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Starting Over

Life is filled with beginnings. With those very same beginnings come endings, and the distance between the two varies. A few months back I joined a group of like-minded people and began an ‘Artrepreneur’ course. Yup, that is indeed spelt correctly. What a gift this business course has been, geared toward the ARTIST in business, centering my own professional development, learning, and curiosity.

This course has offered me nine weeks of intense learning and doing. Nine weeks of listening to other people guide me onto a new path, a new beginning. This month marked the second anniversary of the ending of my 32-year-career in graphic design, and a surrendering of the safety and comfort a consistent pay cheque provides. More importantly, 2 years ago I orchestrated those endings intent on forging a new beginning. I signed a lease @williamsmill and moved into my new studio. I got to work painting.

A well laid plan has to be flexible, and capable of bending in the wind with the changing of the seasons. With the ability to flex and bend you can weather any storm. The storms will come. The bending will see you through to a new beginning.

My well laid plans for 2020 were gathered up on the winds of a cold March day, then carried off on the backs of a million, beautiful snowflakes. A global pandemic collided with my dreams for the future. How would I survive? How would my business survive? Most importantly, how was I going to save my dream, my little Spark Studio?

The depression set in. The eating began. The sleepless nights didn’t help. I wandered around in a fog. I moved my easel and brushes home and planted them in the living room. Everyday I was reminded of what I was losing, my ship was sinking and no one was coming to rescue me. I was reminded of a childhood swimming lesson. Float on your back, tread water, hold onto hope, eventually help will come.

Hope brought me a new plan. Hope reminded me that for every ending there is a new and different beginning. With the help of the @haltonhills ‘Artrepreneur’ program I got to work building a new plan for myself, my business, and my little Spark Studio.

So much has changed in just nine weeks. My new website is up and running www.paulinegladstone.com A promotional package waits in the wings for all the grants, exhibition, residencies, and sales opportunities that lay ahead. The ecommerce site is under way. But most of all, I am ready to get back into the studio and paint.

My hopes and dreams come to fruition through painting. Something stirs deep within me when I hold a paintbrush in my hand, scrubbing and pushing beautiful colours around the canvas. I paint the emotions of what I feel in the images before me. Throughout the past 9 months I have come to know parts of myself I never imagined existed. I have accepted that the journey I am now traveling will lead to somewhere so much more different than what I had originally dreamed and planned.

This blog will record the flexing and bending of my journey as an artist. It will speak to the heart of my studio and all the beautiful works of art created there. Welcome to my journey as a professional artist.

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