to rely on my faith of this to feel the rightness of it. My footing is solid, my hopes feel like a plan and I am secure in the next step. 

Today, I am actually understanding that while the struggle was real (and might be again tomorrow or even this afternoon) the light for this path is on full strength. I am secure in the unknown, I am equipped to handle the path and I am joyfully accepting of the darkness. It is in that darkness where I have found the brightest of lights. 

The dream is real. There is a plan. There is a paintbrush,,,it awaits. 

I pray you find your dream- I pray you have the courage to live it 100%. 

with great big love and gratitude, 

Susan

the struggle is real but the faith is big!

Celebrating seven years

It doesn’t seem possible that I began Create Art 4 Good seven years ago. I know it didn’t happen over night, It was a lifetime of gathering tools and clarification before making the big jump. Little did I understand at the time that what I craved ultimately was the key to my success. I just wanted to be me- all of me, and move through the world with that. I was frustrated that I felt like I had so much to share but had no venue in which to do so. 

Create Art 4 Good was a path to authenticity. I think that embracing all of who we are ultimately serves us and others perfectly. 

So here we are. Seven years later! I suppose I not only am excited about all that has been accomplished, but I suppose I am embracing my “seven year itch” with leaving my full-time day position to dedicate all of my time to Create Art 4 Good. This is such a huge dream come true, I cannot even believe my life!

Below find a little video, celebrating the last seven years. I am grateful to you for your love and support. On to the next 7 years! 

big love and bigger blessings, 

Susan