Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Balancing Work and Life

How do you balance "work" with the rest of "life"?

When you love the work that you do, how do you distinguish between work and play? Professional success with personal success?

It feels kinda like those cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and devil on the other. Except sometimes it's tough to tell who is who.

One side is excited about the new work that will come out of long, productive hours in the studio. The other side wants to skip studio time, work on our vegetable garden, finish remodeling the laundry room, and go for a bike ride with my husband. Then my thoughts switch to keeping my website updated, posting to this blog, and working on new marketing ideas. Then back to wanting to schedule lunch with a friend, or where I'm going to find malt extract for that new bread recipe I just found.

All of these things are tasks that I actually, honestly, enjoy! So I want ALL of them to be a part of my life. So I am accepting the fact that striving for a balance will be a life-long task involving lots of checks and balances.

So does that also mean...
less hours in the studio = less income?
less hours in the studio = less success?
Or ...
less hours in the studio = more time spent on the rest of my life? (family, friends, hobbies, exercise, gardening, travel)
less hours in the studio = more sources of inspiration for time spent in the studio?
less hours in the studio = more success?

Our society seems to value and praise the Overworked and Busy individuals. I'm beginning to think that there's a better way to go through life; A slower pace with the enjoyment of simple pleasures. (And for a woman with workaholic tendencies, this is MUCH easier said than done, I admit!)

What I do know is that I want more days to be filled happiness and joy, than consumed with than worry and stress.
These are some of the things I have been thinking over these past few weeks. After working like a mad woman all Spring and early Summer to prepare for my exhibit at the Appleton Museum, I'm enjoying a slower pace with time for reflection. (Or maybe the Florida heat is making me delusional)

Whatever your thoughts, hope your finding (or making) time for all the things you want in your life.

Best,
Meagan
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Studio Construction - One Year Later

It was one year ago today that we passed our final inspection on the studio and I started moving in!Construction took 8 months and we literally did the work ourselves. We learned so much about zoning, construction, building codes, regulations, nail guns, and electrical! The only tasks we didn't tackle were pouring the concrete slab, plumbing and drywall. We brought in the experts for that.

So, I thought I'd take a moment and reflect on some of the construction milestones...

Getting ready for concrete
Raising the first wall
With wall framing complete, we moved onto the roof trusses.
Working awayInstalling the metal roof
A photo with the house wrap, windows, and roofWorking on electrical. Gotta have enough power for those kilns!
The drywall crew at work.Finishing touches and trim.
I feel extremely fortunate to have such a fantastic space to work in! I am amazed how much studio work I have been able to accomplish this past year. But it's good to remember how much hard work and dedication it's taken to get to this point.

My message to you today is - don't be afraid to jump in and do it! We had never built anything like this before. We got a zoning book, made lots of phone calls, asked lots of questions, read library books, and would stop mid-construction sometimes to go check online for how to do something. We set small goals along the way and tried to focus on one thing at a time. And it has all been worth it!! Every step of the way.

If you're thinking of building or remodeling a studio space, I'd love to hear from you. I'm more than happy to help answer any questions that I can!

Happy Building,
Meagan

For more, check out the Studio Construction archive tab in the right side bar.

Now, if we could just get that AC installed! It sure is hot here in Florida!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Museum Exhibit -The Photos are Back!

Sunday was the official closing of my exhibit at the Appleton Museum. I've had a busy month of travel (literally out of town the last 4 weekends in a row!) so I feel like the exhibit was just installed yesterday! How quickly a month passes.

Thought I'd share a few pictures and my artist statement for those of you who couldn't make it by the Appleton. (Photos by Russell Martin Photography)

In and urban setting, nature is often organized and controlled. City parks, botanical gardens, arboretums, and courtyards contrast industrial concrete and steel, allowing us to reconnect with nature. The plants selected are colorful, clean and fragrant, producing a manicured and idealized environment.
My current work explores and celebrates the city garden and our urban scenery. The goal is to stylize botanical forms by creating simplified shapes that reflect the organization of a planned city landscape.
For many, the simple act of gardening provides a welcome respite from everyday urban life. Overall, I strive to recreate feelings of comfort and harmony through composition, color and texture.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the quick, online museum tour.

Best,
Meagan
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