Bye Bye 2016...Hello 2017!

The other day, I was lamenting to my ever-patient journal, just how much I didn't get done last year.  I was discouraged at how many things were left on my to-do list.  Then I realized, Hey!  I did a LOT in 2016!  Time to wake up and be grateful for all I have done rather than beating myself up for what I didn't.

So, in no particular order, here are what I consider to be the things that made up a pretty darned good year indeed (you might want to get a cup of coffee...or wine...up to you):

- I had my first solo show at Arts On Douglas Fine Art Gallery.  The amount of work it took to prepare was exhausting, but I was overwhelmed by the loving support of so many family and friends that night. My cousin, who I had not seen in 15 years, drove up from South Florida to surprise me and we are now more in touch.  I was also humbled (and very happy) that more than half the show sold before the end of its run.  I also did a well-attended artist's talk a week later.

L-R: Proud hubby • Having fun with my rowing buddies, Linda & Sandy • My cousin Jimmy

L-R: Proud hubby • Having fun with my rowing buddies, Linda & Sandy • My cousin Jimmy

- My husband and I visited Seattle, WA and loved it!  The main purpose was to visit a favorite (licensing) client, and we had some great meetings, but every minute of this too-short trip was inspiring & fun.  Fell in love with the Port Townsend area.

L-R - Hiking Deception Pass • Deer on the beach! • With my favorite client, Bruce Solly • View at Deception Pass.

L-R - Hiking Deception Pass • Deer on the beach! • With my favorite client, Bruce Solly • View at Deception Pass.

- I flew to Madison, WI to attend a cold wax workshop taught by the marvelous Pamela Caughey at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point.  Bonus ~ my good friend, Sue Jachimiec ~ who is also an artist and took the workshop as well ~ lives nearby and she invited me to stay with her.  She and her hubby (who cooked us wonderful meals every night!) made the trip so fun, I felt like I was in high school again, hangin' with my buddies, just having a good time without a care in the world. (and I ate a LOT of cheese curds!)

L-R: Sue & I during critique • a snapshot of some small works on paper -returning to my abstract hand • Working away • Having fun with Sue & Jeff in downtown Mineral Point.

L-R: Sue & I during critique • a snapshot of some small works on paper -returning to my abstract hand • Working away • Having fun with Sue & Jeff in downtown Mineral Point.

- Unexpected joy ~ I reconnected with a friend from high school, Rahna Summerlin, who is also an artist and amazing award-winning quilter (follow her on instagram @bloominginchintz). She and I went to dinner, chatted about whatever became of this one and that one, including our art teacher.  Long story shortened here, said teacher - the talented Sandra Garritano Provencher ~ lives in Sydney Australia, and as fate would have it, when Rahna tracked her down on Instagram (@sandra_garritano), we found she was in the area visiting family!!  We were both able to have dinner and reconnect with her! It was really exciting and a little surreal for all of us.  There was so much creative energy flying around the table that night, the next day we all said we couldn't sleep!  I then had the honor of teaching my high school teacher about my process one afternoon in my studio and we're talking about a painting trip to Paris in the future!

L-R: Rahna, Sandy, BJ • Sandy in my studio

L-R: Rahna, Sandy, BJ • Sandy in my studio

- I went to Indian Rock Shores, FL (on the coldest weekend of the year) with my best friend, artist Joyce Shelton for a girlie get-away that included a workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry.  I was slightly terrified as I don't exactly paint in her style, but I do like to challenge myself and it was a lot of fun!  I don't think I did toooo badly....

Somehow, neither Joyce nor I captured any photos of us - guess we were focused!

Somehow, neither Joyce nor I captured any photos of us - guess we were focused!

- My hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  We had originally planned to go to Amsterdam and Germany in October to celebrate, but had to reschedule because of Hurricane Matthew's rude and untimely visit.

- Speaking of Hurricane Matthew....  While I may not love how the storm re-landscaped my neighborhood, particularly my own back yard, I am grateful that everyone is safe and our home escaped any real damage (the big trees that fell, fell away from the house, thankfully).  

- I traveled to Savannah, GA over Thanksgiving weekend with hubby and niece where we had so much fun we decided on the spare of the moment to stay an extra night.  Krystal even met Forrest Gump!

- I taught my first workshop at Atlantic Center for the Arts.  I felt like it was truly something I wanted to experience and, since the opportunity was presenting itself, I went for it. The whole shebang went even better than I could have imagined.  I was asked to teach more, but declined after much consideration, because I felt it was taking too much away from my own studio practice (I wrote about it here).  I never say never, though and teaching may be my next "art life".  A BIG thank you to my students (the workshop was actually oversold by 2!) for making that day so wonderful.  Full recap here.

- We attended our niece's graduation from Stetson University ~ a milestone for sure.  We had a big party for her at our house, surrounded by family & friends from far and away, after which she and I flew to NYC for a long weekend where we packed every day with fun, including a matinee of Wicked on Broadway (highly recommend!)

The Writers' Walk in Central Park inspired the diptych painting below, which is currently in progress in the studio.

The Writers' Walk in Central Park inspired the diptych painting below, which is currently in progress in the studio.

"I did it!!"  The happy grad!  She's on to law school in the fall.

"I did it!!"  The happy grad!  She's on to law school in the fall.

- I had two pieces accepted into the "70th gARTen Celebration" at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum & Gardens.  Works inspired by their beautiful gardens.

- I rowed 2-4 times nearly every week and was asked to design the club's 20th Annual Summer Regatta tee shirt logo.  For those of you who don't know, my first art life was as a graphic designer :-)   I also donated a painting to be raffled off.

- I was invited to a special cocktail party the night before the Horsin' Around Auction where one of my paintings, Into the Mystic was being auctioned as part of the Atlantic Center for the Arts's biggest fund-raiser of the year.  I was also honored to be invited to sit at the chairman of the board's table at the auction!

What am I looking forward to in 2017?

- I have already scheduled my next solo show - October 7 - at Arts on Douglas.  I spent a couple days recently with my hubby building some HUGE panels for this show -- the largest being 5'x5'. (yikes!)  Stay tuned this year for sneak peeks at the process.  I'm even going to play with video!  Follow me on instagram @bjlantzstudio .

- Hubby & I are headed to Amsterdam soon to celebrate our birthday (yes, we share the same birthday) instead of the anniversary as originally planned.  I can't wait to tour the fabulous museums!

- My bestie, Joyce and I are doing a girlie road trip to Franklin, TN to attend a workshop (another one to scare me, er, challenge me - Anne Blair Brown, Painting the Interior)

- I am determined to improve my French, which won't be too hard as it is rather minimal at the moment, merci beaucoup.  So far, I am rather confused with the gender issues....

- I've been invited to give an artist's talk about my process on April 5 at the New Smyrna Artists Workshop.  Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter to not miss the details!

Happy New Year to all!  I simply can't wait to see what else is in store!!!